How Dropbox helps you work more efficiently
Product teams not only create products, but they also establish design processes. It’s vital to remove any technical barriers to the creative process — the design process should make it easier for designers to focus on what’s important — creating great design. The right tools can foster creativity and make product teams more productive.
Today, it’s hard to find anyone who does not know about Dropbox, and it’s simple file sync and sharing solutions. Dropbox’s file sync service monitors the Dropbox folder on your device and if there’s a change — a new file or folder, or an edit to an existing file or folder — Dropbox automatically syncs those changes. This simple service brings a lot of benefits to the design process.
Here are the top 5 ways Dropbox file sync makes the design process more efficient.
Design systems are the latest trend in product design. The core part of any design system is reusable patterns and components that allow product teams to build more consistent products. When it comes to working with design systems, ongoing maintenance, and informing team members about the latest changes are two main challenges that product teams face.
The vast majority of design systems are based on using shared design libraries. For a long time, designers who work in Sketch didn’t have a proper solution for creating shared libraries. Only with the release of Sketch 47, designers finally got an option to create a Shared Library — a document with symbols that can be used as a master library across other documents. And it’s possible to create an easy-to-use and always-up-to-date design library using Sketch together with Dropbox.
All you need to do to create such a library is to create a Sketch document with at least one symbol and save it in a shared Dropbox space. In Sketch, you need to open Preferences, navigate to the Libraries tab and create a new library by clicking on the “Add Library…” The library you create will serve a single source of truth for everyone on your team.
Team members can now easily add the Library and access the symbols in that file from any Sketch file. And since it is in the Dropbox cloud, making changes will affect all documents using this library. This solves the problem of informing team members about changes — users can get automatic updates when you edit the library.
Designers often need to present their solutions to other people — other designers, developers, stakeholders. It’s not always practical to take a notebook with you. In many cases, it’s much more convenient to run a presentation right from your mobile device.
Dropbox has a mobile app that lets you access any folder synced to Dropbox on your machine. Cloud file syncing is available on both iOS and Android platforms.
The app does not consume extra space for your files — as a user, you see and have full access to all folders and files, but saved for offline usage are only the ones you need.
Dropbox creates a preview for most popular file types. Having a preview is great because you don’t need to download files. Below just a few popular formats:
- Sketch (.sketch). The file size can be up to 1GB. Sketch files will be previewed as documents.
- Adobe XD (.xd). The file size can be up to 1GB. The preview will be in the format of presentation.
- Apple Keynote and Microsoft PowerPoint (the file size can be up to 288 MB). Both previews will be in a format of presentation.
- Video files (.mp4 and .mov). The file size can be up to 18 GB. The preview will be in the format of video.
With the desktop app, locally synced folders and files are available even when you do not have an internet connection. It is especially useful when you want to work on a plane, on a train or any other places where you don’t have or have a limited internet connection.
You don’t have to worry about the changes you do in offline mode. Once you get back online, Dropbox will automatically synchronize your folders and files with all the latest changes.
No matter how many gigabytes your Dropbox cloud storage has, it’s relatively easy to run out of space (especially if you’re working on large-scale projects). One of the beautiful things about Dropbox is Smart Sync — this feature can save you a lot of disk space. With Smart Sync, you can preview the files in your team’s shared cloud folder and sync only what you need to your local machine. Simply select the files, and click Smart Sync → Online Only.
This feature is particularly useful for designers who deal with large files. For instance, motion designers can use Smart Sync to download the rendered video they’ve been asked to review by a colleague and delete it after the review.
Accidentally deleted a valuable asset and think that your work is gone forever? Don’t worry! Dropbox has you covered. Earlier versions of your files are backed up for 30 days (and even longer for Dropbox Business users). Dropbox allows you to see version history and simplify the process of file recovery. All you have to do is to find the right version and click ‘Recover.’
When it comes to tooling your design process, it’s essential to select tools that make your design process more efficient. The energy you save on routine operations can be invested in areas that have a direct impact on your product design — user research, ideation, and actual design.
This is a sponsored post for Dropbox. All opinions are my own. Dropbox is not affiliated with nor endorses any other products or services mentioned