Effective workflow saves designer’s time and client’s money

Since the beginning of Nextap, we’ve been contributing to the development of Steller – a social site and platform for sharing stories through photos and short descriptions, popular mainly in North America. It is a project of an American enthusiast and visionary with whom we have been in contact for years now. Steller is a matter close to our hearts. Now we've extended the scope of Nextap's collaboration with Steller: we started contributing to Steller’s design development.

What ideas have we brought in and what steps have we introduced to make the process most effective?

Establishing workflow

The first thing our designer David noticed upon taking up the project was the need to introduce workflow. „Before we start creating anything, it is important to think about workflow. In the times of collaborative design software, uncoordinated .psd files are a relic. After a thorough discussion with the client, we proceeded to make some radical changes.“

Helpful tools

We collected iOS design files and redrew them into Sketch, started using inVision for quick access to the designs and clickable prototypes, and connected everything through Craft which made this whole process a matter of just one click.

The magic of clickable prototypes

The client's work process up to now has heavily relied upon direct programming of design proposals and only once the live prototype has been developed, the functionality’s purpose and implementation were discussed. „This was another thing that could be improved so we presented the idea of clickable prototypes. The static design is used to create a simple and intuitive model which can then be tested in real life and the proposed concept can be validated without a single line of code needed. This process saves developers tens of hours of work and the client a considerable amount of money.“

Law and order

The design system needs to be easy to understand, logically structured and flexible when it comes to last minute changes. Before the work commenced, we outlined a clear and simple plan: each platform will have its own .sketch file linked to a shared library containing the design’s key elements. „This system allows us to make global changes across all platforms within just a few seconds. We introduced a flexible screen naming convention which helps with navigating the whole design system of more than 100 screens per platform.“

Once the whole .sketch iOS design reflecting the current state of the app was finished, we dived into the requested enhancements and expansions. To keep track of all changes we created a ChangeLog document where we record the screen name and its respective changes.

The work never ends

„In our field, it's important to accept that the work never ends. Even though the iOS .sketch file is all finished, there will always be other requests for additional improvements and expansions which will need to be implemented.“

Be a Story Teller

Join the Steller community at www.steller.co, follow others' experiences and share your own.

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