Over the last year, I have been using Brad Frost & Dave Olsen’s PatternLab for many projects. In doing so, I have learned about building systems rather than web pages. Most of what I’ve learned is that I’ve been doing wrong out of habit.
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I decided to experiment with keeping a journal of my projects: an iterative, running log that captures all the small day-to-day decisions made internally or with the client, in one place. It began as a way to keep myself more organized, but I’ve noticed a few benefits to this practice, and overall, it’s been a way for me to get to know my work much better. Unexpectedly, presenting my design work has become much easier, as this journaling has been a way for me to rehearse and commit to memory exactly what happens when anything is clicked, why I made each design decision, and how this will all come together in the CMS.
As the web evolves, there will always be two ever-growing lists: one of all the pieces of content that will need to appear on any given site over time and another with all the ways we can access that content. Creating flexible, modular design systems makes both of these lists a little less daunting and a lot more manageable.
At Happy Cog, we pride ourselves on empowering clients to take ownership of their content, and we provide a framework and all the building blocks to help them do so. These building blocks range depending on a project’s needs. One could be a video carousel; another a contact form. But, the most fundamental building block that’s on every site and we have to get right every time is typography.