Design Systems: DisneyNOW
Very soon after I started at DisneyNOW and began digging through its design system, I realized that the sketch master files for all platforms were in dire need of help. I took it upon myself to start the long task of cleaning up files and putting the system back into a working condition to benefit all designers.
One of the first things to do was to find a software capable of project file management. Abstract seemed to have all we needed, so we decided to do a trial run for a few weeks. We saw immediate improvements on workflow: easy branch creation, ability to track previous versions of the masters, comment log history and master libraries management.
Having setup projects in Abstract, I started the big cleanup of individual master files. For weeks I worked on this very cathartic task (I love organizing files… I know, weird) anytime I had downtime from other projects. Initially, file cleanup consisted of removing all duplicate, unused or unnecessary local symbols, rebuilding components and renaming symbols properly to create a sensible directory. But linking symbols to master libraries meant I had to reorganize them as well. That meant creating a directory that was simple and intuitive.
With help from the rest of the team, we set up bi-weekly meetings to discuss how we would reorganize master library files, and what items would go in them: iconography, image assets, etc.. We decided that components would live in the local library of each master file. We distributed the task of cleaning and organizing the master libraries amongst ourselves.
With cleanup done and symbols properly linked to universal libraries, I then replaced the old files with the much lighter project master files in Abstract. The cool thing was that Abstract kept previous versions filed in history log and the team could access them easily in case some items were left behind in the reorg.