What is Online Proofing?

The Need for Online Proofing 

Intro to Online Proofing

If there’s a self-evident truth in today’s workflows – it’s that the creative workflow process is broken. Feedback exists in silos, from emails to printed markups from meetings to phone conversations – these silos make it hard to stay on top of revisions, timelines and responsibilities.

With online proofing, you get the best elements of the physical proofing, and add in the best elements of being able to work online. The result is projects that have smoother deliveries, faster turnarounds, happier clients and teams, and stronger creative.

ReviewStudio is an online proofing software
what is online proofing? it's a process of approving documents and other files online

What is Proofing?

Proofing goes back as far as the printing press – if not further. A prepress proof was used to get final approvals from the different parties, before going ahead with the final print run. The “hard proof” evolved with the advent or computers and monitors to focus on the cheaper and easier “soft proof”.

Creative technology and how we work have evolved significantly since the Gutenberg era, both in terms of the media we need proofed and how we manage the workflows and collaboration needs we are faced with every day.

Key Considerations in Any Proofing Process

  • Files Being Referenced for Proofing: This could be a video, picture, ad campaign, brochure, or any other media that you are working on with others.
  • The Precise Location on the File: Pinpointing the annotation to a specific frame, pixel, page, or perhaps word is critical – and requires 100% accuracy.
  • The Action to Take: What needs to be done – is the task to replace a scene, word or image? Cut a frame? Fix a fade? Change an image? Fix copy?
  • Who needs to act: Creating general feedback removes the responsibility from any particular party – and makes timely completion less likely.
  • By when: it is also important to set expectations as to when tasks and the project are to be delivered.
online proofing software - review studios

The Creative Feedback Process of Today

Today, proofing tasks are shared across a range of platforms, each with their own shortcomings. Some people use synced folders on private servers (cumbersome), or FTP/Cloud hosting (limited capabilities), but most organizations without proper online proofing tools will use some combination of the below tools. 

1

Email

Probably the most common proofing tool. Challenges include information overwhelm, siloed communication, and a rampant lack of clarity. 

2

Project Management Tools

Better than emails as they are centralized and everyone can be kept on the same page, but are not built around media reviews, with the content first. 

3

Print & Hard Copy

Still a popular tool for proofing, it’s usually very accurate, but very cumbersome, slow, usually expensive – and definitely not ideal for video.

4

Meetings

Often the best way to review content, especially video – but again, very slow, expensive and difficult to get everyone together.

assign tasks to team members with mentions for feedback and approvals

How Today’s Workflow Fails

Fundamentally, this “traditional” workflow applies the offline model to digital or online media. Today’s proofing solutions where review and feedback live in disparate or siloed systems result in a range of negative consequences:

  • Conflicting feedback: “He said she said” – but not to each other – results in political rather than creative management.
  • Miscommunication: Instructions that are not tied to pixels or a frame tend to be less interpretable.
  • Lost feedback: When you make changes, the paper trail is buried in email threads or in your PM tool’s archive or it was possibly from a phone call.
  • Transparency: Especially in a big complex project, being unable to review the evolution of a project can cause a ton of aggravation.
  • Efficiency: Within a typical email workflow, an account or project manager, director, or others, will end up spending half their day coordinating feedback and email threads. 
  • Inconsistent and inconvenient experiences: Downloading large files, plugin requirements, are all roadblocks that delay and confuse projects.

For today’s content stack, two key factors are a must to successfully implement an online proofing platform.

Your teams’ have a range of tech savviness. You need an intuitive tool, that can handle complexity.

You have a range of content specific proofing needs. Whether media or workflow based, there are essential requirements if you want real value.

The Benefits of Online Proofing

Faster, better and stronger, online proofing is a very easy win. Easy to implement, integrate and deliver results. There are no downloads, installs or plugins. With a properly implemented online proofing solution, you can expect:

Lower Costs to Project Completion

Create fewer versions, save on printing costs, have an easier time meeting deadlines.

Lower Version Turnaround

Versions in the past could have often included partial or miscommunicated feedback. Now, with everyone on the same page, this issue is mitigated. 

Lower Project Management Costs

Fewer siloed threads results in less back and forth. As well, improve how you are tracking deadlines.

Less Aggravation

Fewer versions, less miscommunication – and cut down on feature creep.

Save Time

Host fewer meeting, make fewer phone calls, send fewer emails.

Loyalty

Clients and your teams will appreciate all of the above.

In Closing.

At the end of the day, online proofing does not need to disrupt your workflows – it can integrate seamlessly and is intuitive to adopt.

The results will be immediate.  Produce stronger work in a shorter time period, put less of a burden on your teams, and save your money. 

And Collaborate better. 

Learn more about ReviewStudio