What the git?
This week we’ve been asked to explore version control and to create our own Git repository. I was under the impression that git version control was a tool solely for developers, that they only support code files and that they weren’t appropriate for design files. I now understand that the principles of git version control are useful to anyone working in a team and on multiple iterations of a product. Yet designers can argue that they lack the appropriate tools to properly version their work. (Demers.2016)
Design is more often than not a team sport, and collaborating teams need ways to cross-edit and test different designs without overriding their peers’ masterpieces. With the git methodology of branching, multiple versions can be ‘branched’ and edited without risking the original file. This also means that when you mess up you can easily get back to a previous working version. (Better Explained.2021)
I played around with GitHub creating my own repository and pushing a few commits, however I noticed that my XD files were too large to push and on further research reading blog posts on git from designers I understood that indeed GitHub is primarily designed for code, i.e. text files, rather than designs, i.e. sketch files and psds. (Nousis.2017) There is a newer git tool for designers, Abstract, but this is currently only compatible with Sketch.
Hacking git for designers
Perhaps a reason to move over to Sketch to work with teams in the future, but for now I’m dedicated to Adobe and mastering XD. This got me thinking though, that I could hack Adobe with git methodology to implement my own version control. At the moment in Adobe Creative Cloud I can revert to previously saved versions, going back 30 days, I can also save and re-name these versions to keep them organised, and with Creative Cloud I have space to save several iterations and even collaborate with peers on the same files.
Fig 1: A screenshot of Adobe XD history version control
I worked through the version control chapter after my second rapid ideation as I had limited time in week 7. However looking back I see that considering version control in my project would have made the design process smoother. I’m not going to conceptualise creating a my own method of version control without having a prototype to work on, so for now I’m going to set myself a SMART goal to explore and implement version control in my next project:
In my next project (be that for work or university) using Adobe I will implement version control using adobe creative cloud version history. I will make sure I name my files accordingly and implement a branch system similar to that of git version control, to keep my iterations organised. Whether I’m working with a team or not, I will design a process that is conducive to smooth teamwork processes.
Reviewing my SMART goals
I set a few SMART goals weeks back, so I’d like to review them here and see which I’ve achieved, which I’d like to edit and which are still to be explored.
To further my understanding of UX theory and practice I will allocate 2 hours each week to reading material from the university reading list and recommended UX blogs. I will review this time allocation at the end of August to see if I can keep up and if it’s enough to cover the content.
– This has not been happening as I’ve had a hectic few weeks moving country. Now I feel confident that I can reach this goal and I’d like to add an interpersonal element, so I will reframe it below.
To improve my prototyping and UI skills I will enrol on a short course with Alura or Udemy to improve my proficiency in Figma. I will complete this by mid–August, making the most of my 3 weeks in quarantine.
To improve in the interpersonal domain, I will make more effort to connect with peers outside of Canvas. I will start reflecting on how my interactions with peers affects my practice in my CRJ. I will invite my peers to connect on LinkedIn by posting my profile in Discord by the end of week 6.
To start establishing myself as a UX researcher and designer, I will set up a Medium profile and copy over my research-based articles. I will start posting on LinkedIn every other week, this can be my own content as well as content I find inspiring. For content shares I will write a caption with my option or reasoning for sharing. I will also re-write my LinkedIn profile to describe my professional profile, with help from my copywriter business partner.
– This is on my list for August, I reframe this and aim to get this done by the end of the module.
So just to tidy this up, my SMART goals are now as follows:
I will allocate 2 hours each Monday to reading material from the university reading list or books recommended by my peers. I will take notes on said books in notion and share notes with my peers.
In my next project using Adobe XD I will implement version control using adobe creative cloud version history. I will make sure I name my files accordingly and implement a branch system similar to that of git version control, to keep my iterations organised. Whether I’m working with a team or not, I will design a process that is conducive to smooth teamwork processes.
I will set up a Medium profile and copy over select blog posts to start establishing myself as a UX designer & researcher. I will also re-write my LinkedIn profile to describe my professional profile, with help from my copywriter business partner.
ABSTRACT ‘True Version Control For Sketch Files’. Abstract [online] Available at: https://www.abstract.com. [accessed 2nd August 2021].
Better Explained. ‘A Visual Guide to Version Control’. Better Explained [online]. Available at: https://betterexplained.com/articles/a-visual-guide-to-version-control. [accessed 2nd August 2021].
DEMERS, Paul. 2016. ‘Design Assets, Version Control, and You’. UX Design CC [online]. Available at: https://uxdesign.cc/design-assets-version-control-and-you-566a00bf0eee. [accessed 2nd August 2021].
NOUSIS, Ioannis. 2017. ‘Designers Who Git, it’s Worth It’. UIUX Blog [online] Available at: https://uiux.blog/designers-who-git-its-worth-it-2cf85877a70b [accessed 2nd August 2021].
Fig 1: Adobe XD project Sonoro August 2021. [screenshot by the author].