Using Pixelapse as a designer among developers

Maarten Arts

Maarten Arts

Published: 26 May, 2014

As a designer, I’m a minority at Avisi. Other than some occasional HTML & CSS, I don’t work with code. I don’t touch my Terminal every day and I certainly don’t push to git every single week. Instead, I use software like Axure and Adobe Cloud to create graphics, wireframes, logo’s and other useful design stuff that my colleagues need.

When I started working at Avisi, there was no workflow for designers like me. (We’re rare creatures over here anyways.) But like anyone else, we have to share our work with our colleagues; we need to backup our files; we would like our colleagues to review our work and we would like them to ask us questions where needed. Preferably with the least amount of effort.

The Pixelapse Logo

After some research I found out about Pixelapse, which plays a key role in my workflow now. Pixelapse automatically uploads all revisions of my files to their server, allowing me and my colleagues to download them at any time. This solves my sharing, backup and version management issues, but that's obviously nothing new.

As a designer I'm facing all kinds of issues while sharing my files. My developer colleagues don't have licenses for Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Axure or whatever I end up using to do the job. And even if they did, the applications are pretty big and offer complex user interfaces that I don't want to bother them with.

This is where Pixelapse differentiates itself from other file sharing services. Pixelapse takes my design files and generates images out of them. My colleagues log into the web application and can view all the files that I saved in the project folder. This is perfect, since they only need to use a web browser and it requires little to no effort from me. I can even send photoshop files to clients this way.

Screenshot Pixelapse Interface

And as Pixelapse saves all revisions of my files, my colleagues can click through the timeline and see what my process has been. And how I listen to their feedback.

Screenshot Pixelapse Timeline

My colleagues leave feedback by placing comments on a file or on a selected area of a file. This also works really well when they want to ask me questions about certain elements. We have many ways to communicate to each other (JIRA, HipChat, Mail etc) but in most cases it's so much easier to annotate an image than to try to describe the problem.

Screenshot Pixelapse Comment

And that's how I use Pixelapse in my daily workflow as a designer among developers. One thing I'd like to mention though, is that Pixelapse isn't the only platform that does this. When I started working here back in December 2013, there were two major platforms (that I know of) that do this. Pixelapse and Layervault. I went for Pixelapse as it suited me better back then, but a lot has changed since. Be sure to do some research of your own as they're both great and I'm sure there will be some new platforms by now.

If you'd like to share your workflow with me, I'd be happy to read it. Share your experiences in the comments!

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