Working with Git is a common version control practice in software development, but if you are a designer, it may sound new to you. Let’s say a few developers are working on a same code and they somehow have to keep it neat. Unavoidably, when several developers edit the same line of code, conflicts happen, and a version control practice is a way to resolve them.
Coming back to the design world, there is a game changer in the market. Five months ago, we took an alpha test version of Abstract on board. As the Git was made for developers, designers have also finally got a tool that allows a non-destructive way of working. Abstract makes it possible to manage the differences between multiple versions of the same file – it has a master and as many branches as you need. Also, Abstract eliminates a necessity to save Sketch files locally since all designs are stored in a cloud. Obviously, we still do back-ups and internal QA sessions to give an extra push for a high-quality design.
However, Abstract has some limitations. It is a Mac–only app designed to be a version control tool for Sketch. Abstract is not made for other programs, such as Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator; however, Abstract team has made a promise to turn it into a cross-platform tool in the future. Despite the minor bugs we noticed during a testing phase, the benefits of this tool outweigh those flaws. We have been using a public beta version since the 11th of July and it has completely changed the way we work.
One of the major benefits of Abstract is an option to create multiple branches from the master file, this way eliminating the frustrating saving of versions final-v1, final v2, final v3, etc. It lets designers to always work with the latest version of their component library avoiding diversion and inconsistencies.
Abstract helps designers to collaborate with front-enders: once the design is ready to be handed over to front-end devs, sharing a single link is all they have to do. From here,the devs can review and leave comments on to design prototype directly.
Although Abstract is a young tool, it has proved itself to be irreplaceable since day one. Currently, we are observing similar tools emerging in the market, but we believe that Abstract is a forerunner in this game, and there is no way we are switching to something else anytime soon.