When was the last time you got a project done on the first version?
It can happen, but it’s rare.
Most creative projects go through a number of versions before being finalized, published, or delivered. This is especially true as creative complexity or the number of stakeholders increases. More stakeholders inevitably means more feedback rounds.
Because of this, version control can often define whether a project is successful or not.
Just This One More Change?
Most agencies typically include a maximum number of iterations in their project scope to keep projects to manage feature creep. Profits disappear every time you hear “Can you just make this one small change?”
Internal marketing teams might not be able to cap revisions as easily. Yet even as they answer to executives or managers (who will get the revisions they want done), version control should be top-of-mind.
And with each round of poorly organized feedback, there is a compounding effect. You’ll likely recognize some of these pain points:
- Conflicting feedback because there are multiple copies of the same file circulating.
- Difficulty in following the logic behind decisions and who made the requests.
- Identifying (with precision) what changes were actually made between 2 versions.
- Finding the latest or final version of a file.
To properly manage your project’s timeline and ensure accountability from everyone involved, ReviewStudio’s versioning and file comparison options play critical roles in keeping your creative on track.
With a tool like ReviewStudio, when you set up your Review, you can set a deadline, gather all the feedback in one space, and turn that feedback into tasks. It is, of course, simpler because it can all be done collaboratively and consolidated centrally.
The creative team will have everything they need to generate an updated version. With the new file version in hand, the next step would be to upload it and, critically, associate it with the previous version.
ReviewStudio supports the ability to maintain sequential versions of a file within the same Review. This will help you streamline your content review cycles by consolidating the comments and history of your content throughout the course of your project (and beyond).
Setting up Sequential Versions of a File
In the Review edit menu, you can “upload a new version” of any existing file.
By default, the latest version of a file will always be the one that is shown in the Review, but reviewers can quickly access and view any previous version of the file by selecting from the version dropdown menu shown next to the file name. To maintain the integrity of the review process, previous versions are always “locked” so that no alterations or additional feedback can be made to them.
There is no limit on the number of versions you can have on a file. The record number of versions we’ve seen so far is 37, but hopefully, you don’t need more than a couple to get your project delivered.
Essential to any approval process is the ability to confirm that the changes requested were properly executed by the production or creative team.
An excellent way to ensure that work has been properly executed is to use ReviewStudio’s Compare Mode feature. In Compare Mode, you can select any two versions of any files to display side-by-side.
With multiple versions in place, tracking progress and proper execution of feedback is best done visually, and Compare Mode gives you the option to view any two versions side by side for efficient review.
How To Use Compare Mode:
- Select “Compare” in the menu bar. This will activate two instances of the Review Canvas in the browser. For best results, it is recommended to use a 1920-resolution monitor and to resize the browser to full width. By default, the active version of the file you are viewing will show on the right side and the previous version on the left.
- You can manually select which file to display on each side.
- You can add new annotations to the active version, while by default the previous versions of a file will be locked.
A few options are available in Compare Mode that you can select from the options menu in the right side pane.
Sync Navigation: Automatically play a video or turn the pages of a PDF file in both panes at the same time.
Sync Pan and Zoom: Automatically match the view of the file so you can compare in more detail. If you see problems, you can leave new feedback on the latest version of the file.
Note that the syncing of video playback or page navigation is relative to the current position on each side. For example, if the pagination of two sequential versions of a PDF document changes, you can turn off sync, realign to match the corresponding content on each side, and then restart sync to continue the navigation and comparison from the current position.
While Compare Mode is especially useful for tracking version revisions of the same file, it can also be useful to compare two totally different files in the Review as design options for consideration.
Difference Highlighter and Slider
Absolutely essential to any versioning process is the ability to quickly highlight differences between files. To help facilitate this, in Compare Mode you have two tools that make changes easy to spot.
Difference Highlighter: Highlights in red the pixels that have been modified between two versions. Note that if you’ve changed the size of the file or exposure (for example) because the pixels have all changed, the highlighting won’t be helpful.
Slider: Great for before and after, identifying preferences, and seeing small changes, the slider feature allows you to slide between 2 overlaid images.
Accountability + Organization = Better Creative Collaboration
Versioning is necessary to provide the full record of your project development. The ability to manage, track, and compare different versions of files is essential for ensuring project success, avoiding feature creep, and delivering projects on time.
ReviewStudio’s file versioning and comparison features allow for a consolidated approach to feedback and revisions, streamlining the content review process. By consolidating all the file versions and their associated feedback and tasks in one place, you not only expedite the design process but deliver better creative.
These features enable project managers to visually compare different versions of files, ensuring proper execution of feedback and tracking progress. By utilizing these tools, project teams can maintain accountability, stay on track, and deliver high-quality results.