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Weeknotes #10

After a few weeks, another weeknotes – about machine learning, design system documentation, meetups and tokens.

AI, machine learning, losing our jobs...

You know, this is something that everyone discusses these days – how robots and AI will take over our jobs, and we will have nothing to do.

"If a typical person can do a mental task with less than one second of thought, we can automate it using AI." - Andrew Ng

I spent most of my week on Colours of Ostrava, music festival here in the Czech Republic. However, there is also this "Meltingpot" thing – a track of inspirational talks or discussions about current world problems. The best talk I saw there was Human 4.0 from Martin Malý from Lego. Some of my notes:

  • When someone asked about losing jobs because of AI, he responded that he never saw this trend. That everything that was automated just moved needs for human workers elsewhere. But usually, it improved sales.
  • Excellent point about not worrying about jobs if the work is manual. That mostly people working in office and administration should be concerned because their jobs can be more easily automated.
  • I was impressed with how much research Lego does for new collections. Need to dig deeper to find more about it.

Also, I'll attend machine learning workshop in Zurich next week – finally. I believe that my weeknotes will be full of it.

Applying Side project principles

I defined my Side project principles a few weeks ago, and I have to say that it has been the best thing I could do. Because now, when I think of some project, I have something to refer to. Here are some consequences:

  • I stepped up from a position of managing a design system for Cesko.Digital. Even that it's an incredible project and I want to help to build it, I wouldn't be able to put that much time to it, and it would be a problem.
  • I deprecated Awesome Design Systems Jobs. Pleasant experience, but not something I want to do in the long-term.
  • I returned to a project I started about a year ago. Of course it's connected to design systems, and hopefully, we will touch some machine learning too. That's why I picked to continue on it.
  • I joined my colleague in building a new tool for making a bridge between designers and developers. If it works, it can be a real game-changer. It should help me a lot with information architecture and hopefully to think about design more abstractly.

Explored two new design system documentation

I saw a lot of design system documentations in past months – and I forgot most of the interesting stuff I've seen there. I decided to put it also into my weeknotes, so I can go back to it when I need something for inspiration in building documentation for Orbit.

Things I like:

  • About page, with principles and team. One fact here – I have this planned for Orbit for some time already. Now, when I see how good it feels to see people and principles published in docs, I will make it a bigger priority.
  • Do/don't in Colors section.
  • Component overview with different frameworks (and notes when needed 😍)
  • Nudge classes for better positioning – an interesting idea of how to fix edge cases for layouting stuff. However, I didn't find any list of them in docs. 🤷‍♂️
  • Truncation guidelines – with examples of how different types of truncation can be done.
  • Pretty nice sum-up of stuff done in monthly release notes, great inspiration for newsletter I have in mind for Orbit.
  • Graveyard section for deprecated and removed stuff. 😍
  • Direct link to Slack channel for questions in Help section

Things I like:

  • The visual style of documentation. I am impressed.
  • "Contribute" button, always visible, the main call to action. The nice way how to promote it.
  • Updates page with color labels for different types of updates (😍)
  • Typography builder for tokens
  • Elevation guidelines with layer visualisation
  • Color finder for custom colors that match a color defined in the system
  • How they display a color palette with enough space for tokens and variables
  • Component principals - guidelines for creating components
  • The idea of systems props – mostly for props that are shared across all components. Mostly "as" prop, which is excellent naming for something that says how some component is rendered.

Design tokens Twitter thread

That's the thing with Twitter – when you see something, you are usually not able to find it a few weeks later. As we are very close to releasing our new Orbit z-index framework, it's nice to see how others solve it.

A few notes:

  • An interesting article about how DoorDash team is doing it.
  • Having zIndex prop for some components could be an interesting solution (maybe not fully opened to any number, but locked to some options)

Design Systems Meetups

We had another Design Systems Meetup in Brno – and now only with speakers. I am really proud of both guys because their talks were exceptional. Videos of all three talks are coming soon and will be published on our YouTube channel.

Also, I am thrilled that I finally found time for processing most of the videos from our past meetups. I would recommend mostly this one about Badoo design system, from Cristiano Rastelli. I am happy that we are able to attract even speakers from different countries (and we are planning another one, hopefully for this year!)

Music inspiration

Something totally unrelated – but since I was on Colours festival, I need to share one of my favorite discoveries there – Charlie Cunningham. Great music for writing. Enjoy!

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