Ella Design

Managing the chaos with design systems - design, ux, copy, a11y, development, product and research - how people work together

Connecting all the dots

As the manager of design systems at Hilton, my main role is to build and maintain a large system that includes web channels and mobile apps. I set goals, socialize, evangelize, and facilitates governance to ensure we deliver consistent and relevant experiences to our guests.

When teams have different priorities, dynamics or end-goals, consistency and efficiency can become challenging.

Setting goals

In order to have a successful design system, it is important to establish goals so others know why and what we can do to help them. It helps us remain focus on our road map and also make it easier to explain why having a design system is important.

Define processes & governance

Design system can really improve how people work together and speak the same visual language. As large organization spans across many global brands and each have their own business goals, it is essential to have good processes in place so expectations can be met.

Clarifying when design system team should be involved, what should happen after a component is built and what sort of governance is needed are important processes to have.

Processes for governance and patterns request

Asset libraries & build

Focusing on micros to benefit the macros. I help create and maintain the asset libraries for designers to easily create experiences they envision. Using the same design asset libraries improve consistency from the very begining because all designers are using the same Lego blocks to build different kind of houses, so to speak.


From the engineering side, building patterns as reusable components that are well tested with usability and accessibility ensure inclusive design is at any stage of our work. Design system team works very closely with our engineering partners to ensure our goals align to build the shareable components that we need.

Atomic UI libraries examples

Documentation & guidelines

Maintaining a living documentation site that includes components examples and use-cases, along with best practices for UX, copy and A11y help us become the “single source of truth”. Working with engineering to include real-world examples to showcase on the site and also scorecard for each will be our future.

Design system documentation size screenshot, includes best practices and guidelines for UX, copy, design and A11y.

Hello, my name is

Socialization and on-boarding is an important aspect of my job, after all there’s no point to build a world-class design system if there’s no buy-in. Communication plan lets other teams aware of new or change of patterns and encourage to ask questions. On-boarding new team members is also crucial so they will be using the design system from day one.

… and this is just a quick overview. There are so much more I want to share with you.
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