Rules to Better Designers

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  1. Do you know how to share media files?

    ​​ It is important to be able to easily share files between workers. It is also important that all content is backed up centrally in case an employee is unavailable.

    Ideally SharePoint would be used for all content storage but occasionally it is not ideal.

    Figure: Bad Example - SharePoint Explorer View requires waiting every time you save a file while it syncs back to the server
    Figure: Bad Example - OneDrive (was SkyDrive) Pro enables offline access and saves locally and then syncs back to the SharePoint server asynchronously, but requires the whole document library to be brought to the local computer, even if you only need one folder in the document library

    Suggestion for OneDrive (was SkyDrive) Team #1 : Enable OneDrive to have selective sync on folders within a document library.

    Figure: Bad Example - Files shared via SkyDrive are hard to back up centrally. When you share folders through OneDrive (was SkyDrive) they are only made available through the web interface

    Suggestion to OneDrive (was SkyDrive) Team #2:  When folders are shared with another OneDrive user, the shared folder should appear in the recipients OneDrive folder. This allows it to be backed up by a central user at HQ.

    Figure: Good Example -  DropBox allows offline access. When you share a DropBox folder with another Dropbox user, the shared folder appears in the DropBox folder on their machine with a different icon to indicate sharing

    Having the folder on the remote machine allows remote backup. All folders used for SSW Work must be shared with the SSW Dropbox Account.
    The SSW sys-admin is responsible for backing up the SSW Dropbox account daily.

    Figure: To allow you to use Dropbox for work, first create a folder called SSW_[YourName] (e.g. SSW_AdamStephensen), right click on the folder and choose Share this folder...
    Figure: Add the email address of the company Dropbox account and click Send Invites. Once the Administrator accepts the share, your important work files will be available in the case that you leave or get hit by a bus
    Figure: The Administrator account must now accept the sharing invitation, and the folder will be added to the Administrators Dropbox folder. The Admin should configure a machine to pull the files locally and back them up
  2. Do you know the best Source Control for designers?

    ​When it comes to the easiest and quickest way to share files between designers, it should all be done in Dropbox.

    Figure: Bad example – TFS takes too long to set up and too slow to use
    Figure: Bad Example – What seemed like a great idea at the time, SharePoint and SkyDrive proved to be plagued with slow response times, upload errors and unresponsiveness
    Figure: Good Example – Dropbox... the way file sharing is meant to be

    So why do we prefer Dropbox over OneDrive?

    1. OneDrive (was SkyDrive) requires me to check out the file in SharePoint before I make changes.

      I have to open a web browser, log in to the intranet, check out the file, and then open the file on my computer before I can make edits to it. This is a shocking amount of busy work for something that is already on my computer. I am unable to work directly from the file on my computer and have it sync automatically. I have to check out a file that is ON my computer. Why can I not check out the file from my computer? Why does it not check out the file when I edit it?

      Dropbox lets me work right away on the file on my computer

      Figure: OneDrive (was SkyDrive) has no option to "check out" here. I have to go to the browser and check out a file which is on my computer. Better yet, Dropbox doesn't even ask me to check out, it just does it
    2. For me to check out the file and to upload the file to "SharePoint" I have to be on VPN.

      Our VPN speed is horrible for people outside of Sydney and it takes me the majority of the day to upload 1 Photoshop file. This is unacceptable, because the files designers work with are huge. I.E. those posters of Uly, Mehmet and William are  54MB… EACH.

      I can use Dropbox and have it sync to Tiago, David, without needing to be on VPN. The files are sync'd as I work so they are never out of date, or "waiting to be uploaded"

    3. When OneDrive (was SkyDrive) has an error, it just sits there and pauses my other files until the error is resolved.

      Even if the problem is something like "this file is too big for upload." Somehow one large file prevents my other normal files from being uploaded.

      I have used Dropbox for 3 years and it has never given me an error.

      Figure: OneDrive (was SkyDrive) has my last two files just sitting as "upload paused" – these files are perfectly ok to be uploaded but it refuses to do so, even when I ask it to
    4. OneDrive (was SkyDrive) has strange errors that cannot be resolved.

      For example, in the screenshot below, I have been getting "Upload pending" when I have repeatedly tried to upload the file. I have no idea what OneDrive is doing. The file is checked out in SharePoint, it's a little big but typical of designer files. And yet, OneDrive sits there, doing nothing and throwing me popup messages about the status being updated.

      Dropbox just works.

      Figure: In OneDrive (was SkyDrive), my files are stuck in a "Upload pending" loop. I do not know why, as the files have been checked out and are not particularly large
    5. OneDrive (was SkyDrive) has problems uploading files.

      • In the first box, it decided to upload my file as a new file instead of saving the old one as a version
      • In the second box, it overrode my file with something that has no file size (probably a broken file.)

      Thank god that second file is saved in my Dropbox. Dropbox has never broken my files and it knows how to save files with version tracking.

      Figure: OneDrive (was SkyDrive) has both failed to save a file as a new version and uploaded a truncated file

    Of course, Dropbox is not perfect. There is the issue of file size limit, especially as the Share Folder takes up a portion of the individual user's account (this is resolved by upgrading to a Dropbox Business Account). A free account starts off with only 2GB and this is likely not enough especially as your team's shared folder continues to get bigger.

    For developers, see: Do you know where to keep your files - TFS, SharePoint?