Dropbox buys Pixelapse; Stone ages to end?

Interesting—I missed this news back in January, but it’s promising: Pixelapse, purveyors of “Version control for designers,” have joined Dropbox.

As a designer working in NY back in 1999, I asked Adobe for something just like this. In 2003 the company delivered Version Cue (did I just make a bit of dust fall off your brain?), meant to automate & streamline versioning & notification, but despite years of investment, it went nowhere. Design workflows largely remain just as rudimentary as they were decades ago.

Designer Khoi Vinh recently surveyed fellow designers about their workflows & writes,

It’s inarguable that Dropbox has made this aspect of workflows much easier than it used to be, but it also illustrates how primitive it remains. Team members traffic files amongst themselves via manual hacks like modifying file names (e.g., “layout-final-emily.psd”), moving files into select folders, or notifying one another via email or other messaging services. No version control software like Pixelapse or the late, lamented LayerVault has taken hold.

I always saw tools like Pixelapse & even Adobe’s own Project Parfait as features of, not alternatives to, Dropbox. I strongly argued that in this department Adobe should channel the spirit of old BASF ads: “We don’t make a lot of the products you buy. We make a lot of the products you buy better.” That is, embrace & extend users’ workflows, rather than making them swim upstream to change a whole ecosystem. We’ll see what happens.

One thought on “Dropbox buys Pixelapse; Stone ages to end?

  1. What happened to Version Cue? I remember using it (now I am feeling old) and it was cool for a lot of stuff. I even remember it allowed team collaboration.
    It was a brilliant idea especially that time.

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