CSR Design Library


Innovation / Enablement


Organization, UI, Systems Thinking


Danny - UI & Design System




How do you reconcile and standardize 15 years of custom software into a single, cohesive design vision when your team is mostly UX and no UI?


BLUF: Create a flexible design system that standardizes best practices and graphical elements while baking branch/merge behaviors into the file structure.

  • I lead the creation of a shared sketch-library for an internal CSR product team.
  • I curated and combined assets from across individual designer desktops, shared drives, and archives into a singular cloud-based respository.
  • Leaning on designer feedback and a separate internal language system in development (RDS), I architected the elements to mimic the naming conventions for better designer standardization.
  • Working with their team, I taught and coached the designers through working with and updating the library.
  • Finally, I implemented a branch/merge behavior and a robust file naming convention to allow their agile delivery model to be reflected in the structure.I co-lead the revitalization of the FGP program with a renewed focus on product teams.

Lessons learned

  • You can lead a horse to water… - Creating a design language system from scratch like this was a rewarding challenge, but delivery in this case never “stuck”. Despite the clear efficiencies and universal access, the team eventually fell back on bad habits and the library fell out of parity with development…. and then so did the enterprise. I learned here that even if you can demonstrate real value; if people don't personally buy in and contribute resources like time and effort it’s just a pretty piece of vaporware.
  • Live by the cloud, die by the cloud - Even with 24/7 enabled tooling and cloud access to files, mental models persisted to just save locally and send back and forth. I gained empathy for consultancies that come in, set up some things, and then leave it to the team to sustain.
  • Just floss your teeth - It not only is just bad practice to have scattered file structures and random naming conventions, but it also ensured a sporadic adoption across applications and a poor UX for CSRs. Good system hygine isnt always fun, but you must be rigorous with implementation of breaking changes will be much more serious along the way.


Addie from the CSR team for their willingness to learn and adopt practices and expand past single-user / closed environment thinking.

My manager David Morley for recognizing the value in a design system and allowing me to mold my job description to fix a sister teams problem.