Abstract launches private alpha to redesign the design process

A few weeks ago, one of our newest portfolio companies, Abstract, launched their Private Alpha. You can read co-founder Josh Brewer’s announcement here. Josh was previously the principal designer at Twitter.

Abstract is building a common infrastructure to support the modern design workflow.  If you’re a digital designer, you’ve probably run into some or all of these challenges:

  • Your assets are disorganized and scattered across several places
  • Multiple (and conflicting) copies of files create confusion
  • You don’t know who made an edit or why
  • Feedback slips through the cracks and doesn’t get incorporated
  • Inconsistencies creep into the work

That’s where Abstract comes in. It helps with the “other half” of design work: managing changes/versions, documenting the work, and making sure everyone stays informed.

As co-founder Frank Chimero explains “The majority of a design job is orchestrating the team, ensuring visual consistency, updating stakeholders, documenting decisions, interpreting feedback, and delivering the work for implementation. When you look at it this way, it becomes clear. We don’t need more visual tools. We need help managing our work and how design relates to the rest of the organization.”

Why we’re excited about Abstract

We’ve written about the rise of the vertical reputation graph and how the enterprise is still a nascent area for collaboration. From these posts, it should be clear that we get excited about social and collaborative platforms where there are strong network effects, virality and daily utility. Abstract fits all those criteria.

In addition, Abstract is addressing a technically challenging problem. Unlike code where version control of text is relatively straightforward, product and design IP is locked up in inaccessible file formats (binary). This leads to a lack of visibility and inefficiencies in the design process and the product development lifecycle.

So… if you are a designer and/or have led a design team, check out this new product!  Abstract is currently only available for Mac and has robust support for Sketch files, with support for more file formats (Adobe) coming soon. If you are interested in learning more about integrating with Abstract, please contact info@abstractapp.com.

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