UX Engineering for design systems

What’s a UX Engineer?

Facilitating design alignment

  • Anatomy : How we reference each element
  • States : What happens during a user interaction
  • Variants : Alternative forms of the component
  • Configurations : Supported options that end-users can choose from
  • Standard/Defaults : What comes out of the box

Establishing constraints

Architecting scalable blueprints

  • Defining the relationship between components
  • Defining the relationship between parent and child components
  • Determining if a variant is a separate component or defined through a prop
  • Establishing what configurable aspects get exposed to an end user
  • Creating and implementing design tokens

Optimizing performance

  • Bundle size
  • Tree shaking
  • CSS over SVG
  • Asynchronous loading
  • Strong types
  • Typography
  • Line length
  • Contrast ratios
  • Minimum tappable area
  • High contrast mode
  • Reduced motion styling
  • Alt text/aria props
  • Keyboard navigation
  • Dark mode support

Writing tests

  • Whether elements did or didn’t render
  • If certain classes were applied
  • The render matches values from the design specs

Providing demos & documentation

Iterative reviews

Advocating for the community

  • Helping users onboard to the system
  • Answering questions
  • Making sure their voice is heard during sprint planning
  • Addressing feedback
  • Guiding users to the right team members

What success looks like

  • Goes with the flow and doesn’t mind throwing away code to make something better
  • Feels comfortable explaining technical constraints and requirements to non-technical audiences
  • Tends to push back on one-off, unscalable designs
  • Puts ego aside to listen to the community AND willing to collaborate on solutions
  • Has intuition on how to add extra polish to an experience

Wrapping up





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Kelly Harrop

Kelly Harrop


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