Today we’re releasing the biggest set of improvements to the product since we launched in July.
This release is all about removing friction, so you can work faster. From finding what you’re looking for to creating new work to loading and syncing files, everything is faster now. We redesigned pieces of the core Abstract workflow and found ways to surface the important things regardless of where you are in the application or what your role is on the team.
Keep an eye out for upcoming posts about the design and engineering work that went into these changes. Read on for more details, or download the new build and see the improvements across both our desktop and web app.
Here’s the breakdown of everything we added:
Consistent navigation helps you get to work faster
Your Organization’s home needs to help you quickly navigate to whatever Project you’re working on with ease. It also establishes the paradigms through which you interact with the application. We made a few targeted additions to the home screen that will lead you smoothly through your workflow with a consistent feel.
1. Persistent Navigation
We know how frustrating it can be to lose your way when navigating a deep and complex product. We realized the need for navigation that is always present and makes sense regardless of context. The new left-hand navigation keeps you oriented within your workflow, placing core actions one click away.
2. Activity Feeds on Desktop and Web
Wondering whether your teammate pushed that update you’ve been waiting for? Team updates — including comments, commits, and new branches — are vital to effective collaboration. Now you can see these updates in one place, and filter them by project. We’ve seen teams get so much value out of the activity feed in our web app, that we brought this functionality over to desktop as well.
Redesigned workflow centered around Projects
The Project Overview is your home base, where you and your team can see ongoing work and designers can quickly resume work, easily picking up where they left off.
Getting up to speed on a new project? This screen has everything you need. Master Files are a single click away, Active Branches and Recent Activity provide a snapshot of work that is currently underway, and the newly added About section is a place for detailed descriptions and links to external resources.
1. Project Navigation
When you’re in a Project, the left-hand navigation will change to show the core components that make up any Project: Overview, Master, Branches, and Members. Active Branches are now always available in the sidebar, so you can navigate between them with ease.
2. Master Files
We noticed that the first thing many designers or developers do any time they open a Project is view files on Master. Now these Master files — the source of truth for your project — are displayed front and center on the Project Overview screen.
3. Active Branches
Get a sense of what your teammates are working on by checking out the list of active branches, including the status and timestamp for each branch. This list also includes recent files on any of your branches, so you can quickly re-open files and continue working.
4. Recent Activity
If you’re new to a Project or reorienting yourself after some time away, the best way to do that is by checking out the Project-level Activity Feed. This feed shows recent activity, including commits, comments, and more.
We know Abstract is just one of the tools in your team’s workflow. The About section is a Markdown-powered space to provide context about the Project. Now you can add links to external resources like product specs, user research, prototypes, Github issues, Jira tickets, or inspirational quotes.
Things to come
We are hard at work on a few highly-requested features, as well as our underlying technology to improve performance and reliability. There are many exciting things to come, and we can’t wait to share them with you soon.
Update to the latest version of Abstract by selecting Abstract → Check for Updates from the main Mac menu bar or by downloading the latest version.
See a full list of all changes in the detailed release notes.