Zeplin is designed for efficiency, meant to save the time of both app developers and designers. They do this by keeping specs, guidelines, and all communications organized and easily accessible so that everyone on your team is on the same page and working toward the same end goal: A beautiful, functional, amazing app.
If you connect Zeplin to your Slack (a Zeplin customer!) channel, then everyone on your team can chat throughout the course of a project, whether you’re sitting next to one another in an office or on different continents. Most importantly, this is a way to ensure that your entire team is notified about design changes instantly, so developers don’t waste too much time backtracking or doubling up on work. For freelancers working for a set fee, all that time saved is valuable. For a client paying an hourly rate, the saved time is equally valuable.
Zeplin describes their mission as such: “All we want is a world where designers and developers can communicate well, work together efficiently and live in harmony forever.” Ah, perfect harmony. A lofty goal.
Let’s take a look at some of the features that allow that to happen:
- Designers can upload specs with one click and Zeplin guarantees those specs remain accurate—no funky formatting errors
- Style guides are stored in a cloud, allowing you to keep them current and for everyone on your team to have around-the-clock access to them
- Developers can inspect specs with one click that gives them all the information they need, specific to the platform they are working with
- Zeplin “exports code snippets out of designs” so that you don’t have to do things like name different colors and change them as you update
- Everything you are working on is organized into easily accessible folders
One of the best things is that giving Zeplin a try is free.
At the free level, a team can work on one project. For $19 per month you can work on up to three active projects. Active projects do not include stored information about older projects, only the projects your team is currently working on. $29 per month gets you eight active projects, and $100 per month gets you unlimited projects. You only need one subscription for your entire team—no need for everyone to get their own subscription.
Although Zeplin only launched in July of 2015, they’ve already got employees from companies like Starbucks, Prezi, Pinterest, and Shopify working with their platform.
Whether you work for a Fortune 500 company or are starting your own one-woman design firm, Zeplin is worth checking out—as a freelancer, you will likely find yourself with clients who range from extremely knowledgeable to beginners (the guy who has money and has an idea for an app, but has no idea how to make an app), and if you’re hired to work on a project and the lines of communication aren’t clear, time and money can be wasted.
With the first project being offered for free, it’s easy to give it a shot, and you won’t have to cut into your bottom line to do so.
Zeplin also provides an excellent benefit to AND CO members, so check it out!