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Are you using version control for Sketch? Share your workflow if you are (and your workflow if you aren't!)

2 years ago from , Digital Product Designer at Trek

If you are using version control -- when do you commit? How are you using branches? Commit messages? What are you using, Abstract?

If you aren't using version control -- do you duplicate pages for versions? revision numbers? duplicate the file?

Let's nerd out, people.

33 comments

  • Doug OrchardDoug Orchard, 2 years ago

    Use Figma instead, it has built in version control. You can even leave git like comments on each one. ( this comment was not paid by Figma but i do accept swag :) )

    16 points
  • Josh Rio, 2 years ago

    Tried Abstract and found it very buggy. Plant is a more designer friendly version.

    I built a design environment that mirrors a development environment. For example, in development there's a production, staging and development environment. Staging is where you make a mess and work on something. Once that's finished you push it to staging for review. Once it's reviewed and tested it's merged into production.

    I did the same thing except the environment is Design, Staging, Production and put it in Plant.

    This way, whenever there's a sprint a team member downloads the new version from plant. This version is where they design their work. Once it's ready to be presented, it's put into a staging file where it's presented to a development team and is critiqued. Once it's ready and final, it gets manually merged into the production file and the process starts again.

    10 points
    • Rhys MerrittRhys Merritt, 2 years ago

      For a moment I was thinking that Plant was actually Kactus, and I was going to ask how on earth you felt it was more designer friendly than Abstract. Just went and had a look at Plant, and was very surprised by how friendly it looks.

      Other than visually looking friendlier, what is it about Plant that makes it more designer friendly than Abstract?

      5 points
      • Josh Rio, 2 years ago

        Haha, yeah that's funny.

        Abstract is (imo) tailored towards technical designers. That means you should have some understanding of Git, which I don't think many designers have.

        I also found it to be really buggy and lost days of work, which really bummed me out. It felt hazardous.

        Plant is (imo) a much simpler experience. It has direct integration into Sketch with the side bar. It's simple to upload and download version. Overall, it's just a better user experience.

        To be honest, you just have to use both before you get a feel for the nuances of each product. I was an early user of Abstract and stuck with it up until the point where it started losing my work. I stopped using and started looking for alternatives and Plant filled that gap for me.

        Plant still has some odd things. For example, it's an early version so you have to give it persistent access to your Keychain, and it annoys you until you do. I spoke with the CEO about this and he mentioned that this will be removed in later versions.

        Hope this helps.

        6 points
        • Rhys MerrittRhys Merritt, 2 years ago

          That helps a lot. I very much agree with you about Abstract being geared toward more technical designers.. I am one of those more technical designers, and I absolutely agree that it's definitely not something many designers just have. I get frustrated when some of my peers act as though everyone should just understand the more technical aspect that verges on being more of a developer... I see it all too often in some of the Framer meet-ups I attend - you will have a very technical designer up on stage presenting a prototype which has been created using custom modules, undocumented code, API's etc - and when asked "Are you a developer?" they seem to laugh it off like it's all just stuff designers know.

          Bit of a rant, sorry. I think for now, Abstract fits our purposes very well, and luckily we haven't had any instances of losing work as you described (touch wood).

          Thanks for replying.

          1 point
  • Greg ChristianGreg Christian, 2 years ago

    All Abstract over here.

    I make new branches based on the task at at hand. Ex: "Onboarding with SMS" or I'll just pull down for a "Clean Up" branch and keep track of all my changes. An example to a commit -> "Added Reset Email to 2.1". These work well with ad hoc work. For big items associated with a ticket, I'll make branch for that project ex: "UA-241: Drop In Final Illustrations"

    Personally, I love Abstract. If I lose focus, I just read my branch notes and get back to it. Abstract has helped our company always know what's going - from experiments to dev ready screens. Complete transparency. The keep the clarity up, the responsibility falls on me to accurately document my changes.

    9 points
    • , 2 years ago

      This is super insightful and definitely the kind of thing I love hearing about! I'm just starting to transition to a version-controlled workflow with Sketch (using Abstract), so hearing about the structure of this kind of thing is great.

      0 points
    • Chris LüdersChris Lüders, 2 years ago

      abstract ftw

      2 points
  • matt magpantay, 2 years ago

    We started experimenting with Plant Version Control. The Sketch plugin has been working really well so far. https://plantapp.io/

    8 points
    • Andrew Washuta, 2 years ago

      I remember hearing about Plant, but I didn't give it a try.

