Contributing a pattern

How to contribute a pattern to Paste.

Patterns are BRAND NEW! And we need your help.

If you have feedback on our pattern documentation or contribution model, please let us know. This is a work-in-progress, and we need your feedback to keep making patterns better!

Contribution at a glance#

Anyone at Twilio can propose and incubate a new pattern or update an existing pattern, though BU product designers are particularly well-equipped to do so given their proximity to the customer problem that a given pattern is meant to solve.

Design Systems will partner with contributors to ensure the systemizability and accessibility of a pattern, as well as on the documentation and creation of design assets (Sketch / Figma templates, etc).

Deciding to contribute#

If you are passionate about bringing consistency to our product suite, contributing to the pattern library is a great way to do that, no matter the size of the contribution.

A contribution could be anything from creating a full net-new pattern, to adding a new variation of a pattern, to documenting an existing pattern that's already widely used.

While you'll likely need to set aside a little bit of extra time to contribute no matter the scope of the work, our hope is that this contribution model is flexible enough to be folded into your regular design process without adding much overhead (therefore making the decision to contribute an easy one!).

If you see a pattern on our roadmap that you're excited about, or if you create an interaction or flow in your design work that you believe could be used elsewhere in the products, that's a great opportunity to contribute to the pattern library.

We are piloting this contribution model!

This is a new contribution model, and we are looking for designers to pilot it, so please reach out if you are interested in contributing to the pattern library.

Creating a new pattern#

Kicking it off#

  1. When you have decided to contribute a pattern, reach out in #help-design-system and let us know! We’ll work together to plan out the work, and we may be able to point you to any existing work on that pattern.
  2. Reach out to your peers to collect any existing examples of the interaction or flow.
  3. Draft a design spec (here’s a template for yalink takes you to an external page) to outline usage guidelines for the new pattern. This spec will eventually become the documentation for this pattern on the Paste docs site.
  4. Create a shareable design asset or code sandbox for the new pattern for the purpose of collecting feedback.
  5. Work with the Design Systems team to do an audit of the spec and design to ensure it is systemizable and accessible. This can happen async as a Github Discussion or can happen during office hours.
  6. After the audit, the pattern will be added to the Paste docs site and will be marked as an “alpha”.

Testing and collecting feedback#

  1. Share the alpha pattern in your regular feedback channels, such as your crit pods. The alpha pattern will also be shared with the Design Systems committee for review.
  2. The committee members will do a Risk Assessment Survey to determine the level of user research the pattern requires.
    • If this pattern is being contributed as part of a larger product or feature, then this usability testing can be worked into the regular usability testing that would be done as part of the regular design process.
    • For a pattern that is already widely used, there may not be additional usability testing required.
  3. Iterate on the pattern design and spec based on internal and user feedback.

Finalizing a pattern#

  1. Finalize the designs and the design spec.
  2. Partner with the Design Systems team to create any necessary assets and to finalize the docs page for the pattern.
  3. The pattern will now move from the "alpha" stage to the "beta" stage and can be used by other Twilio teams. Patterns deemed low-risk by the committee may move directly from “alpha” to “production”.
  4. Announce the new pattern! Send a message in #team-ux, #help-design-system, and your own BU's channel. The surface area at Twilio is large, and your new pattern can help plenty of folks outside of just the product design team and Design Systems committee.

Updating an existing pattern#

When you want to make an update to an existing pattern (be it a beta pattern, or a production pattern), you will follow many of the same steps as you would when contributing a new pattern, depending on the degree of the change. Reach out to us in #help-design-system if you’d like to update an existing pattern, and we can get the conversation started.


If you need support, please open a new issue in our GitHub repository. Please try to provide as much detail as possible in your issue.


The Paste design system is open source and contributions are welcome. Check out the project on GitHub to learn more about contributing.

Copyright © 2020 Twilio, Inc.