Mark Boulton: The Ugly Truth about Design Systems // Front Conference Zurich 2019

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Design systems are great for scaling design across complex organisations and products. But in our drive for scale, consistency and standards, have we considered the risks and the cost? What are the problems we may face and how can we overcome them? In this talk, Mark will expose the ugly truth of rolling out design systems; from engineering and code, to designers and stakeholders and provide guidance from his experience of producing design systems for over a decade.

About Mark Boulton 🔗

Mark leads digital communications at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) where he’s building delivery teams, developing a design system for Life Sciences, and trying to figure out how to scale design in a scientific environment where the bottom line is discovery not dollars.

Prior to working at EMBL, Mark was Design Director at Monotype where he led scaling of a new design system across the company’s portfolio of products. Previously, Mark ran a design studio and worked on design systems for CERN, Al Jazeera, and ESPN.

Mark lives in Wales with his wife, two daughters and a dog that thinks it’s a bear.

===== About Front Conference Zurich: Where design meets technology.

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Designers and developers share a common mission - to create amazing experiences. But it’s not always easy for these two tribes to communicate. To bridge the gap between design and technology, we created the Front Conference in 2011.

To create great digital products, we rely on each other: designers on developers and developers on designers. That’s why we came up with the idea of a conference for everyone involved in the design and implementation of a front end.

By staying at the forefront of both design and technology, we’ve grown to become the largest web conference in Switzerland. Our interests have broadened to reflect the increasing maturity of the industry. We now cover management topics such as design leadership, tech governance and UX strategy.

Our attendees range from juniors to managers, and we attract key speakers to come to Zurich and share their knowledge in talks and workshops.

The conference has become a place to learn and network, and we have many loyal professionals who come back every year.