September 29, 2022
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Eva Morrison

Theming in Design Systems

Are you trying to build a single design system that powers wildly different-looking brands and experiences? Theming unlocks the ability to use your design system across multiple brands, products, and audiences. Join Jake Love, Knapsack's Senior Solutions Engineer, for a 30 minute deep dive into theming. You'll learn why it's important to incorporate theming early on, key considerations as you build out tokens, and see an example of design system theming in action.

Two computer screens with different colors meant to simulate light and dark mode
September 21, 2022
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Eva Morrison

Evan Lovely, Chris Bloom, Jake Love, and Brittany Smart from Knapsack: Hot Takes on the State of Design Systems

Evan Lovely (Head of Product & Engineering), Chris Bloom (Principal Front-End Engineer), Jake Love (Senior Solutions Engineer), and Brittany Smart (Solutions Engineer) join Chris to discuss the state of design systems today. Listen to hot takes on everything from the lesser known elements of successful design systems to the role vulnerability should play in your system.

September 20, 2022
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Eva Morrison

Knapsack Demo with CEO Chris Strahl

Join CEO and co-founder, Chris Strahl, for an in-depth overview of Knapsack's enterprise-grade design system platform.

September 7, 2022
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Eva Morrison

Stephen Gates: What makes a good design leader?

Stephen Gates and Chris discuss the realities of design system leadership, unconventional sources of inspiration, and the impact of design on society.

August 4, 2022
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Eva Morrison

Using design tokens to unify styling across products

Knapsack’s Senior Solutions Engineer Jake Love joins us for a 30-minute conversation that will give teams more insight into the role design tokens play in a successful design system. Gain an understanding of exactly what design tokens are (and aren’t), ways designers and developers can use tokens in their everyday workflows, and how Knapsack’s token engine helps teams work more efficiently.

August 1, 2022
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Ryan Peterson

Vojtech Miksu from Uber: Next-gen tooling for developers

Vojtech Miksu (Software Engineer at Uber) and Evan Lovely (Chief Architect at Knapsack) join Chris to discuss the gap between a frontend developer’s code base and what actually gets shipped, the next-gen tool (Ladle) Vojtech created to address this, and ultimately helping developers get closer to what end users experience.

July 7, 2022
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Eva Morrison

Make editing intuitive for everyone: June product updates

June's product updates streamline the editing and publishing workflow in Knapsack. We've added a new approval step for Editors, implemented auto-commit for Admin users, introduced a page visibility toggle, and earned our SOC 2 Type 2 certification. Dig in to the details and see what's changed.

June 30, 2022
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Eva Morrison

How to connect your design system to engineering workflows

To get maximum value from your design system, designers and developers need to work together to use it well. While the code side of things might sound intimidating (or boring) to designers, a basic understanding of how developers use your design system can improve collaboration and make teams more effective. Watch the 30 minute webinar now to learn more.

Code displayed on purple computer screen
UI components interacting
June 15, 2022
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Eva Morrison

Fast-track your design system set up: May product updates

May's product updates are focused on providing a faster path to setting up your design system. We've introduced SSO, added new integrations with GitLab and Bitbucket, improved documentation workflows and so much more. See what's changing here at Knapsack.

man phone charts
June 6, 2022
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Ryan Peterson

Meghan Rosatelli and Saejin Choi from Capital One: Navigating design system convergence, adoption, and contribution simultaneously

Meghan Rosatelli and Saejin Choi join Chris to discuss transitioning multiple design systems into one, shifting system consumers’ mindset from working with a local system to working with a global system, and using play to drive excitement and adoption of a design system.

three illustrated men talking
May 16, 2022
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Chris Strahl

Bridging old and new media with News UK’s design system, NewsKit

Nick, Ellis, and Chris discuss how News UK’s design system, NewsKit, united multiple disparate brands in a central source of truth, and how infrastructure management has helped scale design and engineering practices.

