Zeplin: A Design-to-Development Lifesaver!
July 20, 2019

Zeplin: A Design-to-Development Lifesaver!

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Zeplin

In my UX design contract work with several organizations, Zeplin is being used by me and other designers to efficiently share designs with other teams, particularly development teams. Zeplin makes it incredibly easy to do this, as it enables us to share these designs without spending a ton of time marking up each screen with every single design specification. Developers can independently inspect elements to view these specs, avoiding the all-too-common issue of having to go back and forth over Slack or email to clarify points of confusion, solve issues around missing assets, or fix typos. Zeplin has also proven to be very helpful in eliciting feedback from other stakeholders, as it’s very easy to export designs for internal and external people to review and provide feedback on.
  • Ease in automatically building design style guides, saving time that might be spent on building style guides in another tool (such as InDesign).
  • Users can use Mac, PC, or web versions of this app to collaborate on a single project, enabling us to work with a wider pool of contractors.
  • Accelerates the design-to-development workflow, as it’s very easy to import Sketch or Photoshop files through plug-ins, and HTML/CSS codes are automatically created based on designs.
  • Provides cross-platform specifications for web, iOS, and Android, which can save developers time in figuring out specifications beyond the “main platform" on their own.
  • The tool is rather expensive given that it doesn’t have a ton of functionalities.
  • The tool is a little complex, which requires us to spend significant onboarding time on this product for new team members.
  • The tool can add more styles than necessary, adding the extra step of double-checking each line of the code to ensure that nothing new has popped up that might affect development.
  • Saving time by enabling design-to-dev handoffs to be more efficient.
  • Zeplin enables us to create a directory of designs that are accessible to both existing and new team members.
  • Integrations with other products we use, such as Slack, Sketch, and Adobe XD, help streamline workflows and communications in ways that keep team members continuously updated.
  • Zeplin improves communication between design and development teams, helping us to create a shared language and more seamless workflows between the two teams.
  • Sketch, InVision, Figma, Marvel, GitHub, Atom, Slack, Google Drive, Jekyll, JIRA Software and Abstract
Out of all of the products that I have used to support design-to-development handoffs, Zeplin is my favorite. It’s pretty lightweight and easy to use (once you get the hang of it). Zeplin also has a smooth interface and is, generally, clearer to use than other tools, such as InVision. Plus, all of the plug-ins that you can use with Zeplin have supported the design-development relationship and workflows in which I’ve been involved in more efficient, clear, and effective ways than I’ve seen with any other product.
InVision, Slack, Adobe InDesign, Adobe Illustrator CC, Salesforce App Cloud, OneNote, Evernote, Trello, Abstract, Sketch, Airtable, Basecamp, Asana, Chatter, Wunderlist, Atlassian Confluence, WordPress, Squarespace, Zoom
Zeplin is, overall, really great for what it’s known for: design handoffs to development teams. Thus, it’s an excellent tool for scenarios in which the design and development teams do not work very closely. Because it allows users to use the tool on various platforms, it’s also great for teams in which there are in-house and remote (or contract) staff working on a single project.

The tool is pretty lightweight once users are on-boarded, so it’s also great for larger teams. However, it can take significant time to onboard people to it, so it might not be great for more rushed projects. It also doesn’t have a ton of functionality beyond supporting design handoffs, so one might choose a more inclusive tool, such as Figma, to support more steps in the design process. Finally, Zeplin is costly and its rates are pretty inflexible, so this might not be the most ideal tool for more cash-strapped teams who want to use Zeplin for more than one project at a time.