For creatives, the proofing process could always run a little smoother, couldn’t it? Collaboration between creatives trying to turn a concept into a finished product and approvers trying their best to convey this concept have a lot of forces working against them. In times like these, communication is key. It is at the heart of collaboration, and collaboration is at the heart of the proofing process.
Communication, in its simplest form, is the sharing of information from one person or group to another. In business relationships, communication should be a couple of things. It should be clear. It should be concise. It should be respectful. And most importantly, it should be constructive. Constructive communication is what good collaboration is built on.
When two or more people are working to produce something, that’s all it takes for collaboration to happen. What it and communication have in common is the act of sharing. Communication is the act of sharing information to gain a better understanding; collaboration is the act of sharing information to advance a project.
Collaboration needs all the benefits and resources good communication brings to the table. All successful collaborative relationships require a reliable, easy means of communication, and this is exactly what we will be addressing. If you have not integrated a proofing software into your approval process, you are missing out on a platform designed to ease communication between approvers and creatives. With such a platform, you have several features that aid in making collaborative relationships more profitable including collaborative image commenting. This feature gives you and your approvers several key benefits.
Collaborative Image Commenting
Collaborative image commenting is a simple concept with big benefits: improving communication and eliminating barriers to collaboration. While the list can be numerous, We’ve narrowed it down to four encompassing key benefits:
- Consolidating communications into a central, organized location
- Reducing confusion of creatives and approvers
- Giving context and clarity to feedback
- Preventing the loss of communications and feedback
As we dive into each of these to illustrate how collaborative image commenting works on your behalf, you’ll notice how interconnected they are with each other.
The foundation for resolving communication and collaboration issues is the consolidation of information. Having to sort through dozens of emails and written notes related to a proof eats up significant time. Most projects will span several versions. As the versions pile up – and all the correspondence regarding each change piles up, too – locating the correct information becomes a tedious process. With many different versions, approver feedback and revisions made by creatives, there are a lot of moving parts to wade through.
Collaborative image commenting ties all the comments and correspondence regarding versions and edits to the proof itself. With this tool, commenting is attached to each version so it’s easy to move back and forth between multiple renditions and see the evolution of a project. Gone are the days of parsing through email chains to find the last thing an approver said. Locating the most current feedback is as simple as moving to the latest version.
Collaborating on a proof is a lot like trying to make plans with a group of friends. So much time is spent trying to get everyone on the same page, explaining and re-explaining the options while everyone wallows in their indecision. The difference? Nobody is together in the same room or involved in the conversation at the same time during the proofing process. Without an organized and well-ordered system of communication, approvers and creatives both run the risk of misremembering and misinterpreting feedback. If conversations are occuring on several different platforms such as email or phone calls, information is disjointed, further dragging out the process and frustrating all parties as others attempt to keep everyone up to speed.
By keeping track of communications, collaborative image commenting puts everyone back in the same conversation again. Threaded commenting arranges related comments and conversations together, and all of this feedback is saved in one place for future reference. When approvers and creatives can be part of one, easy-to-follow conversation, the proofing process moves along much faster and with much less confusion.
Sometimes, interpreting approver feedback for creatives is a lot like trying to get dressed in the morning blindfolded. Approvers and creatives approach projects differently and speak different languages when it comes to design. Having these conversations is already difficult in an in-person exchange, but these days, much of the proofing process happens between people connecting through electronic avenues of communication. Unless approvers and creatives are as specific and concise as they can be with each other, the process will have a lot of missteps and wasted time.
You know what can fix this language barrier? Context. With collaborative image commenting, it’s like approvers and creatives are all back together in the same room, pointing and outlining specifically what their comment is referring to. Contextual feedback benefits everyone involved: giving approvers the ability to get specific without learning a new design language and creatives the ability to easily decipher the issues approvers are having.
Preventing Lost Feedback
Nothing is a worse feeling during proofing and approval of a project than hearing from an approver, “Hey, you forgot something.” It’s hard to keep up with all the communications regarding a project as it grows and evolves, though. Creatives would like to be able to catch everything, and get the job done in the least amount of versions possible. Between emails, phone calls and comments made in passing, it’s difficult to keep up.
Being able to save and archive all the correspondence related to a project would help save you from hearing those dreaded words from approvers. Collaborative image commenting ensures that all feedback is accounted for; creatives can easily review comments from each version. You’ll never have to worry that you’ve missed something in a long email or in notes from a phone conversation.
Collaborative Image Commenting in Ashore
If you’re ready to bolster your collaboration with approvers during the proofing process, Ashore has a variety of tools to assist you in creating stronger communication between you and your approvers. Besides collaborative image commenting, Ashore also includes an automated workflow to keep the proofing process running smoothly without your constant vigilance and automated reminders that keep approvers on the ball.
Sign up for free today and see how much better collaboration in the proofing process can be!