Two illustrated coworkers comparing screens
May 5, 2022
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Eva Morrison

Product updates: building a more flexible design system manager

Our recent product updates are all about flexibility and customization, helping you build a design system that embodies your company’s design philosophy.

An illustration of a man playing with a diagram with more diagrams behind him
May 2, 2022
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Shayna Hodkin

The nuances of design system management

Curious about the fun parts of design systems? Check out this episode of the Design Systems Podcast featuring Davy Fung, co-host of design systems podcast Design System Office Hours, who joined Chris to talk about working creatively within design system constraints, common structures for design systems, and building a Jedi Council of Design System Advocates.

computer screen with open windows
April 21, 2022
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Chris Strahl

What is systems thinking and how is it connected to design systems?

Systems thinking can change the way you build digital experiences. How? Read on.

April 19, 2022
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Xiangjun (Shixie) Shi Trofimov

Lessons learned from working on Carbon for IBM.com

For a system to be adopted at scale, the design system team has to operate like a service, where backstage activities are coordinated and choreographed to enable a desired onstage experience. Xiangjun (Shixie) Shi Trofimov, Design Lead of Carbon for IBM.com design system, shares her experience on a service-oriented design system team.

April 18, 2022
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Shayna Hodkin

Una Kravets from Google Chrome: The internet’s dirty secret

Una, Chris Bloom, and Chris Strahl talk about production-level code, the accessibility of Web3, and the new sliced bread of the web. Prepare for Una to blow your mind with how dynamic CSS can be.

April 13, 2022
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Ryan Peterson

Patterns: the leaders-only design systems retreat

Mark your calendars for June 6-9. We’re hosting 50 product, engineering, and design leaders for three days of learning, sharing, and design systems. Here’s why you should join us.

April 4, 2022
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Shayna Hodkin

Why design systems should be part of your company’s DNA

Corey and Chris discuss how design systems represent an organization’s lifeblood, the sisyphean parts of design system maintenance, and what stands out about design system culture at Compass.

March 21, 2022
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Shayna Hodkin

Building an accessible, inclusive design system at Adobe

Matt, Veda, and Chris discuss how Matt and Veda have incorporated accessibility and inclusion into one of the world’s most well-known design systems, Spectrum. Matt shares his experience getting accessibility principles into Spectrum on the ground floor, and Veda discusses how inclusion fits into design systems.

March 15, 2022
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Shayna Hodkin

Keeping your design system synced: February product updates (and *N-SYNC puns)

February's product updates will keep your product team in sync—this I promise you.

March 14, 2022
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Shayna Hodkin

The long evolution of Wayfair's design system

Wayfair, the ubiquitous online retailer, is more than just wayfair.com: the company owns Perigold, Joss & Main, and Birch Lane. Neva, Rogin, and Chris discuss how Wayfair united three disparate design systems into one; the gradual process of building a holistic design system team; achieving cross-functional design system adoption, and the merits of overthinking.

March 2, 2022
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Chris Strahl

The future of design systems

Design systems aren't just for designers; code isn't just for engineers. The future of design systems is collaborative.

February 7, 2022
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Shayna Hodkin

Mike Bowser from Vista: The past, present, and future of design systems

Mike and Chris discuss design systems at the enterprise level, the history of systems, and UX design at the beginning of the internet.

February 3, 2022
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Michael J. Fordham

How to onboard a new designer to your design system

Design systems help new hires get up-to-speed fast—but how? This guide will walk you through getting new designers onboarded to your design system within days.

February 3, 2022
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Eva Morrison

Cut time-to-value in half for your design system

Building a new design system isn’t as impossible as it seems. Whether you’re starting fresh or starting over (or even just making big changes), we have three easy-to-implement practices that will help you start delivering value in weeks, instead of months or years.

January 26, 2022
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Shayna Hodkin

Design system predictions for 2022

We're ready for innovation. Here are some predictions from the design systems community about what 2022 will bring.

