Essential Product Design Tools: Craft Libraries

Since I switched over to using Sketch as my main tool a few years ago I had few regrets. Sketch proved to be a much more efficient tool specifically focused on my workflow as a product design.

However one sacrifice when switching to Sketch was to say goodbye to using Adobe libraries. Libraries had been a god send for working collaboratively with other designers. Helping us to have all our components in one place and insure that comps were consistent.

When I created a new button I could easily add it to a shared component library. These libraries could then be stored on Dropbox and loaded when my team members opened Photoshop (InDesign, Illustrator, etc). That new button that I had created locally could then be used directly into their work file! It was a brilliant system that allowed everyone to easily access all up to date buttons, icons, etc.. without them having to copy and paste from a master file.

This collaborative workflow that I used with Adobe is back but in a new incarnation that allows me to use Sketch.

I’ve just joined a 5 person designer team and we’re all using Sketch (Whoot!). At my last company I was the only designer using Sketch + Craft so we had a very manual process of sharing assets.

Now I’ve finally got a reason to use Craft libraries in my new 5 person all Sketch user designer team and I’m loving it. We first started by creating a shared folder in Google drive for our library. Then that folder is linked by each designer in the Craft libraries panel in Sketch.
 
Now I can simply select a symbol I’ve created on my Sketch file and click the “+” button in the Craft library panel. This creates a version of this symbol in our library. The library is synced to our shared Google drive folder so it is updated immediately for everyone. That button that I created 5 minutes ago is now available to my team entire in their Craft library panel. They can drag it to their comp and immediately start using it. Wow!

Craft Libraries

Thank you Craft product team, you truly understand me.

If you want to try it out with your team here’s an intro to the Tool from InVision