How to manage a large control library? (Visual Design)

15 Mar 2006 - 10:20am
893 reads

Hi All,

I work as a Visual Designer for a large software firm. We have a rather
bloated library of controls to manage. (Buttons, Table, Input fields,
Progress trackers, Toolbars, Tree etc etc) and no clear system in place.

We need to view and often design these controls alongside each other so
to maintain visual consistency (so we have a master control sheet of all
of these in a PSD)
, yet we also have various versions of each control that continues to
evolve and go through a series of iterations and changes single psds).

We also have to throw together mock-ups/use cases very often, which
involves customizing the latest iteration of the control (button text &
length for example).

We have no system in place for Version control as to which of the
controls is the most current, and as a result, mock ups often contain
outdated controls, the master control sheet goes out of date if not
carefully maintained and we have various versions of the single control
PSD's & spec docs floating around our server.

My thought as of late, was to try and get completely inside an Adobe
workflow, using Version Cue to keep just one file updated and monitor
permissions, then collating our single psds (as links) into a master
illustrator document to take the place of the master control sheet. And
attempt to keep a filing strategy that separates any edits to a control
for mock-up purposes from the elemental control definition.

We also need to link these iterations & changes with documentation and
notes as to whats changed, who's done it, where its headed etc.. And
being able to sort these into groups would be nice too :) (alphabetical,
Floorplan, Buttons etc)

That’s it in a nutshell, but far from a complete overview of the issue.

Basically I'm looking for advice on how other firms control what I
imagine are similar issues in this department.
Here's hoping some of you followed my issue and are still with me to
offer a few sage words.

I'm also curious how others deliver their visual design specs to
development..? (We're considering a move from .ppt (!?) to .pdf)

Many thanks for your time,

jimorrison at

-- - And now for something completely different

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