Atlassian Jira

Smart Attachments and JIRA: Application Design Control

We continue a series а blog posts about our add-on Smart Attachments and integration of its capabilities into your JIRA workflow. Previously we had two blog posts from companies that uses Smart Attachments for managing incoming support requests and keeping consistent website development. In this blog post we will present you with a new case study about a design bureau that uses a bundle of Atlassian JIRA and Smart Attachments to keep and manage application UI designs.

To avoid compromising the customer’s private data, we have replaced the provided screenshots with random user accounts.

Design Bureau

Our customer is a design bureau that works on design of mobile and desktop applications for leading platforms and operating systems. They provide the full cycle of operations starting from collection of design requirements and ending with the production of design and adjustment to a specific platform.

Around three years ago they started using JIRA, which has significantly simplified the overall user experience and gradually increased the peer-to-peer collaboration in design teams. With the tight integration of their workflows with JIRA, they have started experiencing problems with management of attached files.

Their basic design production workflow looks like:

  1. Creative director or analyst collects design requirements and adds them into a document, which is further attached to the opened issue. They, additionally, collect the style requirements (for example, branding specifics, colors, fonts, some media assets from the customer) and attaches them to the issue.
  2. One or several designers create multiple variants of design based on the document with design requirements. Once design prototypes are completed the designer attaches these files to the issue.
  3. Then the creative director or project manager downloads these design prototypes and sends them to the customer.
  4. After receipt of the feedback, the creative director may request updates or corrections in the design prototypes, which will result in new design revisions.
  5. Once all the customers design requests are completed, the final revision is sent to the customer for final approval. Then the issue is closed.

It’s easy to understand that the issue abounds with images of all kinds, source files and media assets. As a temporary solution they tried to use file prefixes for better navigation across attached files. For example, each participant has to enter something like this [requirement], [design], [branding] before the file title. This kind of ‘categorization’ allowed them   to better navigate among dozens of files and locate the appropriate one. But it was a real nightmare to find the latest design revisions in the attached files. You could only imagine how much time was wasted on primitive things like file renaming and search.

jira_attached_files_image_attachments

But several months ago their sufferings have been alleviated with the release of Smart Attachments. It has become a real timesaver for their company as the add-on simplified the overall experience on each workflow step. So what has been done? A lot of things.

First of all, they created multiple categories for storing files, as follows:

  1. Requirements – the category storing the design requirements and specific customer requests.
  2. Branding – the category storing the media assets and branding attributes received from the customer.
  3. Design Prototypes – the category storing the produced design prototypes with revisions.
  4. Rejected Design – the category storing the design prototypes rejected by the customer. They usually move here designs from the Design Prototypes category just to keep the category with working designs without junk files.
  5. Accepted Design – the category storing the design prototypes accepted by the customer. They usually move files here when the designer closes the issue.

jira_smart_attachments_categorized_attachments_in_issue

They are also planning to attach source files of the accepted prototype to a separate category. As of now they do not use the available access permissions as there is no need to hide files from some users. In plans, they have some slight modifications in the workflow, which may also require usage of access permissions.

Now they cannot also imagine their life without bulk operations that let them  quickly migrate a batch of attachments to another category, delete the no longer needed files or download the latest revisions of design prototypes.

jira_smart_attachments_bulk_operations_attachments

They also use the capability to download all files from the category when provide the resulting files to the customer.

The real catch for them is document revisions, now they can store different revisions and never get lost in them. All they need is just to click the document name or expand the revision tree to locate the required design revision. Adding comments for the already attached files allows them to better indicate new modifications and updates.

jira_smart_attachments_attachment_revisions_versioning

The customer is pretty satisfied with with add-on and recommends everyone to try Smart Attachments and integrate it with your production workflow. This multi-functional tool will quickly and easily bring order to your attachments and spare you a bit of time on other activities.

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