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Kolibri: The Design System at Oda

Beyond Reinvention: where we’re going, we don’t need wheels

"We’re in a position to build something from the ground up, and we’re doing it the Oda way: we question everything, we build what we need, we make it meaningful. We’re working laterally, aiming to foster a sense of community, dismantle silos, and build a system our people want to use—love to use, actually. Even though Oda is going international, we’ll never lose our Norwegian roots; our team wants to invoke the spirit of dugnad as we build our design system."

In this talk, the team from Oda cover:

  • The Kolibri team
  • Why now?
  • Why community matters

About the speakers

Zoë Harris

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Zoë has been writing for tech companies in Norway for more than a decade, from tech documentation to marketing and advertising copy, to product strings, app store copy and everything in between. She is an advocate of narrative design in digital products and is passionate about voice. The founder and chair of the Oslo Writers League, she is also the pen behind the puns in Oda’s release notes.

Martin Gaard

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Martin is a design system nerd who has been working with design systems for several years. He started his design journey in-house at Gjensidige; he then tried out consultant life before joining Oda earlier this year. Martin believes that design systems are more than just components and guidelines, they’re just as much about people. His mission is to build relationships, not just components.

Øyvind Bø

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Øyvind has worked as a front-end developer since the early days of internet in Norway. He started his career in Telenor and was also a consultant for over ten years before he joined Oda. Øyvind is passionate about good design and about creating a good front-end experience for customers, designers and fellow developers.

About Oda

Known until early 2021 in Norway as Kolonial.no, they recently announced plans to go global as Oda, starting in Finland and heading for Germany. They see themselves as an optimistic and ambitious tech scale-up that just happens to sell groceries.