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Work out loud with us: Notebooks is open for feedback

Help us continue to shape the future of Notebooks
Work out loud with us: Notebooks is open for feedback

At Abstract, we believe designers deserve better tools for meaningful collaboration. That’s why we launched Notebooks this past February. Since then, we’ve run a successful private preview and we’re ready to continue learning by opening up Notebooks access to everyone. Today, we’re inviting you to sign up and let us know what you think.  

We’re excited about the progress we’ve been able to make over the past few months thanks to the support we’ve received from our customers (over five thousand designers, product managers, and engineers have been part of the Notebooks journey so far). One of the teams in our private preview even devoted an entire “hackweek” to reimagining their design process around Notebooks! To those of you who have kicked the tires on Notebooks, thank you for your thoughtful insights. 

The feedback we’ve received over the past few months has not only helped us refine Notebooks; it has also pushed us to think creatively about use cases we hadn’t considered. One of the most significant things we’ve observed is that not only design teams, but also full product teams — designers, managers, and developers — can benefit by a more open process. We knew that we were on to something when we started building Notebooks last year and we continue to be inspired by all the people and teams that use Abstract to build better products. 

What’s new in Notebooks

We received a lot of suggestions for minor improvements and larger product enhancements to help teams work better together. Here are the highlights of what’s shipping in the open preview today. For more details, checkout our release notes and our Help Center documentation.

Improvements to existing Notebooks features:

Figma integration:

  • Add and arrange designs directly from Figma into beautiful presentations that display your work and the context behind it. Any design elements can be added: individual components, frames, or entire pages. 
  • Access all your Notebooks from within Figma, and publish any frames or components you’ve worked on in one click.
  • Update all your work in Notebooks in a single click, without leaving Figma or having to rearrange or recreate presentations of your work for review.

GitHub integration

  • A new, bi-directional GitHub integration connects design and development work together in a Notebook
  • See the status and other relevant information about GitHub Issues and Pull Requests in a related Notebook.
  • Notebook links unfurl to show the Notebook name and project over in GitHub.

Keep a pulse on your team’s workflow:

  • An attention block that tells you which Notebooks might need a review decision, a nudge, or are being reworked.
  • Top-level counts that display Notebooks and reviews being opened and closed over the past 7 days.
  • An overview of the spread of activity across busy Notebooks and contributors, helping you understand what’s working well and where there might be blocks.  

New features launching today:

  • Jira Integration: The new Jira integration surfaces work tracked in Jira in your Notebooks.  When a Jira link is pasted into a Notebook, it unfurls to show the Jira ticket name and number, who it was created by, when it was last updated, and it’s current status.
  • Annotations: Guide your teammates to quickly and easily locate the elements that you want to discuss within the frame by adding annotations to your comments within Notebooks.
  • Changed Artboards: Notebooks will now highlight any artboards that have changed since you last visited them in Figma or Sketch. This will help you stay up to date with your team and the changes happening to your design files.

For more on our investment in solving the challenges around design collaboration, read this post by our CEO, Kelly Watkins. We hope you’ll give Notebooks a try and let us know what you think.

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