Max McKinney Logo

Dell Clarity 3 Design Language

UI/UX Designer & Frontend Dev


Dec 2015 - Dec 2018


UI/UX designer and web developer for Dell's Clarity Design Language. This iteration of the Clarity design language was focused around enterprise software and needs. Built to be robust and easy to use, with strong documentation and examples.

Case Study

Clarity has a focus on "Content, not Chrome", a principle where we prioritize screen space and control sizes to better show the content and data, removing the overhead of the application UI. This gave us a clear goal to reduce visual noise and ornamentation, allowing us to increase consistency. Finally we focused our efforts to creating a progressive architecture. Visually this meant a layered flow and dynamic navigation with meaningful transitions.

Mood graph showing colorful, flat, 3d, and monochrome
Mood visual board of differet UI elements

Visual direction of Clarity 3

Design Compliance

This toolkit allows devs to quickly become Clarity 3 compliant without having to change their workflow. Also allows devs to easily stay up-to-date with Clarity as it's extremely easy to update the toolkit. Semantic versioning is used to help teams decide the correct approach for any larger API updates.

Buttons, dropdowns, and icons
Alerts, panels, and cards

Snipppets from the Clarity 3 design language

Colors and logos
All the previous elements combined

Snipppets from the Clarity 3 design language

Extended Functionality

The bootstrap based fork of the toolkit brings some extended functionality to the existing Bootstrap core. This includes things like more fleshed out alerts that allow for more user interaction out of the box. Also included are components like Dell's masthead design and "Megamenus". All of these and more are included in an extra JS core the devs would use if they wanted this extra functionality, but allow for a 'light' version without the extra JS overhead if desired.

Windows application showing a cloud sync process
Windows application showing a pc performacne overview

Concept applications using C3

Future Versions

The Clarity toolkit has expanded greatly since I initially lead the first effort. As of this writing it is one major version ahead. There are new toolkits based on technologies like React, Angular, and VueJS. Throughout this process I interfaced with many different developers to gather their opinions and was able to facilitate my own ideas in a way that had many executives excited about what we could do with Clarity web toolkit, while laying good foundation for us as a company to continue to build on the Clarity toolkit idea as the design language grew and changed.