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Creating and Maintaining Successful Design Systems

Brad Frost
Your instructor
Brad Frost
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Workshop includes:

  • 🧑‍🏫 A full day of teaching in a small group
  • 🏅 Digital certificate
  • 🍵 Tea, coffee, snacks and drinks during the whole day
  • 🥪 Lunch
  • 📒 Paper and pen/pencil

Full-day workshop • Thursday, June 23, 2022.
Design systems provide solid ground for us to stand on as we tackle the increasingly diverse and fast-moving digital landscape. This workshop will tackle all that goes into creating and maintaining successful design systems.

We’ll cover the many benefits of design systems, introduce the atomic design methodology, discuss how to establish a cross-disciplinary pattern-driven workflow, detail the creation of a rock-solid component library and reference website, and tackle how to maintain a design system so it provides lasting value to your team and organization.

In this workshop, you’ll learn about:

  • Selling Design Systems – We all know design systems and pattern libraries are great, but how do you get your clients, bosses, and teammates on board? We’ll make the business cases for design systems, and discuss tactics and tools for selling design systems to clients and stakeholders.
  • A Pattern-Based Process – Making modular interfaces requires massive shifts in our design and development process. We’ll discuss why front-end development is an essential part of the design process and demonstrate how tools like lo-fi sketches, style tiles, frontend workshop tools like Storybook and Pattern Lab, and others facilitate collaboration—and result in successful design systems.
  • Atomic Design Principles – We’ll cover core principles of modular UI interface design and introduce the atomic design methodology that helps connect your design system design/dev work to your actual product design/dev work.
  • Creating a rock-solid component library – The heart and soul of a successful design system is a component library that lives in code and directly powers an organization’s software products. We’ll cover all that goes into creating a UI component library that’s reusable, flexible, extensible, and easy to work with.
  • Anatomy of Effective Reference Website – A style guide reference website is the happy home for all a design system’s ingredients. A robust and well-presented reference site can help a design system truly take root at your organization.
  • Design System Maintenance – Like a fine wine, a design system should increase in value over time. We’ll discuss tactics and techniques like team structure, versioning, managing changes and additions to the system, communication strategies, and more to ensure design system provides lasting value to your organization.

By the end of the day, you’ll be armed with all the insights and resources you need to create and maintain a successful UI design system.

The workshop is intended for designers and front-end developers. Though Brad will be showing code examples, you don’t have to be a coder to attend this workshop.

Who Is This Workshop For?

This is a full day workshop with lots of time for Q&A. It’s for UI designers, front-end designers, developers, and anyone responsible for the success of digital products.

You’ll walk away from this workshop with a solid foundation about how to plan, execute, and maintain a successful design system at your organization.

What Hardware/software Do You Need?

Please bring your own laptop.

About Brad Frost

Brad Frost is a web designer, speaker, writer, and consultant located in beautiful Pittsburgh, PA. He is the author of the book Atomic Design, which introduces a methodology to create and maintain effective design systems.

In addition to co-hosting the Style Guides Podcast, he has also helped create several tools and resources for web designers, including Pattern Lab,, Style Guide Guide, and This Is Responsive.

Time & Location

This full-day workshop will be hosted at Fort Mason and will take place the day after SmashingConf. The workshop will be running from 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM on Thursday, June 23.

Schedule for Thursday, June 23

9:00 AM – Doors open, Registration
9:30 AM – Introduction & Kick-off
11:00 AM – Coffee Break
1:00 PM – Lunch
2:00 PM – Afternoon Session
3:30 PM – Coffee Break
5:30 PM – The End

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