Systems of Systems
Nov. 11, 2020

Tatiana Mac, Product Designer & Speaker

Design systems create an umbrella to to define the future of our design work. But design systems are not the biggest umbrella, so to speak—they exist under broader social, political, and infrastructural systems that affect the parameters, limitations, and variables of our system. Investigating design systems across many verticals, we’ll look to see how design systems are impacted by the systems they live within. And beyond the verticals, we’ll look to see how broader systems of power and oppression influence the design systems, and ultimately, the users who use the products defined by them. We’ll look to see how to assess where our design systems live in broader ecosystems, the challenges inherent, and how to lean into the good, and resist the bad, to ensure we’re serving all humans in an equitable and ethical way, maintaining safety and trust.

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About the Speaker

Tatiana MacTatiana Mac (she/they) is an independent American engineer who works directly with organisations to build clear and coherent products and design systems.

She believes the trifecta of accessibility, performance, and inclusion can work symbiotically to improve our social landscape digitally and physically. When ethically-minded, she thinks technologists can dismantle exclusionary systems in favour of community-focused, inclusive ones.

Tatiana is an open source maintainer, currently focused on building a dictionary called Self-Defined. Self-Defined seeks to provide more inclusive, holistic, and fluid definitions to reflect the diverse perspectives of the modern world. The dictionary will eventually include integrated bots and an API to embed into enterprise software.

Never totally pleased with design tools, she designs in browser to bring performant, semantic, and accessible visual narratives into the web. Her current obsessions are optimising variable fonts, converting raster images into to SVGs, and recreating modernist paintings in CSS grid. When she can successfully :q vim, she finds new countries to explore (36 and counting) and designs tech merch at StyleDotCSS .

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