I was hired at ForUsAll, a 401(k) provider that was attempting to become a first-mover at the intersection of cryptocurrency investing and defined contribution plans, to bring greater structure and rigor to the design management process. At the time, the company was going into their Series C funding round, and as a relatively new entrant in the defined contribution fintech space, it was imperative that their products (as well as their marketing) share a consistent visual and experiential alignment that matched the truly impressive engineering work that had gone into their products and offering.
One of the key pain points experienced by the developers was that consistent design delivery via specs and standards had yet to be established, even though product was getting shipped. Therefore, my top priority as soon as I landed became to stand up a product design system as quickly as I could. The company's CTO agreed with me that this was important enough to spare a handful of front-end developers and QA staff to partner on standing up the code-side of the design system.
In 3 months, the design system framework was adopted and adjusted to meet our brand requirements, and we were ready to begin a pilot build of a never-before-built Crypto 401(k) Account Admin Dashboard.
After a rapid cost-benefit analysis in collaboration with representatives of Product and Engineering functions, I recommended that we adopt the MUI react framework, so we could move as quickly as possible. We wanted to take advantage of an already-well-documented, accessibility-compliant framework with which a number of our developers were already familiar, rather than define our own from the ground up, which I successfully argued would be too time-consuming, given the timelines involved.
More to come...