Maturing a Design System with Ben Callahan

For the last five to ten years, systematic design and development practices have been growing and growing. It’s no wonder that, once we put a name on this snowball (hello, “design systems”), it only picked up speed. If you manage more than one site, if you support more than one brand, if you want to be more efficient or more consistent or more unified in your digital interface building approach—this is a conversation for you.

We’ll start with a breakdown of design system concepts, reframing how to think about them in a practical and approachable way called "The Anatomy of a Design System." Then we’ll dig into the four major concepts covered by the Design System Maturity Model developed from years of work, interviews, and industry-wide surveys.

Topics covered:

- Where design systems live in an organization

- The four layers of a design system (concepts)

- The three parts of each layer (tangibles)

- The stages of design system maturity

- How a design system’s origin story impacts its path through maturity

- A framework for maturing in a healthy way

- A framework for maintaining system stability


6:00 - 6:30pm | Check -in, Refreshments, and Networking

6:30pm - 7:30pm | Presentation and Q&A from Ben Callahan, President of Sparkbox

7:30pm - 8:00pm | Closing Remarks & Networking

Event Location Info & Parking

The event will be at Atrium Two, 221 E. 4th St., Cincinnati, Ohio. Go through the main doors on the ground floor. Behind the coffee kiosk is the entrance to Kroger Technology & Digital, where you will check in with security.

Paid parking is available on the street, or $5 for two hours at the Eggleston Garage, 301 Eggleston Ave, Cincinnati, Ohio. The Atrium also is within short walking distance of the streetcar stop #2, on the corner of 4th & Main.

About the Presenter

Sparkbox was founded in 2009 with a mission to build a better web. As President, Ben has helped lead and grow the organization while they work alongside clients like Gap, The Oklahoma City Thunder, and Stanford University. He’s focused his energy most recently on developing a maturity model for design systems, articulating the anatomy of design systems, and chronicling his findings about workplace culture in the tech space. When not knee-deep in these explorations with others, Ben is a father, partner, poet, and home barista. His personal motto is, “Stay in learning mode” and this helps him to remember that every interaction is an opportunity to grow.


TEKsystems Digital

We are the Digital and Creative division of TEKsystems, a $4.1 billion, 34 year old privately-held staffing and advisory services firm. We partner with clients to augment, extend, accelerate or transform their digital business strategies. We operate within 400+ digital marketing organizations with a Digital and Creative workforce over 1,700 strong. Additionally, our Global Services team brings global innovation and development centers that add an additional 1,500 to our digital delivery capabilities.

AIGA Cincinnati

We advance design as a professional craft, strategic advantage, and vital cultural force. The Cincinnati chapter produces relevant content and schedules interactive programming. We bring designers together to make connections, have fun, and solve problems.

IxDA Cincinnati

We are a local chapter of the Interaction Design Association. It is for individuals interested in sharing ideas in interaction design, user experience and digital design, to share their knowledge and new techniques across the Cincinnati community. Whether you're a seasoned professional, want to expand your horizons, or network with others, we hope you can come collaborate with us!

Friends of Figma Cincinnati

Meet designers, grow your network, and build design skills at in-person events and in our online community. Open to everyone interested in learning more about Figma; advanced practitioners, aspiring designers and developers, and creatives of all types. Friends of Figma exists so our users can come together to help each other; lifting everyone up. It’s run by the community and everyone is welcome.

When & Where
Thu, Nov 3, 2022 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM EDT
Atrium Two
221 East 4th Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202