A new normal for design

News you can use from Design Twitter

As remote design sprints, AMAs and webinars have become the norm, we’re getting more under-the-hood peeks at folks’ remote work setups, virtual brainstorms, design systems, and more. 

While not everyone has the time or energy to increase their outputs, there’s a realness to the conversations happening around systems, processes, career advancement and development, and why our default understanding of collaboration is critically flawed in a remote-first world.

Designing together, remotely

While we’re all in the process of learning to work remotely, we’ve seen some great events pop up like DesignX’s Remote Design Week. The virtual event covered topics like remote collaboration, leading design sprints, leveling up your design career, and design systems. 

Design Systems community organizer, Jina, is facilitating AMAs with your favorite design and development leaders. This is a rare opportunity to hear from experts and have them answer your questions candidly. One silver lining in an otherwise scary time is the ability to connect with communities you may not have access to otherwise, whether that’s due to location, access, or income. 

What does design leadership in the C-suite really look like?

As the design industry continues to mature, there’s more and more conversation around the career track for designers and what design leadership really looks like. Andy Budd, Co-founder of Clearleft, shared an opinion on the role of a VP of Design and what that work does and doesn’t entail. 

As expected, Design Twitter jumped in with lots of opinions — including great follow up questions. Maxim Leyzerovich, a Product Designer at Capital One, received some serious answers to his question, as well as some jabs and jokes.

It’s true that there’s confusion around executive level design roles. McKinsey shared a recent study that revealed “66% of CEOs couldn’t say what their CDO (Chief Design Officer) actually did, or how that success should be measured.”  We asked design leaders from Ellevest, Varo Money, Xbox to share their response to the study and here’s what they had to say

Discussions about design leadership always lead back to talking about the impact of design on businesses. Bobby Ghoshal, co-founder of Candid and co-host of the podcast High Resolution, makes the point that one of our jobs as designers is to take an active role bridging the gap between business and design. If you’re looking for a way to start that conversation at your organization, Abstract Product Designer Jordan Staniscia shares ways to approach your team and the questions you can ask. 

Home sweet design system

Where does your design system live? In the past month, we’ve seen a lot of questions about what a design system looks like and where it lives. Superfriendly’s Dan Mall wondered what you’d pull up if he asked to see your design system. 

Are design systems tools? Service designer Rachel Grossman wants to know what’s your single source of truth when it comes to design. And Dan Mall and founder and Principal of EightShapes, Nathan Curtis, discuss whether Sketch, Figma, Photoshop, or other design tools are design systems. 

Are design systems libraries? Design system advocate and author of the Design System News community newsletter, Stu Robson, says that design systems are more than component libraries. 

We’re curious about what this looks like for your team. Where does your design system live? Let us know on Twitter and mention @goabstract. If you’re just getting started with design systems, download our new book, Tame the Chaos: Lessons in defining, building, and distributing design systems

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