Object-Oriented UX: An Information System for Your Design System

8:30 am
12:30 pm



We create design systems to help us save time, reduce cognitive load on our users, and build brand trust through consistency.

But a strong design system is more than just a repository of components and styles. A strong design system reflects a strong information system.

Intuitively, we know that our users are not coming to our sites and apps for the dropdowns, calendar pickers and form fields. They are not coming to admire the aesthetics of our system components. It’s what those components represent and what they can do with them that matter to the users — and the business.

On Meetup, that’s the events, the groups, and the people. In Google Docs it’s the documents, the templates, and the comments.

To create an effective design system, we need to get clear on what important things that design system is delivering to the user: what are those objects of real-world value?

Those objects will be unique to every business and every user goal. Finding them, connecting them, and structuring them is what this workshop is all about.

During this session, you won’t be designing UI or auditing components. You’ll be going under the hood, structuring the information and concepts that power an elegant design system — and an elegant user experience.

Using the power of Object-Oriented UX, you’ll learn how to lay the foundation for a design system that is specifically tailored to your unique problem domain — not just a generalized UI kit.

Your guide, Sophia Prater, has been practicing and teaching OOUX since 2014. She’s brought the power of OOUX to companies like Facebook, Delta Airlines, Mastercard, Hubspot, Adobe, and many more.


Anyone interested in diving below the surface and tackling systemic information architecture, with the goal of creating a more elegant, tailored, and simple design system.

Anyone tired of “moving the deck chairs around” on a product that needs serious “below deck” work — but who is not sure how or where to start.

Anyone who is looking for ways to collaborate better with non-designer stakeholders when it comes to design system requirements.

Anyone who wants to learn the fundamentals of Object-Oriented UX!

You’ll learn about what OOUX is all about and why it’s important from a business and user perspective.

You’ll learn about four big mistakes that can seep into a design system — and how to prevent them.

You’ll learn the core principles of Sophia Prater’s complexity-wrangling design process: ORCA.

And you’ll learn four collaborative techniques for organizing the underlying structure of a design system. Using these techniques, you’ll learn to answer the following critical questions:

- Objects: what are they?
- Relationships: How do the objects connect?
- Calls-to-Action: What do users want to do to the objects?
- Attributes: What is each object made of?

And finally, you’ll learn how answering each of these questions can directly improve the quality of your design system.

Sketch Notes

Object-Oriented UX: An Information System for Your Design System