My Texas future

Design Systems

about the client

My Texas Future is a web portal aimed to provide Texas students with a clear path to career opportunities through credential attainment. It facilitates students’ educational journey through comprehensive resources, actionable information, and data-driven recommendations for school-to-career paths.

project scope

The team was to launch a citizen-facing website and user portal and enables, educates, and propels all Texas students towards degree and credential attainment while also providing them with a clear path to good job opportunities. This was the first release of MTF, meaning no previous design work was leveraged.

My role was to lead the visual design for the first release effort owning everything from brand assets to the prototypes of the product.

my role

  • Owned delivery of all visual design assets including branding elements, product compositions, prototypes, design system library, and design annotations.
  • Managed a senior level designer by creating deadlines within sprint cycles, facilitating design critique, and finding growth opportunities.
  • Presented work to clients and accepted design feedback for further iterations.
  • Collaborated with project management and team leadership to assure design work met all necessary deadlines and requirements.

Brand Exploration

Preliminary brand work

Before I joined the My Texas Future team, the project had been in full swing for sometime already. The team had been delivering on all the necessary discovery pieces for the project including a competitive analysis, user research, and synthesis for each piece of research respectively. In addition to all of the UX related preliminary work, discovery was underway with MTF’s brand as well starting with a brand workshop.

Fast forward a few months and a few delivery cycles and the team was starting to fall behind specifically on the visual side. The client, who had first came to a rationale consensus on the aesthetic choices of the brand, was now saying the choices made to visually represent MTF were not appropriate. Even after several iterations and initial approvals the client started echoing that the design work “wasn’t Texas enough”. This is were I was pulled in as a resource to help mend the issues that the client had regarding the brand and visual design of MTF and get the visual side of the project back on track.

Talkin' Texas

The next upcoming deliverable for the brand was the logo. The timeline was incredibly tight and as I was coming in late to the game already I only had a few days to come up with options for the new logo.

The client had already shot down a few rounds of logos so I wanted to come out of the gate with something fresh. My big idea was to run with the acronym for Texas (TX) as opposed to spelling out My Texas Future entirely. To me, the shortened version felt more impactful and like it communicated something edgier with more grit.

The campaign I thought of to drive the message of this new aesthetic I deemed as the “knowledge is power” campaign. Keeping more rural Texas towns in mind, I portrayed a grassroots vibe that was aimed to empower people to return to school to further their educations, that would in-turn strengthen their communities.

The campaign idea did not take with the client, but they did take the logo which was a huge win for the team. I was ok with cutting my loses and finally moving onto the visual design for the product.

Design System

texbook component library

After weeks of tight turn-arounds and deadlines around every corner, our team finally had a quite moment to get something very important. What do we name the design system? We starting riffing on ideas and I knew my first idea was going to be my best. I suggested Texbook knowing it would be hard to beat a pun, and I was right.

Texbook was built to not only serve as the component library for MTF, but also as a foundational library to serve other education related websites for the state of Texas in the future. To allow Texbook to be better scalable so it could serve a multitude of products, it was important that we followed the atomic design approach so we could keep things organized.

Product Visual Design

Product visual design

For the remainder of the project, the client was still very focused on being more forthcoming with brand feeling more like Texas. So there was a challenge of accommodating this need without being too over the top or cheesy with Texas flair. We also had to stay true to what we were designing for, a platform for educational resources, as well as the synthesis from the brand workshop.

In the brand workshop the team had the client choose what types of aesthetics they preferred by showing a scale with a certain style on each side. The client could then rate where they saw the MTF brand existing between the two.

After a few rounds of iteration we landed on a collage type of aesthetic that the client liked a lot. This allowed us to be more expressive with the brand while keeping maintaining a modern and focused design of layouts and UI.