Playbooks: A new superpower for designers
From one designer to another, you should know why Playbooks is a fantastic addition to your design tool belt.
Playbooks were designed with technical workflows in mind, from incident response to release management, but its flexibility makes it a perfect fit for any repeated process. I love it for creating reusable templates of design checklists and an excellent way to do design review sign-off. I can assign individuals tasks and know when they’ve checked them off, allowing me to confidently move on to the next stage while running through a project.
Using Playbooks for Design Workflows
Let me show you a playbook I have created for the compass design component creation process without further ado.
Here’s an image of the four checklists I’ve created inside this template, each corresponding to a stage in our design workflow:
I’ve iterated on this playbook over several months. One of the great things about Playbooks is its flexibility — it allows me to continually iterate and evolve these processes by allowing me to change, add or remove tasks for the next time I want to run it.
Here it is in action — I’ve run the playbook for the text area component. I like using the summary area for centralizing any requirements or file links. In this screenshot, you can see this project is partially through the information-gathering stage.
How Playbooks creates smoother design collaboration processes
One of my favorite features is the ability to assign individuals to tasks. In this example, I’ve reached out for design references from the feature teams, and if you are in some sort of time crunch, you could set a due date. Having an activity log tied to notifications when items are checked off allows me to move forward confidently to the next step.
Another awesome thing about playbook runs is that they can be tied to messaging channels, posting questions automatically and centralizing all of the feedback conversations at each stage, keeping things clear, simple, and quick.
What’s next for Playbooks for designers?
Being a designer at Mattermost leaves me biased, but I also know the future of this product is very bright, with continual improvements rolling out. Most importantly, Playbooks is open source; I’m very excited about what the future holds for Playbooks when we start seeing direct integrations with our design tools. Imagine integrating directly with Figma for previewing designs with focused comments, interacting with branch review and merge requests all from within Mattermost — there’s huge potential for Mattermost to streamline and centralize design workflows. I can’t wait to see what integrations our community drives forward.
Thanks for your time, and if you have any questions please feel free to join our community server at community.mattermost.com and shoot me a DM @michael.gamble or join the UX Design channel if you have any questions or just want to have a chat 🙂