01 · Universal version control

The creative process is all about iteration: trying out alternatives, seeing a progression over time, or discussing changes with our collaborators. These days, those collaborators may even include AI tools proposing edits.

The value of software tools for supporting iteration is already understood by many creatives. Developers use Git to work in parallel and record history. Writers “Track Changes” in Word to suggest and review edits. Designers copy-paste artboards in Figma to explore variations.

But existing versioning tools tend to be too complicated for most computer users, or only offer support for basic workflows. And each app has its own versioning system, without a unified way to iterate and collaborate on all your data.

We believe that simple, powerful, universal version control tools could help all kinds of creators produce better work. Perhaps this is even built into the storage layer of your OS! That’s the vision for this Ink & Switch research project, codenamed Patchwork.

Over the coming months we’ll be building a series of prototypes to test this idea. This lab notebook will offer a series of short posts sharing our findings as we go.

Next entry: 02 · Writing prose

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