Hello again! 👋 It’s funny, as I sit down on this chilly fall morning to write this edition of the newsletter, there’s a thought that continues to run through my mind. In so many ways, it feels like the words I’m typing may be the most significant thing I ever publish, and yet, I hope they’re nothing more than simply the beginning of this new chapter for where I’d like to head and share with you.
In 2019, I joined Figma as a Designer Advocate, and typically, when I share that with others, their first question is, “What’s a Designer Advocate?” and it’s a great one to ask. As a Designer Advocate, I worked with hundreds of teams from all over the world, helping each learn more about Figma and what it means to create and maintain large component libraries and design systems within the tool. It was a role that felt so special to me, and its impact on my career was substantial, as it allowed me to meet and connect with so many others in our industry. Normally, I’d consider myself to be a little shy and introverted, but there was something unique about the opportunity to teach others and to share experiences of my own that made me feel so comfortable and inspired.
Using all I had learned from my time at Figma, I ventured back into the role as a product designer with a new perspective and have since had the chance to join the talented teams at Twitter (well before you-know-who) and Webflow. Each experience has only reassured me of how much I enjoy working within design systems, partnering with others to create and scale a system everyone can rely on.
Last week, I announced my last day at Webflow. When I think about what may be next for my career, one thought continues to rise: focusing on the opportunity to teach, share, and help more people and teams across our industry create and scale their design tooling and design system efforts. In 2021, I started Baseline Design, a company formed to continue doing what I had discovered I loved most: helping others in design.
Throughout the company’s existence, I’ve only ever dedicated my mornings and evenings, but even still, I feel so humbled to share that I’m nearing 500 completed Figma and design system-focused pairings with some of the most exceptional individuals and teams. The experience has left me no doubt that this is where my passion lies.
With all those thoughts in mind, I’m so happy to share that I've decided to go independent with Baseline, and I couldn’t be more excited (and a little nervous!) about this big new adventure! I feel incredibly grateful and fortunate to be able to give this dream a real go and to run toward this new career and life path for myself.
There’s a lot ahead that I’m planning for myself and this little business, and these are the areas that I’m most looking forward to focusing on:
Phew, sharing this news with all of you feels wonderful! Thank you for reading and for the many kind messages already shared—they truly mean the world to me. If you’re a designer, engineer, or manager who believes I can help, I’m ready to work with you or your team. 😊
I want to share a special shoutout to my wife Kristen, for none of this would be possible without her loving support and patience, and a very big thank you to so many friends, peers, and colleagues for all the motivation and encouragement now and throughout the years. I sincerely appreciate you all!
You may have noticed a slightly different title than usual for this newsletter, and within what I’m calling Speaker Notes, I’d love to share all I can with you as I dive into this new journey!
For readers and designers considering starting something new, I hope to support you from afar by documenting and publishing my learnings, wins and failures, and details on the tools and resources I’m using to help the business as it grows. And if you’re here for Figma and design systems content, please don’t worry! I’ll share even more in the coming weeks and months about the best tips for working in Figma with all the latest features!
It means so much to me to continue my dream of working with and teaching others, and I can hardly believe that the course I've poured so much into is approaching 200 students! The next cohort begins on October 16th, and enrollment for the fall is now OPEN! I'd love to help you or your team dive deep in Figma, and excel in all of the latest available features! 👋🎓
I always love hearing from people, and if you enjoyed this, please reach out! You can find me on Threads @joeyabanks.