December 22, 2021
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Shayna Hodkin

December 2021: Knapsack product updates

I don’t need to tell you that it has been a year. We’ve got some cool things and big news lined up for 2022, but we’ve been putting in work over the last month of 2021 too. Before most of the working world heads out for a well-deserved holiday break, we want to share updates to the Knapsack platform that make design system management an easier, more pleasant experience.

December 21, 2021
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Michael J. Fordham

Who should be on your design system team?

Prepping your 2022 hiring budget? Keep these roles in mind for your design system team. Not sold on building a team for your design system? We've laid out the reasons why you should.

December 17, 2021
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Eva Morrison

Unifying designers and developers in your design system

Join Andrew Rohman (Head of Customer Success at Knapsack) and Mike Bowser (Design Director, Systems at Vista) for a conversation about the importance and impact of unifying cross-functional teams in your system and digital production workflows.

November 18, 2021
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Eva Morrison

Changing your contribution practices to increase value

Join Andrew Rohman (Head of Customer Success at Knapsack), Susie Dirks (Head of Product at Knapsack), and Tommy Kuntze (Head of Research & Design at Rhumbix) for a conversation about the keys to getting to value quickly with your design system effort.

November 15, 2021
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Shayna Hodkin

Stephen Gates from WW on design methodology, design systems, and building trust

Stephen Gates joined Chris Strahl on the podcast for a long talk about team culture, design systems, and more.

November 15, 2021
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Shayna Hodkin

Product updates: A design system platform for your entire product team

Design systems should serve your entire product team. That's why Knapsack has removed boundaries keeping non-engineers from being full contributors and made your design system accessible to everyone who needs it.

October 29, 2021
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Shayna Hodkin

Why do design systems need content strategists?

Design systems don't just contain design elements: they're a central source of truth for product teams and ideally hold all of a product's assets, including content. Jess Sattell, Senior Content Strategist for Adobe's Spectrum design system, shares her experiences and thoughts on writing for design systems.

October 29, 2021
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Shayna Hodkin

Josh Cusick from Microsoft defines design utopia

Microsoft’s Josh Cusick and Chris discuss how to convey intent when working with a design system, the importance of buy-in for a successful design system culture, and whether or not your design system will ever be finished.

October 21, 2021
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Shayna Hodkin

Design system resources for advanced practitioners

If you want to learn about design systems, there’s an endless list of resources at your disposal. This garden of resources, however, has a downside: uncertain quality. As a senior practitioner, you can’t risk trusting the wrong sources. That’s why we’ve put together a collection of resources vetted by design system experts.

October 21, 2021
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Andrew Rohman

When do design systems start to pay off?

By figuring out why design systems are so beneficial for product teams, we can get more value from them, faster.

October 6, 2021
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Shayna Hodkin

Design systems aren't museums

What’s the difference between a design system and a pattern library? They serve different purposes.

August 5, 2021
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Shayna Hodkin

New feature alert: Knapsack makes managing design tokens easier

Design tokens are a critical part of your design system's functionality.

July 16, 2021
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Maya Hampton

What do design system product managers do?

Maya Hampton, Product Manager of REI's design system Cedar, wrote a follow-up to her episode of the Design Systems Podcast. Read on to discover what the product manager of a leading design system does and how she makes an impact.

July 12, 2021
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Shayna Hodkin

Using one design system to manage dozens of products with Intuit's Leonardo De La Rocha

Leonardo De La Rocha and Chris discuss the “federated” design system model, how to connect design systems to business needs, designing friction-free cross-platform experiences, and C-suite awareness of design needs.

July 12, 2021
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Shayna Hodkin

Maya Hampton from REI: Pattern-based thinking on all levels

Maya Hampton, product manager of REI's design system, joined Knapsack CEO Chris Strahl to discuss why design systems need to be flexible, the role of a product manager in a design system, and viewing design systems as products.

July 12, 2021
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Max Masure

Supporting inclusive form design with design systems

Form design isn’t a nice-to-have; they come up often and are carefully curated to get the right information at the right time. But when forms involve players from multiple teams, priorities can get mixed up and inclusion can fall to the wayside.

