How to pitch Abstract to anyone

You know that Abstract can be a gamechanger for your team’s design workflow. How do you paint that same vision for everyone else?

How to pitch Abstract to anyone

When you’re the first to pioneer a new process, tool, or way of working, others might not immediately grasp what you’re seeing. You know that Abstract can be a gamechanger for your team’s design workflow. How do you paint that same vision for everyone else? Especially those who might not think of themselves as key players in the design process?

In this post, we've focused on how to communicate win-win outcomes for you and your team: centralized files, brand consistency, the ability to scale processes (without breaking them), and peace of mind.

We’ll address each of your teammates’ everyday headaches and frustrations, one-by-one. You’ll learn how Abstract can minimize work-about-work, so you can spend less time thinking through the “how” and more time focusing on “what” you’re building together.

How to pitch Abstract to your Head of Design

Pain point #1: I need to know which designs need my approval, fast.

As the head of any department, it’s hard to figure out what all is waiting for sign-off. Requests for approval trickle in over Slack, email, and desk drop-by's.

In Abstract, you can find all the designs waiting for your approval in one spot: the Reviews page. We recommend responding to your Review Requests at least once a week to unblock your team.

While your plate may still be full, we can at least remove the hunt for your work.

Pain point #2: There’s no consistency in our brand experience.

By housing your design system in Abstract, suddenly every designer on your team has access to the same shared Libraries. Microsoft product designer Joe Woodward writes, “[Using a] combination of Abstract and our component library allows us to work quickly and efficiently while giving full transparency and visibility to the team. We’re working from the same files and our new files are available to everyone.”

Same files →  same brand → a unified end-to-end product experience for your customers.

Pain point #3: We can’t scale design fast enough.

Abstract helps teams scale design in two ways:

  1. Abstract eliminates inefficiencies in design file management. With Abstract, all of your design files live in one place. No more hunting down the latest versions, or losing access to files when a designer leaves. Your company’s design files won’t walk out the door with them.
  2. Abstract serves as a system of record for your entire design process. This added transparency means greater clarity around decision-making, accountability, and attribution. It brings everyone in on the why of designs.

How to pitch Abstract to a Product Manager

Pain point #1: The feedback process between design and product is painful.

Abstract makes it easy for any Member of an Organization to give impromptu feedback on designs as they are shaping up. The old design cycle required a polished design to be delivered to product. Product would give feedback. Weeks later, a new (polished) design would be thrown back over the wall.

With Abstract, you can get and give feedback as the design is built. Product and design are no longer silo’d,  each wondering where the designs stand. Now, product managers can get in there right with designers and leave helpful feedback to shape designs along the way.

Pain point #2: I don’t have time to build all the product release decks I need to present to stakeholders.

With Collections, you can present product designs professionally, right from Abstract. No need to take screenshots and fuss with Keynote. Simply select the artboards you want to showcase, drag-and-drop to reorder, and click Present.

How to pitch Abstract to DesignOps

Pain point #1: Onboarding new designers is slow and patchworked.

Abstract makes onboarding new designers a breeze. It acts as the single source of truth your team’s design files, where new designers can safely poke around in Abstract, read through Commit histories, and check out how their fellow designers do their work. Microsoft keeps a Sketch file in their Design System called “Start Here” that houses all their onboarding instructions for Abstract, right within Abstract.

Pro tip: Teach new designers the ropes with this test drive of Abstract.

Pain point #2: My budget is tight.

It’s possible to replace a number of design collaboration and handoff tools with Abstract. After all, here at Abstract, we manage without them. 😉

Also, Viewers are free with Abstract. That means you don’t have to pay for licenses for your stakeholders, developers, PMs, or Lisa in accounting. You also won’t need to go to other departments to ask for help funding a tool your designers barely use. Abstract only charges for licenses for designers, or Contributors. Share designs with whoever you like, for free.

Our customers routinely tell us that Abstract saves them tons of time. Consider the last time you emailed your teammate, searching for a design file. They eventually send it over. You spend the day editing the file, only to receive an end-of-the-day chat bump, “Whoops, here’s the most up-to-date version of that file you asked me for!”

Not only is this back-and-forth exhausting — it’s also expensive. With an average designer’s salary around $100,000, even saving an hour a day in the hunt for design files can add up quickly.

How to pitch Abstract to a Developer

Pain point #1: It’s frustrating when I’m handed “final” design files I can’t implement.

We’ve all seen it happen: A designer hands off their polished “final” designs, only to hear from engineering, “We’re not at a place to build that right now.”

Abstract gets engineers into the design process early, which prevents these kinds of technical surprises. Designers are able to adapt to engineering feedback during the design process, rather than rushing to redesign at the finish line and delaying launches.

Pain point #2: I never know which designs are final, or where to find the assets I need.

Once a designer shares a design with you, you’ll always see the latest version of that file in Abstract, unless the designer has manually disabled auto-update. Never again will you have to ask, “So, is this the final final?” Simply click the Go to latest button, and — there it is.

And, with our Assets feature, you can download all of the design assets you need from each file — right from Abstract.

🎉 Bonus: Abstract is like Git for designers.

Open source technology inspired our co-founders to create a new design workflow, based on how engineers work today. Abstract bridges the Git vocabulary gap between designers and developers, making it easier to collaborate and work as a team. By putting designers in an engineering mindset, Abstract helps designers and developers iterate and launch faster.

Pro tip: Abstract has an SDK, if you want to geek out about it.

How to pitch Abstract to your fellow Designers

Pain point #1: I don’t know where any of our files are.

Clutter, confusion, chaos — when it comes to your team’s design files, this triple threat can be dangerously demotivating. With Abstract, there’s no hunting and no guessing. Abstract is your single source of truth: Every file, and every change to that file, is recorded in Abstract, along with why decisions were made. You can focus on what brought you to design in the first place: the desire to solve problems, not manage files.

Pain point #2: The pressure of getting designs right is stressful.

As a designer, you've likely experienced the high-pressure reveal of your work: After several months of sweat and espresso shots ☕, you present your designs for review, only to be hit with a firehouse of feedback.

With Abstract, things work a little differently. We’re all in the design process together. So, while, yes, you can request formal design reviews and present your work to stakeholders with Collections, an Organization’s Projects are open to all Members by default. This means that the culture (and pressure) of “design reveals” is dying. Abstract is pioneering a different (read: less stressful) kind of design: open design.

Pain point #3: I don’t need to change my design tools. I mostly design alone.

We know it’s common for small teams of designers to divvy up areas of design ownership. That leads many designers — even if they are on teams — to mostly work alone.

The value of Abstract for these designers comes in staying connected to the resources and knowledge of your team. Abstract gives designers the safety of working on designs independently (your Branch is your Branch, we promise), paired with the collective wisdom of open design. You’re no longer reinventing the wheel in your silo every time you design. By getting regular feedback through reviews and checking out what your teammates are doing in their Branches, you can lean on your team for design direction.

What’s more, your team can share a centrally managed design system right within Abstract. No need to import new library files each time there’s an update. With Abstract, you’ll be automatically notified when a Library file has been updated and you can update with one click.

Got everyone on board? Start your free trial today, or contact our sales team for Enterprise plans.

Read more of The Champion’s Toolkit

  1. How to pitch Abstract to anyone — you are here 📍
  2. How to pilot Abstract for your design team
  3. How to bring your files into Abstract
Illustration by
Daina Lightfoot
Illustration by
Daina Lightfoot
Illustration by
Daina Lightfoot
Illustration by
Published on
June 19, 2019

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