Dustin Tanner

Dustin Tanner

Design Systems Lead at Square

Dad, designer, runner, and motorcycle enthusiast

6 action items

Convince leadership to invest in a design system

    • Find the Decider

      Just as with any sales pitch, it’s critical to speak directly with the decision maker. Don’t waste time convincing folks who can’t make the call. If there are gatekeepers before you reach the decider, convince them to get you a meeting with the decider. Be proactive, show passion, communicate, and most importantly, be positive.... See more

    • Come Prepared

      Before presenting to the decider, do your homework. Identify and capture inconsistencies in your product. Understand the struggles of the product teams. Collect quotes from designers, engineers, and product managers. Present the problem, not the solution. Be ready to answer questions like: How long will it take to build the design system? How much it will cost? Who will be involved? Who will benefit?... See more

    • Take Ownership

      For a design system to be successful, it must have a leader and that’s you. Show the decider that they can trust you to lead the new system. Convincing them may seem like a lot of work but it’s just the beginning. The rest will be harder but if you take ownership and lead it well, you’ll have a lot of help along the way.... See more

Increase team member adoption of the design system

    • Make a great product

      If you build it, they will come. If you make it great, they’ll use it. As the creators of design systems, our customers are designers and engineers. Our job is to make a system that’s easy for them to understand and use. Put your customers first. Understand their needs. Make a product they love so they can do the same for their customers.... See more

    • Be the source of truth

      To be trusted, your system must be the truth. There will always be variations of your product in code repos, design files, and production but the design system must serve as the source of truth. You must decide where your design system is best represented - a Figma library, documentation website, or code repo. Then, point everyone there. Communicate that as the only place to look.... See more

    • Create a medium

      Designs systems should be a medium in which to create. Keep the system as flexible as possible. Give folks components and let them make. Patterns will begin to form. Capture and componentize the most repeated patterns but allow others to be created. Don’t control designers and engineers, empower them.... See more