Aligning Your Team with Design Systems and Style Guides

Jared Spool

October 2nd, 2015

Nathan Curtis, co-founder of EightShapes, has worked with component libraries and style guides for years. He says that when you’re thinking about all the platforms that comprise the totality of an experience, these patterns (such as a sign-in form, or elements like buttons) need to be more broadly applicable. It’s one thing to create the structure and layout, then thread all the pieces together for a single app or web page, but when that app needs to scale across platforms, it suddenly becomes a very different animal.

Recently, I interviewed Nathan on design systems and style guides. Here’s an excerpt from our conversation:

Oftentimes, style guide refers to a core part, or a foundation of the library of parts that everybody has at their disposal. People have been building those for years. It’s been 10 years since I worked with the team, and they had a massive component library.

All these component libraries aren’t new, but they’re starting to get used by more and more people. When you start to think about all the people that participate in that, and all the products they apply these things to, suddenly you have to think more systematically, and that’s where the term “design system” comes from.

Listen to the full interview or read the transcript.

In Nathan Curtis’ workshop, Building Scalable Design Systems and Style Guides, you’ll learn how to:

  • Create a library to articulate standards across all product lines
  • Identify and prioritize patterns for product consistency
  • Use cross-product standards to design and build better products

See what else you’ll do during Nathan’s full day workshop at the User Interface Conference, November 2 in Boston.

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