S1E4 Designing Enterprise Design Systems with Nor Sanavongsay


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By Pek Pongpaet. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Nor Sanavongsay, a senior product designer that stands tall.
Who is Nor Sanavongsay?

Nor Sanavongsay is a senior product designer currently working at Workday. The reason why he stands tall in his field is that he tells stories through interactions with storyboards, visual designs, and prototypes. Nor also runs a nonprofit publishing company that mainly focuses on helping southeast Asians tell their stories.

Highlights from the episode:

  • Nor says that he read a lot of comic books growing up and he aspired of becoming a comic book artist when he grew up.
  • When Nor was trying to discover himself a little bit more, that’s when he realized that they were refugees from Laos escaping the communist regime by coming to the US to have a better life.
  • He then talks about how he went to school at NIU, Northern Illinois University, where he enrolled as an illustration major, just because he wanted to pursue a career as a comic book illustrator.
  • Nor talks about working at Workday doing design systems and explains how they have a workforce of more than 150 people within his group.
  • Pek asks Nor to explain how he communicates about the new changes or updated components to the 150 designers.
  • Nor explains how he is now involved with reorganizing the old legacy stuff into new variants.
  • Pek intervenes at some point and asks Nor to talk more about analytics and the role it plays in design systems. You’ll hear Nor boldly explaining the role of the analytics panel within Figma.
  • Nor says that the most important step that people should always consider when they’re thinking about creating a design system for their organization is the research. Put some effort into the research.
  • According to Nor, you know you’ve achieved success when your team can build a layout much quicker than they used to.
  • As the episode wears on, a flashing memory comes to Nor’s mind about his time at Zoosk where they had introduced a new thing called couples profile in the dating app. He clarifies that the goal was to make couples share their experiences with their single friends so that they can sign up.
  • Asked if he considers other constraints as well and if he consults engineers or people in the business, about what they want to achieve. Nor says he does that and refers to a scenario where they recently hired a chief design officer.
  • In the latter minutes of the episode, Nor advises that the best way to learn is to experience. Not forgetting to also make it a habit of eradicating the imposter syndrome mentality.

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