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5 things you didn’t realize you could do with Collections

Design Advocate Andrea Burton shares tips for using one of Branches' most versatile features
5 things you didn’t realize you could do with Collections

Artboards in your Collections can now be organized into sections. Learn more about creating sections within your Collections.

If you aren’t using Collections, you’re missing out on one of Abstract's most useful features for design collaboration. Collections are curated groups of Artboards that you intentionally put together to share with individuals or a group of stakeholders.

Collections allow designers and other team members, such as developers, product managers, and UX copywriters to focus attention directly on the work at hand. Collections allow you to block out noise within a Branch, where you can privately explore and edit designs in granular detail.

To put it mildly, I have a huge feature crush on Collections, and we think you will, too, once you realize everything you can do with them. Let's jump in.

1. Surface the latest and greatest for Review Requests

When you’re ready to request a review from a stakeholder, how do you point them to a summary of your work? I suggest creating a Collection. This fades out other activity on your Branch and allows your team to jump directly into where you most need their feedback, using the Review Request notification.

At Abstract, our designers often create separate Collections for various flows and states. This helps product managers and developers understand the particular portion of a website or app they’re reviewing.

2. Share one link, one time

By default, Collections update automatically as your team commits and merges changes to Artboards. You can then generate a link to those Artboards and place it into a ticket, task, or any design documentation for your developers and product managers to review. And guess what? You can keep iterating your design up until the minute before your design critique.

Want to pull a group of Artboards from a specific Commit? Turn off Auto-Update. You can keep working and know that the Artboards in that Collection will remain unchanged as you continue to make additional Commits to your Branch.

Abstract tip: We now offer public sharing. If you’d like to share your work with stakeholders outside of your organization, you can create a public link and send it their way.

3. Save time by showcasing your work in Presentation mode

Whew, do I wish I had Presentation mode in my past life as a designer. This feature would have saved me hours of time transferring my designs into branded Powerpoint presentations.

Simply click the Present button, and boom! You’re displaying your designs full-screen. With Collections, there's no need to waste perfectly good design time building branded PowerPoint presentations, PDFs, or templates.

Learn how to present a Collection here.

4. Track feedback in real time

Design critiques are more collaborative and efficient using Collections. I promise.

I attend weekly design reviews with our genius Abstract designers. The presenting designers organize their work into a Collection and show their work using Presentation mode. While other designers provide feedback, the presenting designer takes notes using Abstract’s annotation and commenting features. They can tag a designer to provide feedback using the @mention feature in commenting.

5. Give developers only what they need

Your devs are already stoked that you’re using Git to version your designs, but they don't need every detail about your workflow. How do we get developers directly into the designs? Let’s hear it for Collections.

Within a Collection, developers can see comments, compare screens between two Commits, and access Abstract’s Inspect tool. You can use the Comments section to communicate with your developer; just @mention their name with any specifications they need to know. You can even annotate specific places in the Artboard you want them to focus on.

If your developer doesn’t want one more login to manage, give them a public link so that the only thing they can view is the Collection. The Inspect tool and Assets are available without logging in while viewing from a public share link. Win-win, amirite?

How do you use Collections in Abstract? Share your examples on Twitter and tag @goabstract.