What is Online Proofing? A Smarter Approach to Collaborative Feedback and Getting Approvals. An Introduction to Online Proofing For many teams and organizations, regardless of industry, the creative workflow process is broken. Feedback is transmitted in silos. It is spread over emails, across printed documents, lost in meetings, or missed in phone conversations. These silos and broken systems make it hard to stay on top of revisions, timelines, and responsibilities. The idea behind online proofing is to provide the best of physical or “offline” proofing, with the convenience and efficiency of being able to collaborate online. The results are smoother workflows, faster turnarounds, happier clients, and stronger creative output. The Idea of Proofing BACK TO THE PRINTING PRESS Proofing as a practice dates back as far as the printing press. A prepress proof was used to get final approvals from different parties. Mistakes could be very costly. THEN THERE WAS THE SOFT PROOF With computers and monitors, our focus shifted from the “hard proof” to the cheaper and easier “soft proof”. Though the print and proof is still very popular. WE’VE COME A LONG WAY Technology has come a long way over the past decade (let alone centuries). What’s changed more than anything are the tools we can use to manage and collaborate on creative projects. Today’s Conventional Creative Workflow Today, the proofing process is spread out across a range of platforms, each with their own set of shortcomings. Most organizations without a proper online proofing tool will use some combination of the following: Email Probably the most common “proofing tool”. Proofing by email results in information overload, siloed communications, and a rampant lack of clarity. Project Management Tools Project management tools can keep teams organized, but are not built to put your content at the center of the conversation. Print & Hard Copy Still a popular and accurate proofing method, hard proofing is cumbersome, slow, and usually expensive. It’s definitely not ideal for video. Meetings Often the best way to review content (especially video), but meetings can be inefficient, expensive and logistically challenging. How the Conventional Creative Workflow Fails While there are plenty of tools and techniques used to gather feedback and get approvals, they often share several critical shortcomings. The reliance on solutions that relegate proofing functions to these siloed systems can result in: Miscommunication Instructions that are not tied to pixels or frames tend to be less clear and precise, meaning directives are easily lost in translation. Conflicting Feedback Siloed feedback will often be inconsistent or contradictory - and can result in headaches for project managers and creatives. Lost Documentation Feedback might be buried in an email thread, a colleague’s desk, a poorly labeled folder or perhaps it doesn’t exist at all in writing. Lack of Transparency Why was something done a certain way? It’s hard to know without a traceable history of a project, with consolidated and sequential iterations. Inefficiency In a broken workflow, everyone ends up spending too much time coordinating, deciphering, and retrieving feedback. Inconsistency and Inconvenience Downloading large files and navigating plugin requirements are examples of roadblocks that unnecessarily delays in feedback and approvals. Key Considerations For Your Proofing Process When getting started, there are a few critical concepts that you’ll want to address to ensure you are getting the full benefits of your proofing process. Without a proofing solution, these considerations are often poorly addressed. The Files: What Requires Proofing? This could be a video, image, ad campaign, brochure, or any other media that you are working on with others. Every format can require different processes and resources. You ideally want a tool to handle all your proofing needs. How Precise Can You Be With Your Feedback? Precision reduces miscommunication and provides clarity. Pinpointing a markup or annotation to a specific frame, pixel, page, or perhaps word is critical – and should provide 100% accuracy. What’s To Be Done with the Feedback? You need the option to deliver action-oriented feedback. Whether the task is to cut a frame, edit copy, address a bug, or adjust an image, assigning tasks ensures feedback is implemented and with accountability. Who Needs to Act? General feedback removes responsibility from any particular party. It’s critical to ensure feedback is connected to the user responsible to take action. It also helps if they can see all the other feedback and in context. How is Feedback Related to the Deadline? Clarity is essential for meeting expectations regarding deliveries, whether for individual tasks or approvals. Accountability requires clear expectations and transparency. The Benefits of Online Proofing Online proofing is an easy win. It’s simple to implement. It delivers results without downloads, installations, or plugins. With a properly implemented online proofing solution, you can expect: Faster Version