The Abstract Design Workflow

1. Create a project

Projects are big buckets for your ideas: a native app, a website, or webapp. Organize projects by client, platform, product, or team. Use projects to organize work that suits your team's needs. Each project has a Main branch section. Think of this as the source of truth, the space everyone goes to find the latest versions of approved work. 

Newly created projects aren't visible to other members of your organization while they are empty. Keep reading to learn about how to create new project files or import existing files into a new project, and be sure to commit at least once in the project.

2. Import files

Once you create a new project, import or create Sketch files to your new project to get started. By importing or creating files in Abstract, your project becomes a repository—to borrow from Git terminology. Though Abstract is built using Git, we've streamlined the process so design teams don't have to use the command line to access, commit, or merge work. You can do it all with Abstract. 

3. Start a branch

branch is a personal workspace for contributors in Abstract. A branch references file versions from the main branch that the contributor can edit and update with each commit before merging the final approved version back to the main branch. Since a branch is a personal workspace, the contributor who creates the branch has more editing permissions on that branch than other contributors in the project or organization. To create a branch, click the New Branch button from the upper-right corner of any existing branch. Use the textboxes to name and describe your branch to make it easy for your team to know more about what you're working on. 

4. Edit and make commits

Once your files are all squared away, use the EDIT IN SKETCH button from your branch to start working. Do your thing: create, edit, improve, iterate. When you've reached a stopping point, it's time to commit your work to Abstract. A commit is a snapshot of the changes you’ve made to a file in a branch. A commit provides context to the changes in your work; it includes an overview of visual and non-visual changes and provides a space to document the changes for your team. Commit every time you make a change to your branch: a new exploration, when you finish a chunk of work, or when you change direction. 

5. Review changes with the team

Once you've made some changes, click Preview & Commit. Abstract opens the commit window. Name and describe your commit using the textboxes. You can see new and edited artboards, symbols, and non-visual changes you may have made since your last commit. In the right column, there is an option to commit this work to your current branch or to create a new branch instead—you never know when inspiration will strike. This way, you don't lose any of your explorations. Additionally, if you commit from several files in this branch, you can select which files you'd like to commit and which you'd like to save for later. Click Commit changes when you're ready and take a moment to sit back, relax, and enjoy your first commit in Abstract. Repeat until you're ready to merge. 

6. Get ready to merge

merge allows you to bring the edits you've committed on a branch together once your work is final or ready to ship. Since a branch references file versions from the main branch, Abstract merges the updates you've made with the file versions in the main branch of that project. How’s that work looking? Share your changes with the team to review what you’ve done. Oh, what’s that? Everybody says it looks sweet? Great! Merge that branch into the main branch so it becomes part of the source of truth!