Designing for Design Systems

Three part workshop: August 19-21, 2020

  • Our virtual workshops are designed with you in mind. They combine lecture, discussion, and exercises, spread out over multiple days so you can learn and engage without feeling drained.

    Who’s teaching and what they’ll cover

    nathan curtis

    Designing for Design Systems

    with Nathan Curtis
    Design systems guru
    Sign up to be notified of future events.

    What you’ll learn

    Design systems are expanding in organizations, spreading design and code across product teams and influencing decision-making at higher and higher levels. This scale requires an architecture of thoughtful design that you can weave through code and tools that endure over time. Designers must be rigorous and meticulous, because their visual style, UI components and UX patterns work ultimately targets a large, diverse community.

    This workshop exposes you to essential and rigorous steps in a designer’s workflow. We’ll dig deep into how designers can propose, design, document, and package features for others to reuse. By the end, you’ll be fully equipped with techniques, activities, and a mindset to harden, spread, and sustain a system yourself.

    Sessions will engage participants in compelling lecture (with embedded quizzes and games!) and hands-on activities, spark new ideas and moderate group conversations. Attendees will:

    • Dig into systems of visual style, including color, typography, space and size
    • Encode visual decisions in reusable, rich design tokens
    • Compose components from atomic elements to sophisticated patterns
    • Deliver high quality, thoroughly tested features that adopters trust
    • Model tasks and subtasks to get rigorous work reviewed and completed
    • Involve contributors outside a system team to do some but often not all the work
    • Document system features with effective examples and guidelines

    Why you should attend

    Organizations suffer from digital experiences that are disjointed and inconsistent. Multiple design teams and development teams suffer from doing duplicative work, resulting in a customer journey meant to be cohesive that ends up expensive or impossible to align and evolve together.

    With a design system, your teams can take advantage of shared design, code, and documentation tools to align work. Design systems save organizations time and money, and foster positive energy among those who value efficiency and reuse.

    Using a design system, designers, developers, and product teams align and bridge gaps across a portfolio. All of that leads to the ultimate goal: creating a cohesive, high quality experience for your customers delivered efficiently sped-to-market.

    EightShapes has worked on over 30 design systems in the past decade. During the workshop, they’ll expose you to deep knowledge and nuanced understanding of how systems work in organizations of varying scales and models.

    Who should attend

    While workshop topics focus on design concerns, examples and storytelling touches on concerns of code, process, and product management. Therefore, the workshop has proven relevant for designers, front end developers, product managers, content strategists, design leadership, and anyone interested in learning how to approach design systems. Content evokes both design and code considerations, often together, to bridge disciplines that visual style, UI components, and documentation together.

    At the end of the workshop, you will receive a certificate of completion.

    About the instructor

    Nathan Curtis has been swimming in the deep end of the IA and UX pool for over twenty years, with a more recent focus on design systems since 2006. Nathan authored Modular Web Design and has presented and led daylong workshops for years on the topics of design systems, component and pattern libraries, sketching, and design communications. He’s also an entrepreneur at heart, having founded EightShapes, a UX design agency headquartered in Washington, DC.


    Contact us and we’ll be glad to help.

  • Schedule

    Wednesday, August 19: 11am-1pm EDT
    Thursday, August 20: 11am-3pm EDT
    Friday, August 21: 11am-3pm EDT

    Check your time zone here.


    Early bird through July 19: $750
    Regular pricing July 20-August 12: $850
    After August 12: $950

    Group discounts are available. Save $50 per ticket for groups of three or more.


    Virtual: We’ve designed this workshop specifically for remote attendees; learn more from our FAQ.

Terms of Service

By registering for this workshop, you are agreeing to our Terms of Service.