Ben Lister

Product designer specializing in design systems

I am a product designer, creative leader, and developer specializing in Design Systems. I have deep experience as both a staff product designer and player-coach and thrive in environments that offer a variety of challenges. I enjoy hands-on design, documentation, and prototyping, but I am equally excited by the strategic aspects of systems work, such as adoption, intake models, communication strategies, cross-functional partnerships, metrics, and enablement.

I am a Staff Product Designer at Okta working on Odyssey design system. I previously led the design, vision, enablement, and strategy on Gusto's design system documentation site, Workbench. Before that, I was the first design hire at Sprout Social, where I co-created Seeds and founded Sprout's design system team.

As a teenager I started designing websites as a hobby and built a fansite about my favorite band, Nirvana. The hobby eventually became a side gig when I landed a banner ad deal with the band's record label and later began doing freelance design work for other music sites. This experience helped me learn the foundations of design and programming and helped me find discover my passion and career ambitions.

I started my professional career at a small agency where I worked on projects for clients such as Hyatt, The Ford Motor Company, CUNY, and the University of Miami. My focus shifted to product design in the late 2000s, and I have been designing for startups big and small ever since. For the last nine years, my specialty has been design systems, where I've worked in leadership, strategic, and hands-on practitioner roles for three well-known design systems.

When I am away from the screen, I can ussually be found cooking, traveling, watching the Chicago White Sox, hiking, or cycling. I spent much of my life between Chicago and West Michigan, but now live far from the snow in sunny Oakland, CA, with my family and two crazy Whippets named Devo and Phoebe.