June 21, 2021
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Shayna Hodkin

Audrey Tan from Xero: Creating a long-lasting design system vision

Audrey and Chris discuss the vision guiding Xero’s design system team, how co-ownership helps design system teams thrive, the processes she uses for managing a global team, and how the Xero design system team approaches modernization.

June 9, 2021
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Shayna Hodkin

Jess Clark from LinkedIn: Old tech, new tech

Jess Clark and Chris discuss the meaning of design systems and the potential of design systems as a service. What can design systems offer us beyond infrastructure? How can approaching design systems as products, rather than repositories, increase their capabilities?

June 8, 2021
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Shayna Hodkin

The link between accessibility and design systems

Accessible design and design systems are both more than just good design practice—they're good business. How can we build design systems that support accessible design practices?

May 20, 2021
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Shayna Hodkin

Deep dive on tokens with Adam Argyle from Google: How do you codify composition?

This episode is a little bit longer—okay, a lot longer—than our usual. Chrome developer advocate Adam Argyle and Chris Strahl talk about tokens in all their glory without worrying about time limits. If you’ve ever wondered about the limits of tokens and what’s left to explore in the token stratosphere, check out this transcript.

May 20, 2021
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Michael J. Fordham

Thoughts on accessibility considerations in design systems

Design systems and pattern-based design are accessibility's best friends. By setting accessibility standards early, you can ensure products that meet high accessibility standards all the time.

May 4, 2021
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Soren Hamby

Why accessible documentation is a must for design systems

Writing accessible documentation makes design systems easier to use, manage, and scale. Committing to writing accessible documentation isn’t just good practice; it’s good business. Read on to understand why accessible documentation is important for your design system and how it will benefit your workflow.

May 4, 2021
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Will Harris

Is pattern-based thinking the new design thinking?

Design thinking was revolutionary—but it's not perfect. Pattern-based thinking is the solution.

April 22, 2021
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Shayna Hodkin

Meet Knapsack's new Figma integration

Knapsack's new Figma integration turns your color styles to design tokens—in code. Learn how our plugin will make designer-dev collaboration easy.

April 22, 2021
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Shayna Hodkin

Six insights into design tokens

We spoke to experts from some of the world's most advanced design systems about design tokens: best practices, potential advances, and their importance to the design systems community. Our findings are packaged in a downloadable report.

April 21, 2021
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Shayna Hodkin

Building design system communities with Jehad Affoneh and Scott Mathis

In episode 30 of the Design Systems Podcast, Jehad Affoneh, Scott Mathis, and Chris discuss the advantages of open-source, the role of content in design systems, the pattern-based approach to building apps, and similarities between music and tokens.

April 20, 2021
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Michael J. Fordham

Version control best practices for design systems

Version control is a well-known best practice for developers; now we're welcoming it to design systems. Here's how to keep your design system impactful and up-to-date using version control.

April 15, 2021
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Shayna Hodkin

Insights from Gartner’s design system effectiveness report

Tl;dr: “By 2025, over half of all new digital products globally will be traceable to a platform-based or open-source design system.” Get on board.

April 5, 2021
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Will Harris

What's pattern-based thinking, and what does it have to do with design systems?

To get the most out of a design system, we need to make sure it's built to last. Utilizing pattern-based thinking is key to creating a reusable, impactful design system.

April 2, 2021
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Joel Edelman

Why your voice and tone guide belongs in your design system

Design systems should be your organization's central source of truth for all brand elements—including voice and tone.

April 1, 2021
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Shayna Hodkin

Welcome to the Knapsack blog: letter from the editor

Knapsack’s mission is to change the way people think about digital products while being excellent humans along the way. As part of that mission, I’m thrilled to introduce you to Knapsack’s design system publication.

Learn more, build faster.

Be the first to know about product updates, new episodes of the Design System Podcast, events, and more.