4 Reasons Why Every Design Team Needs A Version Control System

Four ways in which a modern version control system (VCS) helps you and your team become more productive.

Have you heard the lore—that a cat has nine lives?

Well, too bad that cats hold no candles in front of a design file.

Each design file goes through multiple reincarnations in the mystical design universe before it’s born in its final avatar. Somewhat like this:

[Image source]

Looks familiar, eh?

By nature, design is an iterative function. You have to come up with a dozen designs before there’s an all-round agreement on an alternative.

But you know what makes us—the designers—a weird bunch?

Instead of making this process efficient, we develop our own painstakingly slow and manual process of managing different file versions (like the one above).

It’s like we unwittingly create The Matrix-like maze of several design files and enjoy getting lost there forever.

[GIF source]

Companies HQ-ed in Sand Hill Road or Menlo Park may have the time and luxury to clone filenames forever. But small businesses have a lot to lose when designers waste their productive hours playing email ping-pong with stakeholders to go over just one design.

So what’s a design team to do? Maybe keep drinking the Kool-Aid of the traditional file naming convention and find creative ways to channel our frustrations, like this:

[Image source]

Or, we can take matters in our hands and come out of this abyss by adopting a modern design version control system.

What is it gonna be for you—the bitter pill of progress or a chill pill of stagnation?

At Kubric, we have walked our share of the never-ending Matrix of file management in our past lives. But we don’t roll like that anymore, and neither should you.

We have built a version control system for designers that helps you and your team become more productive.

Let us give you four reasons why you should choose a modern version control system (VCS) like Kubric to manage your design files more effectively.

1. Collaborate like a pro

Design is a spiritually rewarding job. We all know that feeling of losing track of time when we let a design project consume us. It’s like we become obsessed with painting our version of the Sistine Chapel art.

But design is cognitively challenging too. We have to continually feed our muse to stay creative, which is why most of our work demands us to have uninterrupted blocks of time for ourselves.

A design team is also a complex composite of personality types—the meditative ones, the wallflowers, the boisterous ones, and the relentless workhorses. They all add a dash of diversity and lateral thinking in a team’s culture.

While that’s great, this culture of deep work and individual working style can create silos among the designers.

And god help you if you have a distributed team of designers who work independently from remote locations. The communication gap is bound to widen further when you collaborate remotely.

Establishing a culture of regular communication can help overcome this problem to an extent, but you need a robust technological scaffolding to do that.

And a modern version control tool gives you legs to stand on. For instance, an app like ours helps you put all your design assets in a central vault.

Every time you upload a design file to Kubric, it auto-tags each file version to ensure there is no glitch in the matrix. Later, when you need it, you can search and retrieve a file without any hassles.

This allows everyone in your team to access the most up-to-date files with all the version history in one place. It also enables everyone to work freely without the risk of duplicating each other’s work.

Even if you have different people working on various elements in the same design, you can use the mighty VCS to merge the changes in the master version.

2. Scale up your efficiency

Redundancy is the nemesis of efficiency.

But redundancy is exactly what you get whenever you have to make changes to all file versions once a design is finalized.

In general, design teams also suffer some of the worst cases of job amnesia. We create a ton of design files and their subsequent versions. We save these assets in folders but later forget which file contains what versions and what visual change each of them reflects.

When design reiterations meet designers’ amnesia, redundancy rears its ugly head.

Imagine manually slogging through the entire folder of 54 design files when a client asks you to change the fonts on all design material from Proxima Nova to Futura BT Light.

Not only is this counterproductive to your morale, productivity, and performance,; it also leads your team to deal with the busywork of regular housekeeping.

Honestly, your time is better spent on doing more meaningful work—like creating design prototypes for future projects or learning isometric design to strengthen your design muscles.

So why not use design bots to take care of such operational jobs? You know, like how mastermind Felonious Gru delegates all the grunt work to his army of minions.

With Kubric’s very own design bot—Genie—you don’t have to repeat design edits manually, ever again.

Meet Genie, Kubric’s developer bot for all things design. Just ask, and you shall receive!

Genie is a genius (and a memelord). It creates custom creatives and specs for you with just a few clicks. This means you can repurpose an existing design to any format—videos, images, or GIFs—from a single source design.

You can also apply global updates to all file versions within the project, like changing the fonts or background color, making overlay edits, or adding visual effects.

Since Kubric automatically oversees the version controlling, it allows you to create several new assets in various aspect ratios and dimensions from one base design. You can reuse the same creatives for future campaigns—without losing older versions.

Imagine this as building a template library of designs that you can go back to whenever you want to revive an older design project or customize the versions to use in a new project.

The Matrix your team needs and deserves

3. Backup your work

If you use one of Adobe’s many design software, you must know that sh*t happens.

Adobe’s products have one of the worst security ratings, which means you can lose your design assets to a hacker group’s pranks.

Using Kubric for your team is like buying insurance for your design assets. When you upload your design projects on Kubric, it automatically backs them up in the cloud server.

So even if you find your files corrupted when trying to work on them, you can trace and restore one of the older versions from history—without risking making changes to other versions.

Yeah, it’s pretty much like hopping on a time-travel machine (minus the DeLorean).

4. Just go with the workflow

Workflows in design teams are a myth. We either let ad hoc requests rule our lives or bask in the comfort of Parkinson's law: work expands to fill the time available for its completion.

Designers like to live dangerously, often on the edge of last-minute deadlines.

The three most common phrases design teams (hate to) hear every day

For us at Kubric, if there’s one question that keeps us up at night, it’s this: “How do we reduce the amount of time spent by a designer on doing grunt work?”

To that end, we have built some pretty amazing features such as Auto Position and Kubric Playbacks to amplify the design teams’ output.

Best of all, we have an in-built workflow system that keeps everyone on the same page about a task’s progress. If you finish working on a Facebook Ad creative, for instance, you can send notifications to your crossover colleague from the marketing team for her review.

She can add her comments, make suggestions, or ask for revisions right from within Kubric. You don’t have to do the “follow-up dance” over Slack or email to remind her of the pending approval.

And this goes beyond the scope of workflow management. Kubric makes it easy for people (even outside of design teams) to give feedback on a specific task. It connects every snippet of feedback to the right file so that the context of the creative review remains intact.

Don’t be stuck in the Matrix forever.

Life outside of The Matrix is promising.  Get started with Kubric today and bring visibility, certainty, and kickass collaboration to your design team.

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