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Weeknotes #8

About the role of A.I. in design, "What is design system" definitions and several content resources to remember.

“What is design system?”

This question is all over the internet, and there are maybe hundreds of definitions. Mentioning a few:

  • A design system is a product, serving products. (Nathan Curtis)
  • A design system is a design guide that benefits software, communications, people, and businesses. (Muzli)
  • A design system is a collection of reusable components, guided by clear standards, that can be assembled together to build any number of applications. (Invision)
  • A design system is a set of interconnected patterns and shared practices coherently organised to serve the purpose of a digital product. (Alla Kholmatova in her book)

Well, you’ve got the idea probably. There is a lot of definitions of what design system is (and what it isn’t).

However, I found a new “definition” this week, which I like a lot. I have a small talk in Bratislava next week where I plan to use this one:

This definition is from the short talk by Nathan Curtis about a complexity of buttons, team structures, and importance of good craftsmanship.

One small confession here – whenever I work on some presentation where I need to include one slide with the explanation of what design system is, I just pick one that serves the best the goal and audience of my presentation.

Where to learn UI copywriting?

I like having our local UX community on Slack, there is one issue though – as UXCZ Slack isn't paid, a lot of interesting resources gets lost. The topic mentioned in the headline was discussed last week, and I decided to put some interesting links also here, for future references:

The consequences of Side project principles

What surprised me last week was that several people reacted positively to my side project principles. If you missed my last weeknotes, check them there.

After that definition, I made a list of all my side projects and activities, and I questioned them with defined principles. I am happy to announce that Czech Design Systems Meetups survived strong. However, a lot of other projects didn’t – Design Systems Jobs repository included. It was a pleasant experience, and it gave me an excellent overview of what is happening in the job field, but it just wasn’t giving me back what I expected.

The new projects await though. And I am very much looking into the 4-day course on Machine Learning for Creatives that I signed up for.

A.I. in design

And to smoothly follow up on machine learning topic, I want to share one great talk I saw last week. It's called "A.I. is your New Design Material", it's from Josh Clark and besides it's pretty inspirational and very much on point, plus it has a lot of great examples inside from product we daily use.

"For the last decade, a lot of the focus was on mobile. There is a shift now to what can we do with data and machine learning." – Josh Clark

A small tip: watch it till the end, the discussion after the talk is also great.

Some of my notes from this talk:

  • We are doing too much production (solving what was already solved) and not much problem-solving. Machines can help to change this ratio.
  • "Let people do what they do best. Let machines do what they do best. They are almost never the same thing."
  • "Our job is to set expectations and channel behavior in ways that match the actual capabilities of the system."
  • Machine learning works with a probability. Present information as signals, not absolutes.
  • Tools & libraries to explore closer:

  • Questions to ask myself occasionally:

    • How can I use technology in a way that adds meaning?
    • How can I use technology to amplify human potential?

There is also one more thing why I find this talk important. Josh mentions "Sprinkle a little machine learning on it," or "It doesn't need to be a big deal, it can be part of everyday things we design.".

To me, this is basically why I believe that if we're building products, we should know the principles and basics of machine learning and algorithms. Because if we know them, we are open to the world of a lot of new (and can design for) possibilities.

New subscribe form

If you read through all to the end of these weeknotes, you may be interested in my new feature on this blog. I added a sign-up form for my new articles, so if you subscribe, you’ll receive a notification to your e-mail when I publish something.

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