Design how you design

Yang Yang:

Whether you are a designer, engineer, or product manager, you have to work with others to iterate and execute.

But if you have ever opened someone else’s work, you know how hard it is to find the right file, page, group, artboard, or layer. If you are new to the field or new to a team, browsing to learn the history of a project is excruciating.

Regardless of what you design, how you organize your output is just as important as the output itself. Unlike art, design must converge into group decision-making. You need order at every stage to tame the inherent chaos of creativity and collaboration. To produce the best work, you must use semantic design versioning.

Simple file versioning shows change but without context. When each canvas is a detached new “Copy”, with labels like “Artboard 23 Copy Copy”, it’s difficult to compare with previous versions and relate to an overall system. Graphic design practices are simply inadequate for capturing the complexity of modern product design.

Luckily, we can borrow ideas from other fields. The Dewey Decimal System, film clapperboard notation, and Git Semantic Versioning are systems well used to recording and classifying creative work. They share four principles that we can apply to versioning interaction design: division, meaning, order, and extensibility.

I came across this post the other day and wanted to share it as we’ve been busy building our nextgen dashboard and features, so design how you design fits heavily into what we’re about to release.

You’ll see more shortly as we start to push our changes into the wild, but it’s going to be exciting.


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