A new adventure at Specify

Published on

September 27, 2021

A few months ago, I accepted an offer from Specify to join the team as a Product Designer (Remote + HQ in Paris, France). Now officially a proud member of the team since September, I am excited to tell you more about it and its context.

Career update: now Product Designer at Specify


Back in July 2018, I wrote an essay about design systems and their impacts on end-users and product teams. For this project, I had the chance to interview several industry leaders. I divided them into three groups: Companies, Agencies, and Tools. As you have already guessed, Specify was one of the tools I was very interested in knowing more about. I interviewed Valentin Chrétien, its CEO & Co-founder.

Since this time and the first presentation I got from the platform and product, I kept asking more and more questions about it, its vision and upcoming features, etc, and finally became one of the beta users.

Essay to Beta user to Product Designer

My journey with Specify — I deeply believe that being a user before a member (contributing to the product and joining the team) is one of the keys to making sure you are in the right place to grow, learn, and being enthusiastic.

And then fell in love with the Design Operations universe

After that, I took every project at Source (previous job) and freelance collaborations as playgrounds to test and learn more about design systems and everything related: advanced techniques in Figma, design tokens, naming conventions, changelogs, automatisation, color themes, accessibility, and so much more.

I spent a lot of time reading/listening to content from Benjamin Wilkins, Diana Mounter, Dan Eden, Matthew Ström, Jina Anne, Nathan Curtis, Tatiana Mac, Louis Chenais, Yesenia Perez-Cruz, and Josh Mateo — if one of these names sounds unfamiliar, I encourage you to take a look at their work.

Now it's time for me to take part more actively in the evolution of what I think is the best solution for teams and their design systems. I have the pleasure to join a team of passionate people, who put all of their efforts into building a robust and efficient design data platform, helping brands unify their brand identity by collecting, storing, and distributing design tokens and assets — automatically.

My role at Specify

At Specify, my missions will be to improve the experience of the platform and its first product, our Design API, and also the CLI for developers and the online documentation. Of course, Specify is eating its dog food and so our design system needs also to evolve and go from industry standards to an example of what design + tech can achieve nowadays. It's been three weeks since I joined this lovely team and I'm pretty optimistic about the challenges we will meet.

I would like also to take a moment to thank Source and its team for these last 3 years spent together. It had been a wonderful playground and above all a place where I met talented people.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out on Twitter, the links are below.

Hope you liked what you read!

Thank you for your time to read this note, let me know what you thought about it on Twitter or join the club to know when a new post is published!

Yann-Edern Gillet

All rights reserved

Yann-Edern Gillet

All rights reserved

Yann-Edern Gillet

All rights reserved