Rather than starting out by building out buttons and components (a mistake we made early on), focus instead on building flows and working backward from there. It took hundreds of sketches, brainstorming sessions across teams, wireframes, and mockups to arrive at a set of patterns that was usable across the majority of our product.

Happy to see other folks carrying the torch for me on this. I have more words to say about how atomic design is not a linear process, but instead a mental model for thinking about UI as a thoughtful hierarchy. It allows us to create the whole — and the parts of that whole — at the same time.