Varya Stepanova — a design systems architect

I am Varya Stepanova, a design systems architect with extensive experience in management, design, and the technical side. In my ~20 years of technical career, my focus has been on component-focused UI design and development, creating helpful tools for the subject, and spreading best practices across large organizations. I hold two Master's degrees - one in physics and one in computer science from Aalto University's IDBM program, which focuses on service design and business. I also have 15+ years of engineering experience and have held several leading roles.

Currently, my focus is on bringing design systems to the next level of success, which includes working cooperatively with a client company's design & development community and bridging the gap between designers, developers, and business specialists.


As an independent consultant, I specialize in design systems and offer a range of services including team leadership, technical leadership in frontend and building development, and custom-tailored workshops. Some of the specific services I offer include:
  • Auditing existing products and development processes
  • Coaching to help your team improve their design operations and development skills
  • Custom-tailored workshops on design systems and related topics
  • Production of design systems and UI components
I am based in Helsinki, Finland, but am open to both on-site and remote projects, and don't mind traveling for the right opportunity. Although I am busy with current projects, I am always open to discussing potential opportunities and how I can help your team succeed.


As a design system architect , I am responsible for managing the processes related to design and development in organizations of all sizes. This involves conducting user interviews and analyzing data to shape and improve processes, implementing and managing tools, fostering a positive company culture, and providing technical infrastructure and guidance to design and development teams. Through this work, I have gained expertise in technical, design, and management aspects and am excited to share the results of my design systems activity on this page.


My experience offers to launch and maintain design systems projects, run training sessions and workshops, cherish in-house design and development culture in the organizations and so on.

For private running, I shape workshop editions tailored to the needs of a specific company. The same applies to the conferences. You can contact me by email to discuss.

Talks, articles and posts

Besides, I frequently speak at tech and design conferences and meetups. The topics I cover are related to my own experience. You can find here the list of my articles and talks.


You can hire me and the whole Bridge-the-Gap team to set up, manage, develop, and champion your design system. I can align the design and development processes in your organisation for a larger business impact.

© Varya Stepanova 2024