Free Resources

I love sharing what I’ve learned! Here are a handful of videos and interviews where I teach you how to grow in design systems, design process, running a design business, and more.

Design Systems

Dive with me into the nuances of design systems that few people talk about!

Dan Mall Brad Frost, Dan Mall, and Josh Clark talking about design systems

Design Systems at Scale

A six-part video series featuring Josh Clark, Brad Frost, and me that highlight our recommendations and experience for design systems at the largest scale. Made with our friends at InVision.

  1. The Heartache of Design at Scale
  2. Selling the Value of Your Design System
  3. Applying Atomic Design and Choosing a Pilot
  4. New Roles and Processes
  5. Proven Strategies for Scaling
  6. Maintaining and Evolving Your Design System

Speaker panel with Hayley Hughes, Ben Callahan, Vitaly Friedman, and Dan Mall Smashing Meets Design Systems

A conversation with Hayley Hughes, Ben Callahan, Vitaly Friedman, and me about how design systems work, what they can do for your teams, and how to manage them without crippling your creativity.

Title card for Jason Lengstorf and Dan Mall’s conversation Let’s Learn Design Systems!

Design systems are a hot topic, but how do you make sure your design system is useful? More importantly, how do you make sure people actually use it? In this episode, I teach Jason Lengstorf the fundamentals of design systems live and how they can help you be more effective.

Title card for Jason Lengstorf and Dan Mall’s conversation Ask Me Anything about Design Systems

Design systems advocate and Material Design relations manager Jina Anne and I sit down together to answer questions about remote working, community, rebranding, typography, and more.

Dan Mall talking to Tommy Geoco Building the Airplane While Flying

I talk to Tommy Geoco about the current state of design systems, how to manage complexity in a product with a lot of moving parts, and how to build your team’s first design system in 90 days.

Dan Mall talking to Michelle Chin and Luke Murphy How We Document Webinar #1: Design System Team Happiness

Design system documentation has been maturing at a rapid pace over the last five years. how we document is an opportunity for us to stop, reflect and figure out the biggest challenges that face us in how we document and grow our design systems.

Dan Mall talking to Frederick Weiss SuperFriendly Design Systems

Frederick Weiss and I talk about starting a design system-focused agency, a design systems course, and more.

Dan Mall, Amy Hupe, and Nathan Curtis Measuring Quality in Design Systems

Prompted by a tweet from Amy Hupe, we discuss the role of quality in design systems.

Dan Mall, Amy Hupe, and Nathan Curtis Measuring Speed in Design Systems

As follow-up, Amy Hupe, Nathan Curtis, and I discuss whether speed a healthy metric to track for design systems.

Dan Mall talking to Marc Fonteijn Exploring Design Systems for Services

Marc Fonteijn and I talk about design systems as they relate to service design.

Design Growth & Professionalism

No matter where you are in your design journey, there’s always a way to improve your skills!

Kobe Bryant’s high school practice schedule: 2 hours of practice before and after school How to Make the Perfect Portfolio, and Four Other Cheat Codes for Job Seekers

Keynote for the 2020 AIGA Portfolio Festival, followed by live portfolio reviews of three designers.

Only 15% of the world’s one billion full-time workers are engaged at work How to Be Good at Work

No one cares how good your work is if you’re a pain to work with. In this presentation, I talk about everything else around your craft: creating accountability between you and your co-workers, establishing healthy boundaries, how to lead and how to follow—the real things you need to know to be good at work.

Dan Mall talking to Claire Lew Leadership is Flipped

Know Your Team CEO Claire Lew and I talk about the culture that leaders can model through their own behavior.

Dan Mall on stage at 99U 2016 Replacing the Internship with Apprenticeship

In the creative world, you go to school and learn your craft then enter the field to do your work. However, this straight edge process has left out a middle phase for the educated people that need to learn by doing (because the jobs they want are only available for the already qualified candidate). I propose a better way: design and development apprenticeships.

Dan Mall on stage at Creative Mornings Philadelphia “We Let Our Intern Go Because She Wasn’t Producing Enough” and Other Ridiculous Things Employers Say

I make the case for why learning should happen at work, not before or after it.

Dan Mall talking head video Sharing Culture & Our Myopic Tech Society

I talk to the Awwwards team about creating cultures of sharing that combat the toxicity of tech.

Dan Mall talking head video Design+ Agency panel for Invision

I moderate a panel of design leaders from top agencies Huge, Ogilvy, Edelman, Razorfish, and WPP and grill them on keeping quality high at scale.

Dan Mall with a panel of speakers, talking about modern apprenticeships Modern Apprenticeship: A Model for Tech

Louder Than Ten invited me to be on a panel of guests, talking about how relevant a model of apprenticeship is for tech companies.

Collaboration & Design Workflow

Work closer with your colleagues so you can save time, make better products, and have more fun together.

Designer Dan Mall and developer Brad Frost on stage together at Smashing Conference NYC 2019 Designer vs. Developer!

Developer Brad Frost and I duke it out on stage once and for all. Can we identify a better process that prioritizes collaboration and conversation? Is designing in the browser really possible? Are higher quality products in a faster pace the holy grail? Can we finally say goodbye to a traditional, waterfall, handoff process? You’ve gotta watch to find out!

Brad Frost designing in the browser Designer + Developer Workflow

A live demo of the Hot Potato Process, a version of what true designer + developer collaboration can look like.

Designer Dan Mall and developer Brad Frost on stage together at Smashing Conference NYC 2019 Build Right: Maker Series!

In this presentation, I redefine the tasks and responsibilities of the modern day designer in light of the multi-device world that snuck up on us.

The Business of Design

Guidance about pricing, leadership, and prioritization.

Why I Left My Day Job for Independence

I revisit my motivation for starting my own agency in Dann Petty’s Freelance TV documentary.

Dan Mall talking to Alexis Collado Creating intentionality and leverage in fractional work

Alexis Collado and I talk through creating leveling and growth paths for freelancers and intentionality behind your freelance work lifestyle.

Dan Mall talking to Jayneil Dalal Choosing Impact over Scale

Jayneil Dilal and I talk through why a small business is sometimes better than a big business.

Dan Mall on stage at Owner Summit 2019 Different Drummers

I talk to an audience of agency owners to help them identify their shop’s unique advantages, establish a distinct and differentiated positioning, build a marketing approach, and identify areas of growth.

Dan Mall and Rob Harr on stage at Owner Summit 2017 The Great Debate: Time & Materials vs. Value Pricing

Rob Harr and I debate the merits of different approaches to pricing design services.