Yesenia Perez-Cruz is a design leader, public speaker, and writer based out of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Throughout her career, she’s helped countless teams strategize, design, and implement their brand identity and design systems. Currently, she leads a cross-functional team on the Polaris design system team at Shopify. Previously, as Senior Director of Product Design at Vox Media, she led the design system for Vox Media properties, including The Verge, Vox, and Eater.
Yesenia has been a featured speaker at conferences around the world like An Event Apart, Design Matters, and SXSW Interactive on topics like web performance, responsive design, and design systems.
Also from this author
Design systems exist to bring unity, cohesion, and harmony to our designs. That said, the best design systems are flexible enough to enable variation while still maintaining connectedness between those variants. In this excerpt from Expressive Designs Systems, Yesenia Perez-Cruz goes deep on what it takes to create design systems that enables intentional, meaningful variation.
Ten years ago this month in Issue 183, A List Apart published Stewart Rosenberger’s “Dynamic Text Replacement.” Stewart lamented text styling as a “dull headache of web design” with “only a handful of fonts that are universally available, and sophisticated graphical effects are next to impossible using only standard CSS and HTML.” To help ease these pains, Stewart presented a technique for styling typography by dynamically replacing text with an image.
I'll admit it—animation is usually left until the very end of my design process. After nearly all of my other design decisions have been made, I'll look through the coded designs for opportunities to add some “flair.” What I loved about Val Head and Rachel Nabors' articles last week is that they advocated for a much more meaningful way to use animation. After reading their articles I immediately realized, “Wow, I should start thinking about animation way earlier.”