Speaking & Publications

Speaking & Publications

Publications

Building Design Systems: Unifying user experience through a shared design language

Learn how to build a design system framed within the context of your specific business needs. This book guides you through the process of defining a design language that can be understood across teams, while also establishing communication strategies for how to sell your system to key stakeholders and other contributors.

Building Design Systems provides critical insights into how to set up a design system within your organization, measure the effectiveness of that system, and maintain it over time. You will develop the skills needed to approach your design process systematically, ensuring that your design system achieves the purpose of your organization, your product, and your team.

Speaking

Whether its a technical talk, workshop, or a discussion on my personal journey, I love sharing my experiences with others. Feel free to reach out about speaking opportunities.

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Embracing our AI Overlords

Design Systems in Spotlight, Berlin | Oct. 4, 2023

Dive into the world of Design Systems as we talk about the future of design systems in a world of LLMs and AI.

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Aligning people through Design Systems - Workshop

UX Y’all Conference, Raleigh | September 22, 2023

Based on material from her book, Building Design Systems, Sarrah will guide you through the basics of building a design system. You’ll learn how to define a design language that can be understood across teams, establish a communication strategy to sell your system to key stakeholders and other contributors, and evaluate options for building and housing your system.

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Design Leadership in uncertain times

Convey UX, Online | May 3-5, 2022

Balance your team's needs, build relationships across departments, and scale design teams, all while coordinating your organization's strategic design approach.

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Women Transforming Tech (Panelist)

Startup Week, Tampa | Feb 6, 2019

The face of technology is globally ever-changing, and these Tampa Bay women are rapidly transforming the local community. This panel gathers together some of the women transforming tech iin the Tampa Bay area, discussing the landscape for local female tech tastemakers and innovators.

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UX Mentor & Speaker

GitLab Hackathon | Sep 28, 2018

The GitLab Hackathon is a virtual event that takes place once a quarter, where community members get together to work on merge requests, participate in tutorial sessions, and to help new contributors. The Hackathon is open to anyone who is interested in contributing code, documentation, translations, UX design and more. Prizes are awarded to participants for having Merge Requests (MRs) merged and there may also be special award categories at each Hackathon.

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Distinguished Mentor

Startup Weekend, Tampa | July 21-22, 2018

In just 54 hours, experience the highs, lows, fun, and pressure that make up life at a startup. As you learn how to create a real company, you'll meet the very best mentors, investors, cofounders, and sponsors who are ready to help you get started.

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GitLab: UX Design in the open

UX+Dev Summit, Miami | March 27, 2018

This talk looked at how GitLab's navigation needed to evolve to keep pace. We covered the trials, tribulations, and pitfalls of completely redesigning a product's navigation in an open source environment. We'll examined how, through the creation of personas, prototypes, and rounds of user testing, we were able to redesign and reintroduce an entirely new way to navigate Gitlab.

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GitLab: UX Design in the open

TOP 100 Summit, Beijing | November 4, 2017

This talk looked at how GitLab's navigation needed to evolve to keep pace. We covered the trials, tribulations, and pitfalls of completely redesigning a product's navigation in an open source environment. We'll examined how, through the creation of personas, prototypes, and rounds of user testing, we were able to redesign and reintroduce an entirely new way to navigate Gitlab.

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Leading Design Systems in Impossible Circumstances

Zeroheight’s Converge US, SF | May 18, 2023

In this talk, Sarrah discusses approaching design systems from three distinct perspectives: The design Director (getting support and buy-in), The Designer (coordinating with PM, Eng, and the design team to plan and execute), and The Engineer (coordinating with PM, Design, and working on component migration and development).

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Building Design Systems that Work for Your Whole Organization

Hatch Conference, Berlin | Sep. 8, 2022

Design systems exist to support design in achieving its objectives. Systems requiring inordinate upkeep, governance, and training don't further these objectives and are quickly abandoned. In this talk, we'll walk through the failure modes, and I'll give you tips on making them work for you.

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Aligning people and product through Design Systems

Refactr.tech Conference, Atlanta | June 6, 2019

Based on material from her upcoming book with co-author Taurie Davis, Sarrah will guide you through the basics of building a design system. You will learn how to define a design language that can be understood across teams and establish a communication strategy to sell your system to key stakeholders and other contributors.

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GitLab: UX Design in the open

Startup Week, Tapei | December 7, 2018

Maintaining simple and intuitive navigation for products as they scale is a constant challenge. As features are added and the product becomes more complex, ensuring easy access to these features also increases in complexity. How do you show users what they need to see when they need to see it? How do you give access to 'x' number of features without overwhelming the user? Even more challenging, how do you make changes to an existing product without alienating your user base?

This talk looked at how GitLab's navigation needed to evolve to keep pace. We covered the trials, tribulations, and pitfalls of completely redesigning a product's navigation in an open source environment. We'll examined how, through the creation of personas, prototypes, and rounds of user testing, we were able to redesign and reintroduce an entirely new way to navigate Gitlab.

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A deep dive into GitLab’s UX design process | August 15, 2018

In this webcast, the UX department at GitLab discussed UX process, research, community contributions, and hiring.

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Intro to Git and GitLab

Forum on Women in Tech, Prague | June 16, 2018

Online event where I shared my journey in tech as well as the basics of using git to improve your day-to-day workflow.

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How to style in React and not lose friends 

JSConf Iceland, Rejkyavik | March 5, 2018

Aside from recent political events, I don't know of another topic sure to cause more heated debate than how you should style React components. This talk sets out to cover the main methods for styling in React (and beyond).

Through code examples, we will explore the pros and cons of just some of the methods out there. You will learn to make styling decisions based on the scale and type of project. By the end, you should feel confident that there is hope! You can style React components without losing friends.