To successfully and efficiently deliver creative work, using the right tools can have a dramatic impact. You can get feedback on creative work via email or a project management tool. You can also get your approvals in a meeting. But with that comes significant challenges that will show up in your work and across your organization.
Online proofing facilitates the collection of faster and clearer feedback by providing an easy way to review and mark up a wide range of content formats from any device. An online proofing tool aims to consolidate all content feedback, versions, and approval decisions in one centralized location. This ensures everyone on your team stays on the same page throughout the project.
Online proofing simplifies the sharing of project content with all project stakeholders. It provides the tools to keep projects moving on schedule, and automates the approval process. All of these features are integral to maintaining accountability in your creative projects. It makes it much easier for key stakeholders to provide their approval decisions.
While every creative workflow is different, there are some nearly universal needs required to deliver projects on time and budget. Here are 6 of the key features and benefits you’ll find in an online proofing solution.
1. Online Review and Markup
At the heart of an online proofing solution is the reviewing and markup functionality. Proofing provides a simple, intuitive way to give everyone involved in a project the ability to review and provide feedback directly on all the content formats they work with.
It should also be a consistent user experience regardless of the device or role. This makes it easier for people to respond and keep the momentum going. And because the tool allows for file-specific markups on a wide range of formats, including images, video, PDFs, and HTML, you also get clearer, format-specific feedback.
2. Consolidated Feedback
Consolidating feedback in discussion threads supports a more collaborative approach to content development. It reduces the need for the additional review cycles often needed to coordinate feedback from multiple sources or collaborators.
Online proofing solutions can also support the ability to maintain multiple channels of communication. With features such as internal-external comment privacy, it allows for control over who sees which file versions and comments.
3. Actioning Feedback
Collecting feedback is only half the battle. Once you have it, the next step is to make sure that the creators or editors developing the content know precisely what revisions need to be made. Having a way to assign feedback and requests as tasks is essential to ensuring that the workflow is progressing efficiently.
Maintaining a consolidated discussion thread through to task completion ensures that any issues can be quickly and directly resolved.
Keeping creative work moving efficiently requires that everyone involved in the review and approval process has clear and timely information about what is required of each participant. Ongoing project notifications and reminders help ensure that nothing falls through the cracks.
The online proofing dashboard should present each person with a real-time overview of the status of each project they are involved with and indicate clearly where they have any approvals or tasks to complete.
Once creative teams have completed revisions, new file versions can be easily uploaded and shared for another round of review. With all versions of a file consolidated, reviewers can readily refer back to compare and validate revisions against any previous feedback.
Since all content-related communications, activity, and file versions are maintained together, there’s less of a possibility for miscommunication and misunderstandings.
6. Approvals and Routing
Some organizations require routing a piece of content through multiple levels of creative, regulatory, and management approvals. Workflow and approval automations ensure that each piece of content is moving through a pipeline on schedule.
Workflow automations can save project managers considerable time and effort in manually tracking the progress of a review. They can also expedite the review process, as sequential approval requests are instantly triggered as soon as one approval stage is completed.
To find out more about the benefits and value of an online proofing solution, check out our whitepaper on Online Proofing 101: A Better Approach to Creative Feedback.