      1 point
    • David ThornDavid Thorn, 2 years ago

      The thing I hated about plant was it would take anything not in an artboard and turn it into one, so off canvas notes all of a sudden muddied up everything.

      That was my last look into version control since I'm a solo designer on my team anyways.

      1 point
    • , 2 years ago

      Do you have any systems or processes in place for commits/branches?

      0 points
  • Vincent Pickering, 2 years ago

    We are using Abstract. It’s like Git specifically for Sketch. https://www.goabstract.com

    It works well as long as you remember to always edit files through abstract rather than open them manually via Finder.

    4 points
    • , 2 years ago

      Yeah, I've been experimenting with Abstract a bit. Do you have any solid workflows with your team around commits and branches?

      0 points
  • Andrew Washuta, 2 years ago

    This is a great discussion topic.

    While designing in Sketch, I'm a bit old-fashioned and actually duplicate my file. For some reason, that feels safer than using Sketch's built-in version control. Then it just takes up unnecessary space. I currently use git when implementing my designs in code, so I'm very used to that workflow.

    Looking forward to seeing suggestions others may have!

    2 points
    • , 2 years ago

      This is what I've tended to do -- just a holdover from print design and using Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign.

      1 point
      • Andrew Washuta, 2 years ago

        Yeah, I'll tend to have some ideation in the first few files, and as I'm forging ahead in a particular direction, I may want to reference a "bad idea" I previously had.

        1 point
  • Mo BaghdadiMo Baghdadi, 2 years ago

    I rely on Invision sync. Does the job for me. Automated file history saves.

    Example

    2 points
    • Saul SutcherSaul Sutcher, 2 years ago

      Do you use the craft plugin or the old-school sync?

      1 point
      • Mo BaghdadiMo Baghdadi, 2 years ago

        You have to use the old school sync. It doesn't work like it did before, where you would drop it in a folder and it uploads everything. That's done only on craft now, but what it is useful for is for sharing files with remote colleagues and obviously file save history.

        0 points
  • Agnimitra Pathak, 2 years ago

    We use Abstract. We have tried Plant once but found it annoying when you need to clear conflicts. Abstract on the other end was very much like GIT. Its great for multiple designers collaborating on single file. Our workflow for using Abstract is as follows: 1. We commit changes at the end of the day. 2. We have artboards with names like In-Progress, On Hold and Approved. All designs have copies under each artboards. 3. Once designs are approved we remove them from the In-Progress part. 4. After every Approved page / design we merge. 5. Merging and Pulling is based on roles. Master always updates the merged files and never merges. Master only merges once the designs are in production. 6. A back up copy is kept on local drive after the merge.

    1 point
  • Roland IllésRoland Illés, 2 years ago

    I'm currently working on a version control "template" for our company. The gist of it is that you would have one big "InVision-ready" page with the latest version of all screens inserted as symbols, and each of those screens have one "Iteration" page respectively. In those pages I usually make changes and keep duplicating artboards to ideate and work out interactions. Once an iteration is deemed solid enough, the selected artboard is converted to a symbol with a name like "Homepage / v4", and I override the latest version symbol on the InVision page — and then hit sync ;)

    1 point
  • 李 大毛李 大毛, 2 years ago

    I use a Chinese Dropbox-like online service called Jianguoyun, it support history version within 3 months

    1 point
  • Mike StevensonMike Stevenson, 2 years ago

    Since Sketch has built-in revision history... I just use that. If I want to save my current progress, I'll just duplicate it before I revert back to a previous version in the original file.

    1 point
    • Julian James, 2 years ago

      ^ This is me. When the designs change dramatically enough to warrant saving the older stuff, I version manually and store on Dropbox.

      If I was collaborating I’d probably update this process but it works well enough as a solo designer.

      1 point
  • emily carlinemily carlin, 2 years ago

    I've been using Abstract for a while. At one point, I was working on a project with two other designers and the value of Abstract was pretty clear from a collaboration standpoint. It was really cool to be able to see exactly what folks were working on / compare versions / etc.

    However, for the past three or so months I've been using Abstract as a solo designer. I honestly can't decide if it's helpful to my workflow or not. I feel like I haven't been able to find a good cadence for committing my work. I'd be super curious to hear how any folks out there that use Abstract as individuals work -- like, the nitty gritty of how/when you commit, merge to master, etc.

    1 point
    • , 2 years ago

      This is sort of where I'm at -- that cadence for when to commit, when to branch.

      I feel like right now I'm over-committing.

      0 points