Ask DN: How do you manage source PSD assets for a large-ish evolving mobile project

over 9 years ago from , Designer & developer

I'm working in a relatively small Android team on an app that has lots of icons and resources that multiple people work on, usually in PSDs and they change fairly frequently.

We've been trying to come up with some kind of organization around these PSD resources, but really don't have great ideas, since we're more used to working on web-based projects (no dpi issues, etc)

How do you manage source PSD assets for multiple dpi, click states etc in a large mobile project where there’s multiple designers?

Layer comps? separate layer groups? multiple files? do you use notes? just manual copy pasting things around? etc -- do you keep things in source control? (layer vault of course ;))


  • David KlawitterDavid Klawitter, over 9 years ago (edited over 9 years ago )

    Definitely split it up into files. I suggest along the lines of features. Using e-comm as an example you could have Account, Catalog and Checkout PSDs.

    I'm using Sketch now because of it's pages and artboards features. I find them far more friendly to work with then layer comps or stacked views in PS. I've gone both ways in PS but if I gave it another go I'd probably do what I do now in Sketch and lay out an entire workflow (2, 3, 4 screens).

    I now treat these workflows like skinned wireframes and don't exactly fret the details like pixel perfection. I've got a separate file that's my style guide and cut sheet and that's broken down into those same sections mentioned above: Account, Catalog, Checkout and additionally, Generic for things like ActionBar assets that are used across all areas.

    Use a plugin like Cut&Slice to export your assets. It can scale and export Android assets automatically or you could design each individually and export those. In any case, HUGE time-saver.

    As far as versioning goes we've got Dropbox and dropping old copies in an _archive folder is about the extent of it.

    Let me know if I didn't answer anything specific you're looking for. I've been designing for iOS and Android over the past couple of years and changing up (and hopefully improving) my process and tools with each project.

    3 points
  • Samuel MenezesSamuel Menezes, over 9 years ago

    I really like Layer Comps but many coworkers doesn't. Another way was proposed here: https://news.layervault.com/stories/12710-hack-smart-objects-to-create-dynamic-sprites

    0 points
  • Luke ModerwellLuke Moderwell, over 9 years ago

    We are also trying to solve this problem. Layer comps have been super helpful but we still have various challenges. Would love to hear more on this especially for more complicated/dense PSDs. What are best practices for organizing complex PSDs among large groups of people?

    0 points
  • Arnor Sigurdsson, over 9 years ago

    And maybe separately - are there other tools / file formats than photoshop that are maybe more appropriate?

    0 points