UX Designers - How do you Spec?

almost 6 years ago from Jean P, Interactive Designer

  • Zane Riley, almost 6 years ago

    To answer your question specifically: Only you and your team know the best technical implementation of a design system. CSS vars can be easily overridden, they might not have browser support you require, you may need fallbacks anyway (like if you tried to use them in @keyframes). If you have a native mobile application, you'll still need another way to consume those variables. You need a good UI engineer or other technical lead to piece this together.

    On design-ops more generally: You need to approach it just like any other design project. Your users are primarily designers and engineers, so you need to build a set of tools to help them collaborate and do more meaningful work.

    That might mean:

    • systemizing patterns from multiple designers
    • making engineering implementation easier
    • making design exploration faster
    • getting rid of the handoff/spec process all together (hot take: the problem Zeplin solves shouldn't exist)
    • creating tools/plugins to automate the boring work.
    • finding a way to not be the bad cop

    Styleguides, even if completely automated, can still become "zombies." The majority of the work in making design systems is org/process based. You want to change the way designers and engineers work, but if you don't have full support from your team, then the automated styleguide will still go unused.

    Hope that helps. Design-ops is sorely needed and I'm always happy to see companies take it on.

    2 points