Design tool vendors are invited to participate in our first roundtable. This 2-hour event is open to companies who build digital product design apps and platforms, as well as bodies such as the CSS working group and Google, who are influencing the state of product design at a large scale.
Date: March 24th, 2020 from 9:30 AM to 11:30 AM (Pacific Time)
- Get to know each other, put faces on names
- Gauge appetite for design tokens standardization
- Align on core principles driving standardization efforts
- Gather use-cases the DTCG should prioritize (identify 5 to 10 user needs shared by vendors, extract the most common ones)
- Seek help from vendors to edit and give feedback on parts of the specification
- Next step: workshops with editors and vendors on focused areas such as color data types, format, syntax…
- Hear diverse opinions from the vendor community
- Vendors: you’ll hear where the rest of the industry is headed, and get an opportunity to ask questions to DTCG chairs and editors
- DTCG presentation (Jina and Kaelig)
- Vendor presentations
- Roundtable discussion
Each participant presents themselves using this format:
- Name and pronouns
- Current position & employer, and relevant past experience
- What you’re most excited about when it comes to design tooling
Co-chairs Jina and Kaelig will set the context by sharing a short presentation:
- Short history of design tokens, and why the DTCG?
- Quick description of the DTCG’s processes
- Current state of the format specification draft
- Future of design tokens
Each vendor has 5 minutes to talk about the state of design tokens in their product, and will take questions from the rest of the roundtable (5 min). Free form, at your discretion (speech, presentation, demo… no pitches, please).
It’s okay to play a recording of your presentation if you’d prefer to pre-record it, or if you can’t make it to this meeting.
Examples of topics the community group and other vendors would be interested in:
- What features in your product currently resemble design tokens (inspect/code panels, shared styles/libraries, import/export color palettes…)?
- What’s the appetite (if any) from your customers for design tokens in your product?
- Have you thought about design tokens being part of your product? Is it already on your roadmap? If so, what areas of your product would benefit the most from design tokens? Can you share concept designs with the rest of the group?
Resolution proposals are voted upon by attendees. They are assumptions we believe to be true and will help the DTCG move forward with support from the vendors. If a proposed resolution isn’t adopted, it will result in further discussions to rephrase it or reassess its relevance.
Attendees are expected to prepare to share opinions and to ask questions or voice their disagreement when they have reservations on a topic.
- Proposed resolution: the digital design and development industry would benefit from a standardized technical approach to sharing stylistic properties across tools and codebases.
- Proposed resolution: a standardized approach to styling across design tools and codebases would make design/development collaboration cheaper, faster, more integrated for customers.
- Open question: what’s the smallest set of functionality that the original spec draft should cover to make it implementable and useful to your users? Think: base format & grammar, composite tokens, colors, typography…?
- Open question: do you see your tool’s primary use case as consuming design tokens, outputting design tokens, managing design tokens…?
- Open question: what, if anything, would be a non-starter or hard requirement for supporting a design token specification (legally, technically…)?
- Open question: should this specification aim to standardize some naming and nesting conventions, or entirely leave that to users and tools? For example: “colors”/”typography”/”spacing” top-level categories, names such as “primary brand”, “color-<range #>” for palettes, …
- Open question: to naming concepts such as data types, should the specification follow existing conventions such as the ones in CSS or stay away from it? For example: how would you feel if it used the familiar “line-height” vs the more typographically-accurate “leading”, or another name like “line spacing”?
A report from this roundtable will be posted here or on GitHub in the weeks following the event.
Current list of companies that have been contacted to attend, in no particular order: Google (Material Design), Framer, Marvel, ZeroHeight, Axure, Figma, Sketch, Adobe (XD), Interplay, Knapsack, Arcade, UXPin, and the representatives of tools such as Style Dictionary and Specify who are also editors on the DTCG.