GitHub and Git for Designers: What You Need to Know

By Amy Gori ● April 26, 2021

Designers and developers are working more closely together, recognizing the opportunities and strengths of collaboration between differently skilled tech roles and making the importance of the knowledge of Git for designers even more crucial.

Consistent teamwork is becoming more frequent, and roles may overlap with one another, making the ability to work together essential. A diverse team needs to find a common ground, as different expertise levels can cause a variety of issues and obstacles. Using Git and GitHub has been highlighted as one great way of finding this common ground, helping make team member relationships more effective, especially considering the relationship between designers and developers, who may not have always understood things in the same perspective.

Git is a version control system, which enables team members to change code without causing a project to fall apart if accidental errors are made at any given work stage - at every stage, code can be saved to develop a sort of timeline of the project history. As code repository changes are tracked, mishaps can be undone or rolled back, making code writing safer by enabling team members to work on new features and collaborate without the fear that live code will be ruined. For example, a designer may use their understanding of CSS to make some small changes without fear of negatively impacting the project on the developer’s side.

GitHub was created to alleviate the difficulty of having to install Git on the server and self-manage it. There are a few key practices to understand if you are a designer just getting started with Git. For example, it’s important to know how to add your work to the project by committing changes in Git. Git does not automatically save any changes you make, instead allowing you to intentionally commit changes to keep a record of work at various stages. A message is included with each commit that briefly describes the changes. This enables teams to keep work well organized and understand the project’s progress over time more clearly.

Git for designers also provides less commonly appreciated benefits. For example, you can use GitHub for image file versioning, creating CSS libraries and style guides, and storing other files such as Sketch or PDFs through project boards. This makes project management smoother, keeping developers and designers in sync, ensuring all project materials stay together.

Knowledge of GitHub and Git helps make collaboration a much more streamlined and smooth experience for teams, especially as team members become increasingly familiar with the powerful tools it provides. As a designer, your basic understanding of how to use Git and GitHub will help improve the efficiency of product delivery on your teams.

If you are a designer just starting to use Git, join Momentum’s four-hour virtual training on May 26th to learn how to use these tools effectively and become a more confident and productive team member. Register now to quickly level up your skills and boost your confidence working with Git.