This guide references the new DSM. Built on customer feedback, the new DSM offers a completely redesigned experience. Learn more about why we made the new DSM.
With DSM, design system admins and editors can upload Sketch files to a design system. Once uploaded, these files become DSM managed libraries.
With managed libraries, you can:
- Distribute reusable assets to designers at scale by using DSM roles and permissions
- Create design system documentation using dynamic content (symbols, text styles, colors) from any managed library
- Connect design assets to coded assets and surface them in Inspect for developers
This article focuses on the power of distributing reusable assets to designers at scale, using DSM’s roles and permissions.
Uploading a Sketch file
To begin developing your design system, you’ll need to upload one or more Sketch files that contain all your assets.
To get the most out of your DSM experience, we recommend applying a certain structure to your Sketch file. For more information on how to best structure a Sketch file for uploading to DSM, check out our best practices for using Sketch with DSM.
To upload a Sketch file:
- Open the Sketch file you want to use as the basis for your design system.
- Above the left-hand layers list, click the DSM plugin.
Depending on whether or not you've previously uploaded a document, the plugin panel will show either Upload document or Push changes.
- In the DSM window, next to your preferred design system, click the upload icon . If it's the first document added, you can alternatively click the Upload Sketch document button.
- Click the upload button .
Editors can continue to work on their original Sketch files even after they’ve been uploaded to a design system. Every time the DSM plugin detects that the working file has changed, it will prompt editors to push these new changes to DSM.
In the future, editors will have the ability to review these changes before pushing them.
Adding managed libraries to Sketch
Once a Sketch document is uploaded to a design system, DSM users will be able to add them to Sketch as libraries using the DSM plugin.
To add managed libraries to Sketch:
- In the DSM Sketch plugin panel above the left-hand layers list, click the upload icon .
- Beneath the preferred design system, click Add all to Sketch.
These managed libraries will appear as Sketch libraries with (DSM) appended to the end of the name. They can be used just as you would any other linked Sketch library. DSM will keep your managed libraries up to date, ensuring you have the most accurate assets.
Updating managed libraries
When a new design system version is released by editors, the DSM Sketch plugin notifies users. They can then quickly update to the latest design system version and its managed libraries.
Users can also see if their working document is out of date with the latest design system assets via the native Sketch notification. They will be able to selectively apply changes to each of the documents.
If users switch to a different version of the design system, all its managed libraries will be replaced in Sketch. This could also trigger Sketch’s notification for available library updates.