How do you organize and maintain master files across your design team?

7 months ago from , Product Designer at Grubhub

I'm looking to see if anyone has had success with structuring and maintaining "master files" across their design teams. Our goal is to find a way to organize and preserve final designs and layouts for team members to both reference and work off of as a baseline when implementing new features down the road. The idea is to use existing components from our pattern library within Figma to build out these screens, so it's more about version control management and consistency.

Any advice or examples would be extremely helpful.



  • Nuno Coelho Santos, 6 months ago

    Some thoughts on what's worked for me and my team. I'd welcome others to add their perspectives as well. Added numbers and bold so it's easier to read and discuss.

    1. Figma – You're using Figma, that's a great start.
    2. Have one Figma file for each release – You want multiple files because you might be designing version 26 while version 25 is being implemented by engineering and some stuff that won't make it to version 26 now needs to go into version 27. Version control doesn't replace the need for this.
    3. Assign a single designer to be the owner each release master file – This doesn't mean they do all the work for that release, just means they make sure the master is in good shape.
    4. Keep your component library in a separate file – Each thing in their right place.
    5. Keep all the day-to-day work in separate files – Those are for exploration, discovery, testing and prototyping. Let those be messy.
    6. Pin the active masters to the Figma project – So they're easy to find.
    7. Keep only the latest/final designs in the master files – This is where version control becomes handy, as you can see how the master has changed over time. But don't put exploration or design that won't ship in the master.
    8. Include collateral material – Things such as app icons, screenshots, marketing artwork and so on.
    9. Break down the master into different pages – So it's easy to find everything.
    4 points
    • Brian Hardiman, 6 months ago

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Nuno! These are extremely helpful points that I'll take back to the team. I did have some follow up questions for you if you don't mind:

      2 . Have one Figma file for each release

      When it comes to creating a new release, do you find success in capturing the state of designs that have been approved and handed off for implementation or what ultimately has shipped? I think I'm just trying to gauge a sense of how frequent a new release would need to be created due to experimentation and testing as potential blockers.

      9 . Break down the master into different pages

      Not sure if you can elaborate on this a little more - Do you dedicate pages for parts of the funnel/flow or for bigger chunks like a domain or feature?

      Thanks again!

      0 points