Design System Company (Twitter) x Raffaele

Design System Company (Twitter) x Raffaele

Granular System Decisions

Design Tokens
Context - Shared Variables Dilemma

Why Design System


About me

My principles
  • Start with the problem
  • We deeply understand the customer problem, their goals and worlds. It is our foundation for action and, ultimately, she is our only judger for success.

  • Outcome over output
  • We measure the quality of our work by the outcome, a behavioural or emotional change, it is creating with our customers. We care for our work until and after it reaches the hands of our customers.

  • Think big, act small
  • We set a clear, ambitious vision, and take baby steps to get there. We don’t settle for band-aids, yet act small to enable faster learning and value creation.

  • Diversity of minds
  • We drive collaboration and diversity from the first moment, so that we enable the best insights and ideas to come to the surface. Share early and often, iterate and feedback, is the past to great work.

  • Continuous learning and growing
  • Just as design is never finished, so are we not as human beings nor as a team. We encourage learning and helping each other grow, so that we do better.

Favourite books? 📚
Favourite dishes? (spoiler: 🇮🇹)


Product Design Improvement

First, I'm going to try to understand the business situation and our objective in more details.

Second, I will focus on defining the target user and brainstorming what problems we could solve for them.

And third, I will generate solutions for these problems, prioritize them, and make a recommendation.

  • Business objective
  • User problems
    • Select a user type
    • List user problems
    • Prioritize user problems
  • Solutions
    • List solutions
    • Prioritize solutions
    • Summarize
  • Recap

  • Set a business objective: You should start by making sure you understand the question properly and by defining a specific strategic objective with your interviewer
    • Confirm your understanding
    • Define the business objective
  • Generate solutions: Once you know what the objective is, it’s time to generate a structured list of solutions to solve the strategic problem you face
    • Create a structure
    • Generate solutions within that structure
  • Discuss solutions: After generating solutions, a discussion will naturally follow with your interviewer around the trade-offs and priorities of different solutions
    • Highlighting trade-offs
    • Prioritizing as necessary
  • Conclude: Finally, you should conclude the discussion by making a recommendation and answering the initial question you were asked
    • Make a recommendation
    • Highlight risks and next steps
Questions in the Process
Outcomes-Based Planning
We think we can increase the rate of early meetings with [this idea] measured by X, and with [other idea] measured by Y
  • Create a customer journey map with designers
  • Review with the magic question that encourage behaviours
  • “What behaviours at each step predict success and satisfaction? And what behaviours at each step predict failure and dissatisfaction?”


Interacting with stakeholder

They will still need for work at a certain date.

How do we set expectations?

Stop working on something when we’ve made enough progress to feel satisfied.

When will we be satisfied? Get an agreement on a direction and then commit to reviewing the performance for a series of months.

Hypothesis and measures success before start on an effort.

Interacting with designers
  • Name and title
  • How long have you been at the organization?
  • Can you give a brief background of your time at the organization?
  • What are you working on now? What are your priorities?
  • What’s a day in the life look like?
  • Can you describe your current workflow?
  • What aspects of the current workflow are working really well?
  • What aspects of the current workflow do you think could be improved?
  • If you had a magic wand and could change one thing about how things work here, what would that thing be?
  • What tools and technologies are you using? What about these do you like and is there anything that could be improved?
  • How do you hope the design system will help?
  • What about the design system makes you nervous or apprehensive?
  • What does success look like? Fast forward a year from now, things are humming along and everyone is thrilled with the design system. How did that happen?
  • What’s going to sink this ship? Fast forward a year from now and the design system initiative is a total failure. Why did it fail?
  • What do we need to know in order to operate successfully in your organization?
  • What questions should we be asking you that we aren’t?
Interacting with developers
  • What types of things do you find yourself building again and again?
  • Walk me through your workflow from the moment specs arrive.
  • Where do you spend the most time? Which meetings or messages feel redundant?
  • What’s the most frustrating part of the process?
  • How do you find the compliance guidelines, assets, details you need?


Supporting contribution is one of the most challenging aspects of managing a design system.

Progress can feel slow to non-existent, and the rewards we first envisioned may turn out to be fantasy.

Getting people to contribute and then supporting them through the process requires significant effort, and that effort has to be sustained over time.

But it’s an effort worth making. With input from a community of users, a system’s patterns become infinitely richer and more representative than they would otherwise be.

And I believe that prioritising contribution and representation—even at the expensive of short-term efficiency—is the key to a design system’s success.

Personal Development Plan


Design Eng. Product Framework

Product Requirements Document (PRD)

One on One


WCAG for Designers Checklist
QA Checklist Quality of Components
Contribution Proposing Request
World Contribution Template


Feedback Session!
Design System Metrics

Curious about a systematic workflow?

My questions


  1. How will you measure the success of the person in this position?
  2. What are some of the challenges you expect the person to face?
  3. Can you describe a typical day or week in the job?


  1. What are you hoping this person will accomplish in their first six months and in their first year?
  2. Thinking back to people you’ve seen managing the Design System previously, what differentiated the ones who were good from the ones who were really great at it?


  1. What type of people tend to really thrive here, and what type don’t do as well?
  2. What do you like about working here?

Product Chat

  • What are the main challenges you have at Twitter?
  • How is the collaboration between designers, PMs, devs?
  • How do you imagine the future of Twitter?
  • What's in your opinion the main opportunity at Twitter today?
  • What do you do when you fail?

Product Insights

  • How do you prioritise what to do?
  • How do you see the future of Twitter?
  • How do designers at Twitter relate to data and research?
  • What KPIs drive Twitter today and how are they defined?

Eng. Managers

  • How is the development cycle at Twitter? How is the process?
  • How do designers and developers work together?
  • How long do you take on average to release a new feature?


  • How do you learn?
  • What is the first thing you'll change at Twitter?
  • What do you guys do outside work?
  • Who's missing the office?

Sr. Design System Designer