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Yahoo! Platform
Core ID design system: default user avatars

Concepting, Illustration
Final Icons
From March 2005 through 2006, I worked with Yahoo!'s HotJobs business-unit.

In March of 2006, I transfered to work within Yahoo!'s new Network Standards team, nested within its Platform Products group. Working within an isolated vertical at Yahoo!, it struck me as odd that designers and frontend developers across all the business units kept re-inventing the same canonical assets—with inconsistent interpretations of co-branding with the parent brand, and lost opportunities to develop experiential platform cohesion in balance with indiviual BU expression.

The Platform and Network Standards design teams were created to both tackle direct projects, to create and document sought design standards for the Yahoo! network, and to guide the creation of the Y!UI Library. Y!UI was an early Javascript components library, and evolved to become one of the first major design systems created for a multi-vertical platform on the web.

Revisiting this work in 2023, it's with a lot of fondness and pride that I reflect on the team's commitment to make the earliest Y!UI and Yahoo! Pattern Library efforts happen. Today, the creative and economic benefits of design systems and evergreen component libraries have been long proven—with design systems teams now a ubiquitous presence in mid and fully mature product organizations.

In 2006 this whole "holistic platform design" approach to large product families, felt like a giant unknown in digital. UX design and research were only just beginning to see widespread acceptance. Executives weren't confident in the approach while I was with the team, but everyone else seemed to be; and through many years of hard work, the Yahoo! folks and other teams throughout the industry, made today's "normal" of design systems and platform (or "core") design approaches, all possible.

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