Buzz Usborne



Buildkite is a tool used by the world’s biggest software teams like Uber, Airbnb and Canva to securely test and deploy their code. I’ve been Principal Designer for a little over 9 months, during which time I’ve been helping the business build human-friendly solutions to some tough technical problems.

People first Direct link

My very first priority was to seek out low-effort, high-impact work — accessibility being the most obvious item of improvement. Across the product, contrast was pretty bad and there was a heavy reliance on communicating meaning using colour alone. Starting with the build header (below), I kicked off an initiative for accessible design in everything we do. Read more

It was a great opportunity to research and test different approaches while spending time with customers all over the globe who rely on our product to do their job.

BK•UI Direct link

As the team scales, consistency and scalability is front of mind. So as if I needed an excuse… I started a cross-functional initiative to establish a Buildkite Design System, BKUI. Taking what I’d learned from creating similar design systems in the past — I started by creating a group-owned system with creativity and documentation considered from the outset.

The shared system has been a great opportunity to create both new visual styles, and update some existing UI that was starting to date the product. It was also the chance to inject new and more unique styles with more personality.

Let’s have fun! Direct link

It’s no secret that I want to bring a more colourful, fun and human visual style to Buildkite. I want a collaborative, inclusive product that truly embraces the weird… and rejects the gatekeeping and male-centric aesthetic that has become so synonymous with tech. People first, not code.

I see my role as Principal — in addition to coaching and design enablement — to elevate the creative bar and set a visual tone for where we want to be. Every release, every project and update is a step in that direction.