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ASK DN: Github Commits for Design

4 years ago from , UX Designer at Kabbage

I was having a conversation early with one of our developers at Whiteboard and he brought up a great point about something that the design team could implement in their process. That was some form of design "commits". When you make a major change/decision/edit to a design then you would log what you did, at what time, and why. Was it purely aesthetic? Based on client requests? Or something else entirely.

This would serve the purpose of reminding you of all your decisions while also holding you accountable for making decisions to change or create something based on reasoning or need.

What are your thoughts on this idea and do any of you use some form of this currently within your process. Would love to know if there is any software/application available to would allow us to implement this or at least give it a shot.

17 comments

  • Jonathan SimcoeJonathan Simcoe, 4 years ago (edited 4 years ago )

    LayerVault was trying to provide this for designers and I've heard of others (in terms of platforms). Currently we don't use GitHub to house design assets at Circle although maybe we should.

    I think establishing a process like this would make me think a lot more about what changes I was committing and why.

    Developers are often held to strict code review and audit practices and maybe Designers should iterate more openly too.

    I really like Wake for giving wider context to what designers are working on. Allows you to iterate and explore in the open and get feedback.

    3 points
    • Nick MorrisonNick Morrison, 4 years ago

      I remember hearing about Wake a while back. Might be nice to revisit it now that it is out of beta.

      And I agree. I think a formalized and consistent process of this nature would make me think more about the changes I make to each piece of a project.

      1 point
  • Vincent MillikenVincent Milliken, 4 years ago

    Just seen this on PH today, haven't tried it out yet but its looks like a decent version control for Design – http://folioformac.com/

    2 points
    • Alexandru NăstaseAlexandru Năstase, 4 years ago

      Tried Folio ... looks interesting and the idea is good buuuuut ... their main function does not work in the app for me ... a bug maybe.

      0 points
  • Chris Messina, 4 years ago

    This is what LayerVault was designed to do. InVision also supports this. And Photoshop Snapshots served this purpose, in addition to Adobe Bridge.

    It's certainly a good idea — but one that can be challenging to formalize.

    When I was working on Google+, we would export designs to a shared folder with incremental version numbers so you could always go back and review prior designs (the design process could be circular, revisiting similar ideas over and over again) — but this solution lacked commit messages. That certainly would have made that system much more transparent and useful.

    2 points
  • Win LinWin Lin, 4 years ago (edited 4 years ago )

    One issue that I've experienced is the sharing of work well before it even reaches the implementation phase so that other designers can offer feedback. We've tried wake but it's a little too loose and is essentially a Pinterest board with commenting, and when integrated with Slack the comments still get lost between the channel and the platform. Another tool we're trying is redpen.io which offers a bit more structure and context into the feedback.

    I don't believe that where you store your assets is where the critique and feedback should live because I believe designers are inherently too keen on sharing complete and perfect work. I'd rather see a very rough sketch or prototype based on a problem/thought and immediately comment than go through different versions of assets because that's the point where the most important decisions are actually made

    On the product side if you're creating a new feature or redesigning an existing experience, it's better to have an idea of what you're trying to solve and create a very very rough prototype that can be shared. If you're commenting on Github commits I think that's too late in the process to have meaningful feedback - it should be more about the implementation and technical opinions at that point and less about the actual design.

    1 point
  • Thompson GeorgeThompson George, 4 years ago (edited 4 years ago )

    Can't you initialize a git repo in your design folder and simply push commits or revert as necessary?

    Is the GUI not pretty enough?

    1 point