The design tools we are working with – Abstract –

The design tools we are working with – Abstract

We continue describing the design tools we are working with.

And today we will talk about Abstract. Our designer, Dan, shares his experience in working with Abstract.

“Over the past several years, it has become obvious that our approach to design and development must be systemic and collective – which is very important.

Developers have long been efficient in controlling versions. Not one major project would do without the version control system (Git, Github, SVN, Mercurial). When it comes to design, such tools are only starting to arrive.

Nowadays, designers also apply systems of version control, like Abstract, to enhance their working capabilities.

It is hard to overestimate the value of what such version control can bring to a team of developers and several designers.

I think that version control allows us to re-evaluate the everyday work on projects, make it more systemic and strict and, at the same time, allow designers to be fully engaged in everyday magic of design.

I think this tool is indispensable during team work. But just like any other software, Abstract has its advantages and drawbacks. I list those below”.


The option of team work within one project.

You can use the entire potential of version control for your files, as well using such functions as commenting, simultaneous work with the same files in branches and many others.

Separation of access.

Every member of a project has a personal access – which allows tracking the actions of every team member. It is especially helpful when someone deletes something.

Project structure and branch creation.

The structure which allows you to organize files, based on a project where you have a master-file – the only effective version of your design and resources – as well as Branches which you create for some changes during the working process. Every branch can be discussed separately and have its own status, like “open for feedback”. When changes to a branch are approved, they are merged with the master. It is great that you can have multiple branches and sub-branches of a project opened at once, but you can merge them at any moment in time and not get lost in all that!

Processing the conflict of merging.

Integration with Sketch Libraries.

Integration with Sketch Libraries: marking files as a “library”, making it accessible directly for use in other tracked files;

Review changes at every refreshed art board and leave comments – in a similar manner to code review.

Automatic synchronization.

The files are automatically synchronized with a cloud, so you don’t need to download and apply the changes.

The option of reverting back to previous commits.



Opening files with Abstract.

The process of opening files with Abstract can take a rather long time.

Automatic synchronization.

Again, in the case of large files and poor internet connection – this might take a lot of time.

No option of making a project public.

Sometimes you need to share the link to a project with a client or a project manager. But Abstract does not bear a public access option, unfortunately.

Problems with opening files.

When opening files and applying changes to Sketch / Craft there are problems with importing files into Invision. 

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