Turnaround Avoid headaches over partial or miscommunicated feedback and streamline versioning. Everyone is on the same page. Lower Project Management Costs Reduce the unnecessary back-and-forth that comes with broken communications, while improving how you track deadlines and approvals. Accelerated Project Completion Create fewer versions, mitigate unnecessary delays, and have an easier time meeting deadlines. Get creative approved and delivered faster. Less Aggravation Streamline revisions and communication while cutting down on scope creep with transparent feedback. Less Time Wasted Host fewer meetings, make fewer phone calls, and send fewer emails. It should be about the creative not email management. Client Loyalty Create an altogether better mutual experience for your clients and teams – they might just thank you for it. Online Proofing Can Be Easy Online proofing adds tremendous value to your creative workflows. It can be integrated seamlessly and is intuitive to adopt. The results of simplifying your creative workflows will be felt immediately. You’ll produce stronger work in a shorter time period, put less of a communications burden on your teams… …and collaborate better. Features Take in a bird’s eye view of all our proofing and workflow features. Pricing Explore our plans - built to meet your particular needs and budget. Tutorials Watch these short tutorial videos to explore ReviewStudio highlights. Trusted by Leading Brands and Agencies Worldwide Testimonials ReviewStudio is a great way to streamline the communication not only within the team, but also with our partners involved in projects. They are constantly evolving new features to make the process even more efficient. ReviewStudio have been a fantastic partner for us at IIG for a number of years. We have worked closely with their team to provide solutions for both our internal teams and our clients. The product is exceptional. ReviewStudio has been a game-changer for us. Managing revision cycles was one of our main workflow challenges. This online proofing software was key to helping us provide an easy, intuitive, yet robust solution for our clients. ReviewStudio is an integral tool at Cicada Design. The feature rich collaboration platform has sped our review process immensely. It allows us to communicate clearly while reviewing complex content such as VR and Video. Start a 15 day free trial today! Take a trial and try the full range of features – no credit card nor commitment required. FAQ How do I learn how to use ReviewStudio? You can start by watching our online tutorial videos. Our Help Center provides instructional articles and comprehensive knowledgebase. You are also welcome to schedule a free online training session where we’ll take you through the application and discuss any specific creative workflow issues that may be relevant to your situation. How does an Approver give their approval? If you are designated as an Approver, you will see a “Submit Decision” button in the Review Canvas for each file that is included in the Review. The default options include “Approve”, “Approve with Changes”, or “Revisions Required”. Note that these options may be customized for each account. For more on approvals, check out our knowledgebase. How do I share a Review once I’m ready to gather feedback? After you upload the files to the Review, you can go to the Share menu to select the users and guests you want to share it with. You can then use the “Notify” tab on the Share menu to send out an email notification to any or all the users and guests you specify. As an alternative to this notification email, you can copy/paste and share the Review link. How can I keep track of tasks required to complete a project? All feedback can be turned into revision requests by converting them to tasks and assigning them to specific users. From the main Dashboard, these users can quickly find any open tasks assigned to them across all Projects and all Reviews. Within a Review, users can filter the comments to show only their open tasks (as tasks are marked as completed, they will be hidden from the list). Admins can also keep track of the progress of task completion by all users across all Projects. Can I select and highlight text? If you upload a document that contains text, the toolbar will show enabled text markup options. These include highlight, select, delete, underline and insert. You can also copy/paste the selected text into a comment to indicate edits. How do I compare multiple versions of a file? Using Compare Mode, you can review any two files or versions of a file side-by-side that are in the same Review. For full details, have a look here. What file formats can I proof in ReviewStudio? Images – JPG, PNG, GIF, TIFF, PSD, 360 Panoramic (JPG or PNG)Video – MP4, MOV, OGG, WebM, FLV, AVI, WMV, ASF, ProRes +Audio – MP3, WMA, AACDocuments – PDF, SVG, DOC(X), PPT(X), XLS(X)Web – HTML (either as a ZIP or URL capture)3D - (coming soon) If there is a particular format you use that is missing from this list, please reach out to support and we can consider adding it.