How Abstract improved file organization and collaboration in our design team

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Image description: A selection of the UI components from our design system.

As a designer, I’ve used various tools for file storage and team communication, but none have been very robust. I can think of countless times I’ve lost a file or spent hours looking for someone’s most up-to-date design — wasting precious time and energy.

Developers have had version control systems like Git for a while, but similar mechanisms for designers haven’t been available — until now.

Abstract is a tool built to help our designers to collaborate on projects. It provides our with team a central hub for our design work, helping us manage and maintain design components and files. …


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Animated themes available on SwiftKey iOS

I’ve always had a passion for animation. It can give users a sense of delight, help communicate a message, and when done right — guide a user smoothly through your product.

Before getting into product design, I worked for Disney creating animated components for a flash based game. This allowed me to learn a lot about animation, and how to create something that could go straight into a commercial product without too many problems. During that time I remember being intrigued by the subtle animations on my first iPhone, but it wasn’t until I started working on Android and iOS that I realised that UI and motion design wasn’t so straightforward on mobile. Currently, I design an animation and then a software engineer has to pretty much build it from scratch; by looking at a video clip, or from me explaining it to them. …

About

Joe Woodward

Senior Product Designer and Manager for Microsoft Outlook. Previously at SwiftKey and Disney. http://joewoodward.co/

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