No Feature request: Finding out how to share a design

This is not asking for a specific feature or change, rather a description of how I struggled to share a penpot document – in hope it will be useful for product managers, desginers and fellow users.

  1. I got started by creating a small sketch that I wanted to work on with someone. The connection was loose, we occasionally talk, but are not close collaborators on a specific project.
  2. I looked at the upper right corner of the screen knowing that this was where figma had its sharing settings. There, I found
    a history icon history; a bit more to the left I found this
    a "j" with a circle around which probably is “me” but it did not react to clicks.
  3. Next I checked the menu
    penpot log and a 3-dot-menu
    I first looked at the submenus for “file” (where “export” was the closest) and “Preferences” (but they were not file-specific).
  4. I went to the project overview. There, I assumed, I could click on a thumbnail and set sharing there, maybe in the kebap-menu on the project?
    grafik
    …no.
  5. After some more minutes, I figured that I probably want to create a team and invite my collaborator there. But that would problably mean they need a penpot account AND I would need to create some boilerplate structure merely for sharing a file we both look at for 5min or so.

Hope that helps!

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Of course it helps. This is very good exposition of a very typical use case and yes, the struggle is real.

Currently, there are two ways to share the same (import/export is out of the topic here) Penpot files among people: to create a shareable public link or to be members of the same team.

Like in the previous use case, the need to share usually involves doing it with people that are not Penpot users, which means that if you really want to reduce friction the better option seems to be the shareable link. To ease this friction we’ve added options that allow Penpot users that are not at your team to comment and to inspect code, the ability to signup right from the View mode and a couple of auth methods popular among opensourcers (GitHub and Gitlab).

Still, signing up just to take a look at a file is overkill in a lot of cases. Also, shareable/public links can only be created for the View mode. This can be problematic because 1) sometimes what you really want to share is your Workspace and not your presentation and 2) if you spend all your time designing at the workspace you might just not know that you can create shareable links. It is just not there, not obvious.

I think sooner or later we’ll need to implement solutions for this use cases. Some ideas that we have already considered:

  • Allow to create workspace shareable links. This will need the view-only mode that we’ll publish eventually.
  • Allow to invite team members right from the workspace. We have some concerns with this as the file is a context that might give the impression that you are inviting only to the file and not to the team.
  • Allow to invite non- team members to an specific file from the workspace (and not to the team).

We also have evidences that it is expected to be able to share files from the Dashboard and to better manage all your created shareable links. The challenge is there and ideas and feedback like this post will be extremely valuable for us in the process :slight_smile:

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Related feature request on github: “Share design/file with others who are not on your team”

  • Allow to invite team members right from the workspace. We have some concerns with this as the file is a context that might give the impression that you are inviting only to the file and not to the team.

I think, this was not the problem I had (it might be useful for others, obviously). I knew that teams exists (or quickly found out), but I did not want to add people to the team, as the relation was not close and permanent (at least for now)

Allow to invite team members to an specific file from the workspace (and not to the team).

Yes. I think you meant “invite non- team members”, correct? This is what would have been a fit for my usecase of “occasional” and “loose” collaboration!

(I think the model that is rather common and will be familiar to many people is the way google drive allows to share files.)

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Yes, that’s what I meant. I’ll edit my previous reply.

It is never a bad moment to mention the Jef Raskin masterpiece :wink:

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Another related request:

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