UX Designers - How do you Spec?

almost 6 years ago from Jean P, Interactive Designer

  • Harper Lieblich, almost 6 years ago

    It sounds like you're working in "Design-Ops". Much like Dev-Ops builds tools that support other developers, you're working on tools to support other designers. There are a number of great design organizations that have entire teams devoted to this role, most notably, Airbnb.

    Think of your role as taking the wild and fanciful creations of the visual designers and converting them into a reusable system.

    Your job should be in defining individual components and working closely with engineering to make sure each component looks and works as intended.

    Most of your specs should focus on the component level. Think Atomic Design.

    Also don't be afraid to have a conversation with the designers when they're not being consistent and reusing the components you've specced.

    2 points
    • Jean P, almost 6 years ago

      Exactly. I am approaching the Atomic Design method as we speak and defining components and variables with an engineer.

      But I am confronted with the same issues as the GE's Prefix Design System in the long run: https://medium.com/ge-design/ges-predix-design-system-8236d47b0891.

      We have multiple apps. And an atom has to match and work cross-app.

      You are the only one that understands my question as for now. May I ask if you have been in this role before (Design-Ops)? And if yes, what information you have gained from such position that could help others?

      1 point
      • Harper Lieblich, over 5 years ago

        Jean, my reading of the article you shared was about the challenge of getting the organization the adopt a design system. Is that your primary challenge?

        If so, you'll need to sit down with your managers and ask them for more concrete guidance and support. Evangelizing in a large organization is really difficult and takes years of experience to get good at.

        On the issue of keeping things consistent across multiple apps, I recommend borrowing from the version control process that your developers probably use. When a designer wants to use a new pattern, they have to document how it works, and then submit that to you before it can be added to the system. This helps to slow designers down when dreaming up wild new patterns.

        Good luck!

        0 points
    • Yasen DimovYasen Dimov, almost 6 years ago

      Apologies for the stupid question, but is it:

      DesignOps = Specing?

      0 points
      • Harper Lieblich, over 5 years ago

        Yes and no.

        DesignOps is about building and maintaining the tools that a design team needs to work efficiently. One part of that is speccing those tools for developers, but it shouldn't be the biggest part.

        0 points