I have two design system coaching offerings: virtual coaching for design system leads or teams and coaching cohorts for individuals looking to build a small community of like-minded learners.
Because every individual and organization has unique needs, I’ve created a structure to follow that acknowledges the cultural challenges of design system work while also allowing room to dive into specific questions you may be facing.
My virtual coaching comes in five-week blocks (one 60 minute conversation each week). We'll communicate prior to these meetings so we can both be prepared. These conversations will feel structured but fluid. I'll ask you a lot of questions and we'll decide together on some form of next steps.
I've also developed a group coaching approach for when your whole team would like to participate. This is also offered in five-week blocks, and the pricing is dependent on the number of participants.
Currently, I have virtual coaching openings for Q1 and Q2 of 2024. Please reach out if you would like to learn more.
Between these conversations, we’ll communicate via email and a shared Google Doc or FigJam board. As part of the coaching effort, we'll stay in touch throughout the week. I’m happy to have informal conversations between our formally scheduled calls to process current happenings.
My goal will be to challenge and broaden your perspective on the design system effort. Together, we'll make sure your organization’s approach to the system is healthy for the specific context you’re operating in. To do this, we may talk through concepts like:
- the history of systems at your company
- the reasons the organization has a design system
- the structure of the organization
- the already established patterns and practices of the organization
- the cultures and subcultures of the organization
- creating cultural change
- balancing collaboration with control
- a framework for healthy collaboration
- subscriber groupings
- a clear definition of design systems for your organization and needs
- conceptual vs tangible parts of the system
- evolving healthy system processes
- how the system is maturing
- areas of the system where there is risk
- ways to create stability in the system
- adoption health and roadmaps
- correlating system adoption to subscriber group success
- and more
Often, individuals are looking for a combination of design system coaching and career coaching. My approach works well in these scenarios. My experience as someone working in the tech space for over 20 years—founding companies, leading teams, hiring—offers a valuable perspective to many in their early or mid-career journey.
Coaching cohorts are small groups of like-minded learners gathering weekly to share their experiences and learn from each other on a specific topic. Cohorts run between five and ten weeks, and the cost varies depending on the duration.
Each week begins with 15–20 minutes of instruction from me, followed by a structured conversation diving into the details of how the week’s concept plays out in the real world. After each virtual conversation, you’ll have a small amount of homework to bring back the following week.
Cohorts are fantastic for individuals looking to learn from the experience of others. We focus on growing in our understanding of big design system concepts, but also on getting to know each other. A cohort is an intense season of growth and community-building.
February, 2024: Five-Week Design System Maturity Cohort
Beginning in February of 2024, I'm offing a five-week design system maturity cohort. This will be a deep dive into the design system maturity model I've developed over the last four years. We'll begin with an overview of the main concepts in week one, then dedicate one week to each of the four stages. If you want to better understand how design systems mature in a wide variety of contexts, if you're feeling that your system has plateaued, or if you want to find a group of like-minded design system learners, this may be for you.
Additionally, I offer each member of a cohort a free one-hour consultation after the cohort is complete. This is a tremendous way to address any specific questions you have or to gather a bit more information on how to apply the concepts covered in the cohort. Truthfully, we can use this time however you'd like, so there is flexibility in the approach.
- Week 1: How Design Systems Mature
- Week 2: Stage 1—Building Version One
- Week 3: Stage 2—Driving Adoption
- Week 4: Stage 3—Surviving the Teenage Years
- Week 5: Stage 4—Evolving a Healthy Program
In February of 2024, I'm leading a five-week coaching cohort on design system maturity. The cost to participate is $499—an excellent use of your training budget. Inquiring below is the first step toward participating.
My Perspective on Design Systems
The best design systems are simply a force multiplier for what’s already happening inside an organization. Those systems refactor the already established practices and patterns of the org so they can be used everywhere. If your organization has healthy practices and patterns, your design system can help scale those across teams/brands/channels/etc. If your organization has unhealthy practices, expecting a design system alone to fix those practices is misplaced optimism.
Design systems distill and magnify healthy practices and patterns while exposing and challenging unhealthy ones. The amount of resistance a healthy design system team experiences is directly related to the unhealthiness of the organization’s established ways of working. To address this, I've developed a series of mental models and frameworks based on eight years (and counting) of design system experience, five years of design system research, and hundreds of conversations with design system experts.
I can’t solve all your problems with coaching or a cohort. But together, we can discover what’s causing them and make a plan to unlock your system’s healthy maturity.