Mar 26
Figma LA: Design Systems Meetup

6:30pm  –  8:30pmLiferay, Inc – Diamond Bar, CA

Liferay’s Design Team hosted the first meetup of the Figma LA User Group. It was an evening of fun, best practices, and practical examples for components and team libraries in the context of design systems.

The agenda for the night was 3 lightning talks:

Best Practices for Figma Components
by Josh Dunsterville (aka @neversitdull)

Josh gave us a high-level overview of the 5-W's of components: When, Why, What, Who, and Where. The main takeaway was that the earlier you start creating components, the more efficiently you'll be able to work and iterate faster to get to more effective business solutions.

Check out Josh's slides!

Components of Successful Design Systems
by Paul Hanaoka

Paul talked about a design system being more than just "design" artifacts and improving your system with specialized roles, a variety of departments and perspectives, and approaching it in with an open source mentality.

Go through Paul's slides!

Systematic Design System Design
by David Kim and Abel Hancock

I shared about some of the business challenges we were facing and about how we leveraged our existing design system's Figma components to quickly provide concrete business solutions to a wide variety of industry verticals.

Abel then walked us through the process of extending Team Libraries and gave us a demo of the system in action.

View our presentation!

We wrapped up the presentations with a question and answer session and finally closed out the official program by raffling off a Google Home Mini and a Figma Swag Pack.

Engaged Audience One of these people is a lot happier than the other.

Takeaways

The most memorable moment came, not from the presenters (they were all great 😉) but, from the audience. During the question and answer time we talked about how to build, manage, and improve design systems tailored to a variety of different business contexts. They were curious, passionate, and eager to learn more — the Q&A session lasted almost as long as the talks!

What was even more surprising was that many attendees were not designers. There were engineers, marketers, and other business professionals. Yet, they were here to learn about design systems. In our conversations with them it became clear the reason why — engineers understand the DRY (Don't-Repeat-Yourself) principle of software development. PMs and other business executives know that design systems help optimize business operations by increasing consistency and efficiency. The challenge was that many of them didn't know how to start or optimize existing design systems.

Some other big takeaways:

  1. More and more organizations are recognizing design systems as a valuable business asset.
  2. Design systems are of interest to people outside of traditional "design" roles.
  3. There is demand for educating organizations on how to build design systems that support their business goals.

Engaged Audience Thanks to PJ Pentz for all the photos!

Next Time

This was the biggest event our team has hosted, so we definitely learned a lot. The most important was to not forget our distinguished guest's name. Not saying who committed this faux-pas, but his name rhymes with "Babel".

The community gave us some great input and ideas for future meetups and events like hands-on workshops, portfolio reviews, and more!

We look forward to continually growing a design community here in the far reaches of Los Angeles County.

Shameless Plugs

Special Thanks To…

  • Josh and the rest of the Figma team for helping us host this great event!
  • LaCroix (obviously)