Events and workshops

Join us for Design System Day 2023

Design System Day 2023 logo
10 and 11 October 2023
Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh, and online

Two days of talks and workshops

Join us for the GOV.UK Design System’s flagship event!

Design System Day 2023 is a 2-day conference to collaborate and share knowledge about design systems with like-minded people, covering topics like accessibility, community and decision-making. It’s a space for anyone using design systems in government to share ideas and developments, learn from colleagues, and spark conversations on related topics.

Speakers and sessions

All talks, workshops and sessions have been suggested by the community.

Our speakers come from organisations across the UK and international public sector. We’re joined by folks working on design systems from notable companies too.

Day 1

The first day will be at Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh.

The event is open from 9am and starts at 9:45am. There will be breaks throughout the day and an hour for lunch. Talks will close at 4:15pm and a social hour will run until 5:15pm.

Dynamic Earth is an accessible venue, and we’ll have a room set aside as a quiet space and prayer room. There will be live captions of all sessions.

  • Reflections on creating the Scottish Government Digital Design System
    Samantha Ernstzen and Jennifer I’Anson (Scottish Government)
  • The impact of research operations when conducting user research at scale
    Rachel Male (Scottish Government)
  • What we’ve been up to, where we’re headed
    Ciandelle Hughes, Calvin Lau and Steve Messer (GOV.UK Design System)
  • How design systems manage contributions
    Caroline Jarrett (Effortmark), Frankie Roberto (Department for Education), Vicky Teinaki (Student Loans Company), and Ellis Capon (Just Eat)
  • Trauma-informed research and design
    Janice Hannaway (ResearchU), Kate Every (Mastek), and Helen Baron (The Emily Davison Centre)
  • Design systems don’t solve problems, people do
    Tash Willcocks (TPXimpact)

You’ll be able to speak with others in the community and chat with panellists too. Towards the end of the day, we’ll have an optional social for more conversation.

Day 2

The second day will be hosted online.

The event starts at 9:30am and runs until 5pm, and we’ll break for lunch at 12:30pm. There will be breaks throughout the day and you’re free to drop in and out as you like.

Most sessions are talks or show and tells where speakers may take questions at the end. We’ve highlighted workshops that will ask the audience to participate.

In the morning

  • We’re feeling ’appy
    Oliver Binns and Chris Choy (GOV.UK One Login)
  • The contributor perspective on design systems
    Frankie Roberto (Department for Education)
  • Trauma-informed design – passing trend, or new aspect of accessibility?
    Katharine Beer (Department for Education)
  • How brand design systems offer the power of confidence
    Abigail Baldwin (Buttercrumble)
  • How GOV.UK Pay is making recurring payments easy for the public sector
    Sacha Zarb (GOV.UK Pay)
  • From pixels to paradigm shifts – tailoring a dedicated design system to catalyse innovation in the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance
    Simone di Fresco (DOS Design)
  • The challenges of scaling up a truly user-centred service
    Laura Smith (Unboxed)

After lunch

  • A service designer’s approach to human-centered life transitions
    Sylvie Abookhire (
  • Leading the system
    Daniel Fontaneda (Bumble)
  • Imposter syndrome in government and why it’s not always a bad thing
    Ciandelle Hughes (GOV.UK Design System)
  • Web components – a year in the field
    Ashley Watson-Nolan (Just Eat)
  • From code to content-first – scaling content production at PayPal
    Kate Thomas (PayPal)
  • Design pattern histories
    Vicky Teinaki (Student Loans Company)
  • How a design API empowers product teams to ensure brand consistency at scale
    Louis Chenais (Specify)
  • Responsive design, design systems and ‘hyperobjects’
    Ethan Marcotte (Autogram) and Steve Messer (GOV.UK Design System)

In the afternoon

  • Doing good discovery
    Debra Churchill (Ontario Public Service)
  • Workshop: Using task lists in your services
    Frankie Roberto (Department for Education)
  • The iPhone state – simplicity through complexity
    Gordon Guthrie (Scottish Government)
  • Workshop: How participatory research can help us co-design more ethically
    Jane Martin and Betty Mwema (Government Digital Service)
  • Designing for underserved audiences
    Valentine Makhouleen (Prelude Security/New Media Studio)
  • From chaos to clarity – unlocking the potential of design systems
    Hassan Nawaz (FanDuel)
  • Collaborative design systems at scale
    James Carleton (PayPal)

Getting there

Day 1 will be on Tuesday 10 October, in-person at Dynamic Earth, Holyrood Road, Edinburgh, EH8 8AS.

The venue is accessible by foot and public transport.

Travelling by foot
Dynamic Earth is about 20-minute walk from Edinburgh City Centre. Accessible from Holyrood Road, Holyrood Gait and a public footpath from Horse Wynd
Travelling by train
From Edinburgh Waverley station it is about 15 minutes walk
Travelling by bus
The venue is serviced by local bus routes: number 35 stops a 3-minute walk away from Dynamic Earth. Alternative routes include the 5, 7, 14, 29, 30, 31, 33, 37, 45 and 49 which stop on North Bridge and are a 10-minute walk away along Holyrood Road
Travelling by car
Dynamic Earth has a 24-hour car park located underneath the building. Charges will apply. Spaces are allocated on a first-come-first-serve basis and cannot be reserved beforehand. The car park has a height limit of 2.3 metres.

Joining online

Day 2 will take place online using the Hopin platform. You can use another device if it’s blocked on your work computer.

A link to join will be sent to all attendees before the event. If you email us as the event is starting, it might take us a while to reply to you as we’ll be busy running the event.

About the GOV.UK Design System community

The GOV.UK Design System relies on a strong cross-government community to make sure it represents the latest research, design, and development work used in digital services.

To bring our community together, the GOV.UK Design System team regularly hosts events, workshops, and co-design sprints. Our team is always on the lookout for ways to engage users in different teams and departments to help strengthen the work we do, and to help to build better products.

Need help?

If you’ve got a question about the GOV.UK Design System, contact the team.