2015 was a whirlwind year full of a lot of great opportunities, travel, and general running around like a crazy person. I’ve completed my third year of running my own business (and finally feel like I’m getting the hang of it!). This year client work took a backseat as I focused on workshops, consulting, speaking, and writing a book.

Here are the numbers for 2015:

Looking at the numbers, I’m pleased with how this year turned out. But of course there’s always the feeling that I should be doing more (like finishing a few of the 96 blog post drafts sitting in WordPress), and I hope that I can roll up my sleeves and make good stuff happen in the year to come.

2015 Highlights

  • Writing Atomic Design – I wish I could say that I wrote a book in 2015, but it turns out I can only say I’m still writing a book. I’m hoping to have the first pass of the manuscript done in the next few weeks, and then after that I’ll have to go through and start the editing process, as well as getting the final ebook and eventual print version ready to go. If you’re interested in keeping up to speed with the progress of the book, you can sign up for (infrequent) newsletter updates.
  • Hiring my brother – My brother, Ian Frost, had a big year this year. He transitioned careers, moved to Pittsburgh, and got married…all in one week. Ian is a meteorologist by trade, but those kinds of jobs are scarce in Pittsburgh, so I put him to work helping me make websites. It’s only been a few months, but he’s already helped update the first site I ever made, help make Death To Bullshit, redesign my wife’s jewelry company website, and is making big steps with the new version of Pattern Lab. Ian’s skills have been quickly progressing, and it’s great to have his dedicated help for all my projects.
  • Launching Death To Bullshit – I’ve been wanting to get this site done ever since I gave a talk on the subject two years ago. Death to Bullshit is a rallying cry to rid the world of bullshit and demand experiences that respect people and their time. You can read the manifesto, check out the blog, and of course be sure to click the “Turn Bullshit On” button.
  • Pattern Lab progress – It’s been awesome to see Pattern Lab continue to evolve. Brian has been working crazy hard and recently launched Pattern Lab Node 1.0, and Dave has been working hard getting Pattern Lab 2.0 out the door. It’s been inspiring to hear from different teams how Pattern Lab has been a helpful tool for them, and I’m excited for Pattern Lab to become even more flexible and useful.
  • Co-hosting the Styleguides Podcast with Anna Debenham – I had an amazing opportunity to co-host a podcast dedicated to style guides and pattern libraries with the amazing Anna Debenham. We interviewed fantastic people who successfully build and maintain pattern libraries for their organizations and clients. I learned so much from chatting with these ultra-smart people, so I’d encourage you to check out the podcast if you’re interested in style guides.
  • Watching my amazing wife Melissa finish her first year running Frost Finery – My wife started her jewelry studio, Frost Finery, a year ago. It’s been awesome to see her dive into it head-first, and she’s doing a great job selling on her Etsy shop in addition to local events.  I can’t express how proud I am of her.
  • Speaking all over the place, and traveling to cities, countries, and continents I’ve never been to before. We just finished up a literal round-the-world trip that went from Germany to India to The Philippines. I’m so incredibly thankful for these opportunities, and it’s so incredibly inspiring to meet passionate, creative people from all over the world.
  • Helping organizations establish pattern-based workflows. I’ve had a blast doing workshops and consulting with companies to help establish and maintain successful UI design systems, and it’s been awesome to hear success stories coming from past clients.

This year hasn’t been one big highlight reel, and of course there have been hardships. I’ve lost loved ones, struggled with plenty of things, and continue to have a hard time balancing all my responsibilities. At the end of the day I want to do my best and try to be good to those around me. My new year’s resolution for 2016 is to be positive and productive.

What’s Next

It feels like 2016 is still months off the distance, but holy smokes it’s right around the corner. Here are the things I know I’m going to be undertaking this coming year:

  • Getting back into client work – I’m excited to roll up my sleeves and do some client work. Having dedicated myself to more personal projects this year made me really miss doing work with awesome clients and colleagues. So I’m pumped.
  • Finishing the book –  A big goal for 2016 is to bring Atomic Design home. I’m looking forward to holding the physical book in my hands!
  • Continuing to give workshops and consult with organizations to help them with responsive design, atomic design, pattern libraries, and a whole lot more. If you’re interested in having me give a workshop or consult with your organization, please get in touch.
  • Launching a project – I’m looking forward to launching a project I’ve been kicking around for a while. It’s still a bit too early to talk about, but it encapsulates a lot of the thinking and ideas I’ve been preaching about over the last few years. I’m excited to share more when the time comes!

Thanks for all your support this year, and I’m looking forward to all the great stuff to come in 2016!

Ziggy the bulldog