Getting approval is hard, right? Not anymore.
Being a freelance designer is a tough row to hoe. In a world where a single touch on a screen can bring us any service imaginable, creativity doesn’t stop to run at its own pace. We cannot get the spark of inspiration that puts us into a creative mindset on demand, can we? I don’t see even the brilliant of designers and writers deciding when they are at their most creative.
Amidst all this, reviewing, proofing, and approval of designs by clients gets even harder.
Speaking of the traditional methods of proofing, a lot of time is wasted in sending the files and waiting for the feedback. Working as a freelancer for a client takes a lot of effort to keep yourself from committing mistakes too. From the initial briefing until the final usage, design samples undergo a lot of reviewing. Let me ask some questions before we jump to the solution:
Are you tired of sending the design in the emails and waiting for the clients to reply?
Do you have to go back and forth in an email thread to see exactly what all changes the client has suggested?
Is the feedback for specific regions even clear without any kind of annotation?
Is it easy for the client to add feedback that can minimize both sides’ confusion?
Is it easy to reply to each email with a new design?
If the answer to the above is, “No, no, no, no, and no,” then you, my friend, have a lot of technology to catch up on.
What’s the solution?
As they say when the going gets tough, the tough get going, designers are no exceptions. A proofing tool, for that matter, becomes a designer’s best friend in such scenarios. Such tools make the reviewing process free of pain for both the designers and the clients. Speaking of such tools brings me to the next question that you might have about them.
How to Choose the Right Proofing Tool?
In the quest of turning the process of proofing and approval better, you have to choose the right proofing tool. What should you look for?
Ability to collaborate on designs
There are proofing tools that allow you to collaborate on designs. This means that you can assign or subscribe people to a design and then, they’ll be able to add comments and collaborate on that file all at one place.
If you want to let your client add clear and actionable feedback for specific regions, you should go for a proofing tool that has markup tools. This way the client can annotate files and let you know the suggestions and feedback easier, without any fuss.
Not many proofing tools provide the option of threaded comments. ProofHub, however, is one tool that allows you to reply to comments within a thread that focuses on a particular suggestion or feedback.
While designing you may have to share multiple versions of a file with every change you make. What’s the point of using a proofing software that doesn’t let you upload new versions of files? You’d also like to keep the older versions to compare with the newer and review changes.
Ability to mark suggestions or feedbacks as resolved
There’s no greater satisfaction than resolving a client issue and marking it as resolved. What’d be better than your client getting notified about the same?
Once you are done resolving all suggested changes and feedbacks, your clients should be able to approve files with just a single click.
Shareable links to guests
Last but not the least, look for a proofing tool that allows you to share file links with guests to ask for a review, feedback, suggestions or even ideas without having to log in to the software you’re using. Many clients avoid the kind of botheration that makes them log in to software they don’t want to use on a long-term basis.
Apart from the above, you should look for a proofing tool that saves you from the installation dilemma too.
Conclusion: To improve client communication and complete your designing projects easier, faster, and smarter, you should go for a proofing tool that keeps you away from long email chains and helps you deliver your best work.