Chris Strahl: Content in Design Systems – Episode 110


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Chris Strahl In just a few short years, design systems have been adopted by most digital organizations. These systems free designers from many mundane design-production details, letting them focus on the creative aspects of their work. To this point, content has been an afterthought in many of these systems. Chris Strahl sees that changing in the next few years and predicts that content concerns will assume an important place in design systems. We talked about: the origin story of his design-system startup, Knapsack, a SaaS platform that helps designers and engineers collaborate better the origins of design systems, going all the way back to Christopher Alexander's book on architectural design patterns his breakdown of the elements of a design system: asset libraries, component libraries, the documentation of the system, and the actual delivery of code to production systems some of the benefits of design systems, in particular the way they encourage empathy for enterprise users different ways that you might work with content in a design system levels of maturity and sophistication in design systems the unfortunate tertiary role of content in many design systems, behind design and code how adopting a design system is like going from waterfall to agile how discovering and using content patterns in a design system could help with things like personalization the importance of structured data in incorporating content into design systems the ongoing movement of content from monolithic storage and use to more of a content-as-a-service model the ongoing breakdown of old publishing models the convergence of content, design, and code issues in activities like localization the future he sees "where people are actually building with design systems and thinking about the rules and structure and intent of content as a part of that building process" Chris' bio Chris Strahl is the CEO of design-system-as-a-service startup Knapsack. He’s a seasoned startup executive, entrepreneur, sales leader, and management consultant with a founder exit under his belt. As the CEO and founder of design system consultancy Basalt, Strahl gained experience building design systems for enterprise clients — and built Knapsack’s revolutionary product along the way. Connect with Chris online LinkedIn Twitter The Design Systems Podcast Video Here’s the video version of our conversation: Podcast intro transcript This is the Content Strategy Insights podcast, episode number 110. It's unusual nowadays to find design teams building one-off mock-ups of new digital products. Most modern design organizations use a design system that helps them follow well-established patterns, reuse code components, and create consistent user interfaces. To this point, the role of content has been an afterthought in many of these systems. Chris Strahl sees that changing in the next few years and predicts that content will assume an important place in design systems. Interview transcript Larry: Hey, everyone. Welcome to episode number 110 of the ‎Content Strategy Insights podcast. I'm really happy today to have with us, Chris Strahl. Chris is the CEO and co-founder of Knapsack Design System software platform, I guess, we'd call it. Welcome Chris. Tell the folks more about yourself and what you do there at Knapsack. Chris: Yeah, so we founded Knapsack a little over a year ago. It came out of an agency that was focused on doing a lot of custom or DIY design systems for big companies. And so, we been working in this space for about three years, building design system platforms out of individual pieces, things like storybook or pattern lab or envision tools and mixing them together into these custom workspaces. And we saw a need in the market that was pretty exciting for us. And so, we built a SaaS platform to kind of create this common workspace for design...

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