Design Systems Digest

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Issue 02

This week we learn from the best, fight for the value of front-end mastery, catch up on designing for iOS 11, and take a look at the latest design tool on the block.

Design Systems Features, Step-by-Step [Article]

Nathan Curtis takes us through the Eightshapes workflow for building new design systems features: Discover > Design > Build > Doc > Publish.

Intercom’s Emmet Connolly on design systems [Podcast]

Emmet Connolly, Director of Product Design at Intercom, shares his thoughts on how to keep your product consistent and your teams cohesive while still shipping quality. Inside Intercom’s editorial team have done you a solid by highlighting the key takeaways at the top of the post, but it’s a great listen if you’ve got the time.

Full-Stack Developers [Article]

Brad Frost discusses the role of the frontend designer — someone who owns UI code and straddles the line between design and development.

In my experience, “full-stack developers” always translates to “programmers who can do frontend code because they have to and it’s ‘easy’.” It’s never the other way around.

Fighting for the value of mastery over HTML and CSS has been somewhat of a theme recently, with Mandy Michael’s Medium article and this tweet from Chris Eppstein blowing up this week. Brad Frost’s article comes at the topic from a different angle, but it’s all part of the story of front-end architecture struggling for recognition.

iOS 11 Human Interface Guidelines [Link]

If you’ve been on the internet at all in the past week, you’ve probably seen or at least heard about the iPhone X. Whether you’re an iPhone person or not, it’s probably worthwhile for anyone working on a product that targets mobile to have a read through the updated Human Interface Guidelines — or at least this opportunistic summary article on Medium.

Spoiler alert: Apple wants you to embrace “the notch”, not hide it. These snippets from CSS Tricks may also be of use to you.

Compositor Lab Beta [Tool]

Issue 01 of this newsletter featured Colm Tuite’s critique of the current state of design tooling, which finished with a preview of the next generation of tools. Compositor is one of the more exciting projects in this space, and this week the Lab beta was released.

For now, Lab is a bare bones, no-nonsense tool for building systems of components using shared values from a theme. If you’re used to authoring components in code using your favourite flavour of CSS-in-JS with styled-system (or your own theme variables) and a ThemeProvider wrapper, Lab is unlikely to change your life… But if you have no idea what that last sentence means, using Lab’s GUI might just solve some problems for you.

You can export modular code that can be dropped straight into your projects with minimal fuss - a step up from the usual output of design tools, which is a bitmap image.

That's all for this week. Thanks for reading!

Curated by
Jack Lo Russo

Runs on
Buttondown