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Practical Design Systems

A few weeks ago, I quietly launched my new design systems consulting company, Practical Design Systems.

After leaving Fox, I spent a couple of months figuring out what was next. The job had required an intense focus on engineering, which stretched me and dramatically increased my expertise in the area. I felt drained, though. I’ve still always had a passion for human-centered design, but the realities of the job didn’t really allow for much of that.

While I pondered, I started noticing folks in the industry talking about design systems. I’ve built products in the past and have built out different parts of design systems. I always had a bit of skepticism toward them, because most orgs that I worked with either had too-large bloated systems that stunted progress or were so disorganized that a design system seemed an impossibility. But my time at Fox helped me better understand where practical, highly-targeted systems of design and design-ops tools could solve some genuine problems and actually be useful.

After months of research, writing, and interviews, and many more years (nay, decades!) of experience building digital products as both a design and a developer, I felt like it was time to share what I’ve learned. That’s what led me to start Practical Design Systems.

I decided to grow the practice by doing what I’ve been doing since the turn of the millennium: write about what I’m doing. I’m writing an email every day, focused on designing digital products.

To kick the newsletter off, the first 30 emails I send out will be a deep dive into design systems: what they are, when they can help, and what people often get wrong about them. (As I said, I’m a skeptic.)

The emails will be geared toward tech leadership at orgs with multiple teams and products, and designers, developers, and product owners within those orgs. But there’s value here for anyone wanting to learn more about how to build better digital products.

If that sounds like something you’re interested, go subscribe.