Video of the Week: Styling Hillary: A Design System for All Americans — Mina Markham

Mina MarkhamWe in web tech do not work in a vacuum. While it might be tempting — whether you’re a designer, a front end developer, an engineer, an information architect or anything else — to think just in terms of technical expertise, specifications, skills and code, the real world does not consist of ones and zeroes.

The technical products and services we devise not only change what we as human beings can do, but also how we relate to each other. We’re seeing the truth of that every day, and more so, and that awareness underpins several of the keynote presentations at our Summit conference next month.

Our Video of the Week is of one of our international keynote speakers at our Respond 17 design conference. Mina Markham is the US senior UI engineer who created and maintained the Pantsuit UI pattern library for the Hillary For America US presidential campaign in 2016.

That alone is a great story, how Mina put together a suite of design elements for a campaign at such a huge level and with such massive implications. It’s an incredibly complex project that Mina handled with aplomb and great desxterity. But there’s another aspect to Mina’s story and it does come out in this video.

The campaign took place amid one of the most hotly contested (to put it mildy) elections in history, with an explosive result, the consequences of which continue to resound around the world. In that milieu, the experience of the African American woman who put together a design campaign to try to help get the first woman President of the USA elected was never going to be a comfortable one.

And it’s not. Some of what Mina relates in this video is very unsettling and upsetting. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t see it. Mina always relates to her work, and there are great lessons in here on how to do that with dignity and self-​confidence in the face of some confronting treatment.

It is, in fact, an entirely inspiring 43 minutes.

 

 

Got your ticket for Summit 17 yet?

Last year’s Direction has morphed into this year’s Summit — two days and two tracks of presentations crammed with ideas, challenges, techniques and breakthroughs in design, development and the overarching themes and concerns driving the breakneck evolution of our web and digital industry. It all takes place in Sydney on 9–10 November. Come and join us!

 

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