Tool Use Case: Zeplin

The Silverchair Platform includes continuous enhancements to improve user and publisher experiences, with new releases being pushed out every three weeks. In addition to platform changes, Silverchair is committed to improving workflow and backend processes, enabling our teams to work as efficiently and collaboratively as possible. Below, UX Designer Rob Wooten presents a case study illustrating such an enhancement, through the incorporation of Zeplin into the design workflow.


Earlier this year, one of our clients reached out to Silverchair about creating an umbrella site that would let their users search across their entire suite of products. This was a high-priority and fast-timeline project, since this product would benefit their existing user base so much.

design notes

Previously in the design process, we had to provide pixel-perfect mockups for each scenario to our development team. There was then a lot of back and forth between developers and designers on how individual elements should be styled. This was bogging down the process and ultimately adding many hours to our builds. Not only that, but it sometimes led to styling disconnect at launch, leaving us to rush and make adjustments, adding stress and work even after launch.

To help remedy some of the workflow issues, we looked into a software company named Zeplin. Zeplin is a collaboration tool for designers and developers. With plugins available for most layout programs, I was able to export mocks directly out of Photoshop into the Zeplin platform. This made the design handoff easier and painless. Our developer was able to grab CSS/HTML code and apply it directly to his markup. He was also able to export assets on the fly and generate his own style guide from the source file.


Zeplin style guide

We had an old process called "design review" where a UX designer would physically sit with the developer and tighten designs up pixel by pixel. Zeplin alleviated that guesswork, saving our team time and frustration.

Taking the time to explore tools to help your workflow can pay off big time and worth the effort to research them. At Silverchair, we are constantly evolving our designs process to be leaner and meaner. This not only benefits our in-house team but our clients' needs and budgets as well.

Need help with buy-in? Publishing Executive recently shared tips on How to Integrate New Technology into Your Organization in 3 Steps.

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