How Zeplin is helping 3 Sided Cube build more tech for good
3 Sided Cube is an app development and digital agency that specializes in building tech for good. Their projects have real impact, and have changed the world for the better.
The 3 Sided Cube team built the world’s first blood donation tracking app for the American Red Cross, which has generated 2.5M+ downloads, $90M donations, and 200k+ appointments booked monthly—seeing major success in approaching a critical global need with a creative tech-forward solution.
They have also worked with UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) to develop new innovative technology solutions that improved the wellbeing of refugees and encouraged more private-sector donations.
The 3 Sided Cube team manages large-scale projects that need to come to market quickly and support high volumes of users, like apps that help refugees, empower women to elevate their professional and financial lives, and provide an emergency preparedness platform. As they expanded their product team, 3 Sided Cube turned to Zeplin to improve designer-developer handoff and product development workflows. The result? Better products, a better user experience, and less time and manual effort needed from designers.
Growing teams led to inconsistent designer-developer handoff processes
As the 3 Sided Cube product development teams grew since their founding in 2009, Creative Team Lead James Marriott and iOS Developer Ben Shutt noticed inconsistencies in the designer-developer handoff processes. These inconsistencies impacted final product results, designer-developer relationships, and the end user experience.
To address these challenges, the product leadership team at 3 Sided Cube decided to implement Zeplin for Design Delivery, so all of their developers had a single place to reference project specifications and gather assets.
By adding the Zeplin to their product team’s design and development workflow, each designer saved 4 hours per week compared to previous manual processes. They improved design fidelity in final products, and the user experience due to better implementation of designs in production.
"Zeplin allows us to be very precise in building exactly what is intended for users and their experience"
“Zeplin allows us to be very precise in building exactly what is intended for users and their experience,” says Ben, leader of the iOS developer team at 3 Sided Cube.
Here’s how 3 Sided Cube streamlined Design Delivery processes, strengthened the designer-developer handoff and relationships, and made their products even better for their users with Zeplin.
Organizational structure helped the product team collaborate better
Without prior experience working with design software, other team members can get confused by design files. This makes it more difficult for developers to find the dev-ready design. And if design files aren’t organized properly, it can lead to errors in development, miscommunication, and delayed timelines.
Using Zeplin’s structured workspace, the team was able organize their screens quickly:
Improved file management: Sections for each epic (e.g., 1.0 - Login, 2.0 - Profile, 3.0 - Booking) and Tags make it easy for the team to find exact screens.
Better organization: Screen Variants reduce visual clutter and provide a meaningful way to group screens, improving navigation and reducing cognitive load for all users accessing the project
Intuitive, collaborative workspace: Accessing specs and assets is much easier and more intuitive in Zeplin than design tools.
Zeplin provided design clarity and precision for developers
When developers build apps directly from design files, the outcome is often different from what the designer had in mind. This lack of clarity on design intention can lead to additional meetings, frustrated designers, and a lack of precision in final development.
“Without Zeplin, we could still build an app, but it would look completely different from what designers had in mind,” says Ben.
The 3 Sided Cube team further improved development processes using the Figma Integration for Zeplin and the JIRA Integration for Zeplin. By giving the team access to their files all in the same place, they were able to move faster, stay on task, and reduce tool-switching.
Manual processes and individual documentation created siloed teams—one familiar hub brought everyone together
Prior to using Zeplin, the design team was creating additional documents in the Google Suite to collate all screens which was manual and tedious. Maintaining these files was a challenge, and every time a change needed to be made, the design team had to update each corresponding file by hand, taking hours out of their day.
"Before Zeplin, we took a lot of effort and headspace to add and update screens. Now, we have more detail, readily available for everyone. "
“Before Zeplin, we took a lot of effort and headspace to add and update screens. Now, we have more detail, readily available for everyone,” said James Marriott, Creative Team Lead at 3 Sided Cube.
Now, when the team makes changes, they are automatically updated and everyone knows what stage of development they’re in. Plus—the whole group can collaborate in a familiar hub.
With Zeplin, 3 Sided Cube is building faster than ever
By replacing manual and inefficient workflows with a Design Delivery solution, 3 Sided Cube improved internal team processes along with their products and user experience. With Zeplin, 3 Sided Cube scaled up product development in a major way, and they were able to achieve:
Improved fidelity to designs in the live product
Time savings of 4 hours per week per designer compared to previous manual processes
More precise designs and better user experience
To discover how Zeplin can help your product team improve designer-developer workflows and strengthen the user experience, see why Zeplin helps the whole product team.