Form builders, design system thoughts, new design system components

Insanity Max 30—first month done

Let’s start with the easy one. I’m half way through this two month program. I have seen huge results in my fitness levels in just 4 weeks (results below).

Looking forward to and dreading month 2 in equal proportions as I am pretty sure the level goes up a notch. Not to mention how badly I’ve eaten in the last few days involving KFC and chinese takeaway.

First week fail times: 7:01 9:49 7:51 10:42 8:35

Second week fail times: 9:17 10:43 10:01 10:48 11:45

Third week fail times: 17:15 7:14 12:01 8:15 11:43

Forth week fail times: 19:14 10:44 12:12 11:10 12:15

Four weeks to go.

Form builders—I’m dubious

I’ve come across more form builders that I can count on my fingers. And they’ve always ended up being overly constraining and complex to change. The problem with form builders is that they run on config. If the config doesn’t do what you want, the form builder needs to adapt and change.

So I’ve started making some notes and I hope to write an article on this one day.

Fun questions about design systems

Rarely a week goes by where Amy and I don’t talk about design systems. What normally happens is Amy asks a really interesting and difficult question.

Then we have a lot of fun chatting back and forth, she’s wrong, I’m right, stuff like that—joke, seriously, it’s usually the other way around—then I fall asleep dreaming about design systems.

Anyway, I really don’t want to forget some of our conversations as I think there’s some gold worth remembering. So I’m going to start by jotting down the questions here. Hopefully they’ll jog my memory in the future.

What’s a variant? Do they exist? When is something a variant versus just a way to apply the thing in a specific context? How configurable should a single component be? How flexible should a component be and what are the tradeoffs for making it flexible or not flexible enough? Delivering quickly vs delivering with quality. How to prioritise what to work on. And how the seemingly simplest design system problem is invariably full of complexity.

Three new components added to the HMCTS Design System

I felt particularly productive this week and that resulted in 3 new components being added to the design system. Namely: Badge, Form Validator and Sortable Table.

I love sharing my work and I love getting critique from the community as there’s always something to consider or improve.

Banardo’s differentiates buttons and links

Banardo’s released their design system recently and it looks great. I noticed that their calls to action (links) and submit buttons are styled differently while still keeping their respective signifiers intact. Both styles are prominent and in-keeping with the brand. Both have clear hover and focus states. Nice.

I’m interested to hear how users find them. My reckon is that they’ll get on just fine.

Started learn UI design course

I’ve enrolled on the Learn UI design course because I want to get better and faster at designing interfaces.

I’ve got a lot on in and outside of work so I’m not expecting to get through the course super quick. Plus I’ve recently redesigned my site and I’m happy with it.

But I will definitely get it done in the next few months. And I’ll be sure to report back with some results hopefully in the future. I might redesign as part of the course.