Bringing your customers and their thoughts to the table is a powerful way to shift the business.

Design is a job about problem-solving. As designers, we work diligently on solving issues like how a new service might function, how we might enable accessibility to reach a broader audience, or how to create a brand that folks love. But often, the same designers who can solve for their user-centric goals with ease have trouble solving for business goals, too.

And designers often aren’t to blame for this lack of knowledge — I’ve worked at organizations where it seems like draconian business goals are passed down from the top, only to destroy the user experience (Hello, dark patterns!). So…

From treating it like a product to defining principles and ‘A.B.U.,’ here are key things to remember along the way.

Hearing all the hype about design systems can give you the impression that you just create a design system and *poof* everything comes together. Maybe you write a blog post about it and then you never have to think about design systems again.

I can tell you that that’s far from reality. A design system is a process, and a long one at that. It’s not uncommon to “fail” in your first (or second or third) attempt. How do I know? Because that’s what happened when I set out to create a design system at Instacart.

It took three tries…

How to start the conversation with stakeholders and get a design system off the ground.

We’ve all talked about design systems enough that it seems like by now, the benefits of having one would be clear. A design system helps us build products faster, enables teams to understand shared components and processes, and creates a consistent user experience. But in practice, we often face organizational barriers to implementing said design systems. Not to mention, sometimes it’s hard to even sell other designers on the need for a design system.

You’re reading this post, so I know that you probably feel the costs of working without a design system every day. …

We’re always working to improve Abstract for you. And we know that “smaller” feature enhancements can make a big impact on your workflow. That’s why we wanted to highlight several updates that will help you work faster and more seamlessly, and give you more control over what you see on your screen. Take a look and let us know what you think.

Create Collections faster with multi-select

Collaboration and presentation is integral to design. Collections allow you to share work with your teammates and stakeholders for feedback and approval. If you’re sharing a flow or options for designs, you should always create a Collection.


During February 2013, the web underwent a huge change in how it was used and over three years later it is still a well guarded secret from engineers and designers alike. That month, two laptops hit the market: The Chromebook Pixel and the Microsoft Surface. These were the first mainstream devices to come with touch screen displays in a laptop format. Since then, the 2-in-1 has become a mainstay and, with them, the mouse hover has become largely unreliable.

Two and a half years ago, I was doing user research sessions on a desktop web product that allowed readers to…

Originally posted on March 14, 2013 on

“A complex system designed from scratch never works and cannot be made to work. You have to start over, beginning with a working simple system.” — John Gall

A few years ago, Facebook did the unthinkable. They took down the titan known as Myspace. Myspace had more features, more brand recognition, and more users. So what was better about Facebook?

Most notably, a simple and well executed product. In a 2011 interview, Sean Parker was asked why Myspace lost and he responded by saying that Myspace “[failed] to execute on product development.”…

Your puny mind can’t handle all of this

In 1999, I bought the original PlayStation.

Words Affect Us, Deeply…

On September 10th at 10:22 am, Phil Schiller took the stage to announce the iPhone 5C.

Good morning everyone, I’m really happy to be here because I have the great honor and privilege to introduce these two new iPhones products to you. And the first one is called iPhone 5C.

Jordan Staniscia

Designer at @goabstract · Chat with me on

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