Cristina Silva

Design Engineer

I only ever wanted to make MySpace layouts and cute Neopets pages but now I've gotta be a UX Engineer and Designer Who Codes to pay the bills. I've been known to work across disciplines to bring digital designs and products to life usually by way of design systems and filling in the gaps between design and engineering. Sometimes I freelance, and sometimes I make ceramics, but most often you can find me just going about my business in the great state of Maine.


Current role

Senior UX Engineer

june 2021 — present

As the lead developer for our design system, I make sure that our components not only match up with what our design team has created, but that they’re also accessible, and easy for our engineering team to use.


  • Build new, reusable components for the design system in a React + Typescript codebase with a focus on finding the right balance between structure and flexibility as well as developer experience
  • Refactor existing components to be in line with design system standards and meet accessibility requirements
  • Advocate for frontend standards and best practices by writing documentation, running frontend retrospectives and knowledge sharing via tech talks
  • Maintain Storybook for component usage and documentation as it relates to developer experience and the design system guidelines
  • Collaborate closely with the UX team by attending design critiques, ensuring alignment with the design system guidelines in place, and assisting in the creating of components and their states
  • Determined and implemented design tokens for color, typography, spacing and more in both our Figma library and the web codebase
  • Consult with different product squads to help build out needed components or assist with frontend projects

Freelance Frontend Developer & Product Designer

august 2019 — present-ish

I've been known to freelance from time to time and have worked with a variety of clients on web design and development projects.

client project highlights

  • Designing and implementing marketing pages for GitHub
  • Building a documentation site for an IoT startup
  • Perfecting the pixels and interactions of a d2c Shopify site
  • Iteratively designing and building UI in code for a startup on a mission to enable fulfilling careers
  • Updating a component library and implementing frontend UI for Vestaboard

Frontend Developer

january 2019 — august 2019

At BevSpot, I was involved in every step of the design process, starting with user research and following through all the way to frontend implementation details. Eventually, I officially made the jump from "Product Designer Who Codes" to "Frontend Developer" after realizing that several months had gone by and I had been exclusively working on implementing frontend components and UI details.


  • Implemented components and views for new features and refactored existing ones using React & Typescript
  • Created best practices for collaboration between designers and engineers and aligned team members by creating a shared design system
  • Advised designers working on projects by leveraging technical and product knowledge

Senior Product Designer

june 2017 — december 2018


  • Designed the ux and ui of new features by leverage conversations with customers and usability testing
  • Consolidated duplicate components, colors, typography styles and more to achieve a more cohesive UI for the web application and the beginnings of a design system
  • Collaborated with other designers and developers on the team to implement UI details in code

Adjunct Faculty

september 2017 — august 2018

I only taught for two semesters, but it was some of the most rewarding work of my career and also forced me to become an expert in HTML & CSS


  • Designed and created a curriculum for 5D Tools – an Introduction to HTML & CSS
  • Demonstrated adding and styling content with HTML & CSS, hosting a website using AWS, and how to debug common web development problems by creating a series of small websites and demos with students over the course of the semester


may 2014 — june 2017

thoughtbot taught me everything I know about product design and development and I was lucky enough that it was my first job out of college.


  • Collaborated with developers to help build and design user-centered and successful products for a variety of clients
  • Executed on the entire design process from strategy and prototyping to designing and implementing features
  • Led and participated in Product Design Sprints to determine the best solutions for digital products