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If you already use an online design sign off software – or you’re doing research to find the right one – you’ve probably noticed some common trends. Most software operating under this banner usually have common features such as review and commenting abilities, version control management and even some workflow management features. These features are definitely needed to make a good software, but most creatives need a bit more to truly improve the process and effectively get the job done.
Some unique features you may not have considered can help you get sign off easier when using online proofing tools.
When you need to ensure that your approvers are fulfilling the responsibilities the role entails, checklists are an excellent feature. With this feature, approvers have to e-sign on any number of requirements before they can approve a proof. Checklists can include general requirements such as proofreading for spelling and grammar errors, checking word usage, verifying logos and logo placement and more. Depending on the types of proofs you send, checklists can be customized to fit your specific needs.
Checklists add an important step to review and approval of proofs. They force your approvers to pause and check that they have met the requirements of reviewal and can feel confident to give approval. Often times, we have seen that approvers don’t always know what to do with a design proof; they aren’t sure what to look for, and this can result in unhelpful or irrelevant feedback. Checklists give your approvers guidance and accountability to ensure they actually complete their role to satisfaction. If you’re a print company, for instance, asking your approvers to acknowledge that spelling and grammar are correct gives you the ability to have them share some responsibility for the end result.
Custom Email Signatures
Many online proofing software platforms will offer some degree of whitelabeling and customization. One area where customizing your proofing platform is integral for your company but may be overlooked is in your email signature. Each time you send a proof, approvers will receive a link to review it along with your message. A custom email signature helps approvers understand who is sending them a proof and gives you more credibility. Instead of seeing the branding of the online design sign off software you’re using, approvers will instead see your identity and company.
Online design sign off software helps you streamline review and approval by taking as much of the conversation as possible out of inboxes. Email is still necessary to deliver proofs to approvers, though, and that’s where having a templates feature can help creatives speed up the sending process. Without a templates feature, sending a new proof can take around ninety seconds as you upload the files, determine your workflow and compose the email that approvers will receive with the proof. With templates, these emails can be saved for future use, significantly cutting down on the time spent writing very similar messages over and over again.
Templates may seem like they’re only shaving a few seconds off of the process of sending proofs, but these seconds add up. Using an online design sign off software should be easier than using email – the templates feature makes this true.
You’re probably already using tags when you go onto Twitter or Instagram. They work relatively similarly to hashtags on social media and are a bit different that other organizing systems such as folders. They’re much more versatile, allowing you to sort proofs by project, topic, client, favorite colors – anything you can think of, really. Proofs can also have multiple custom tags so you can categorize proofs into several different groups.
Tags are an excellent way for you to manage large projects with numerous proofs being sent out or client retainers with different projects over a period of time. By tagging, you’ll easily be able to see all the related files and their sign off status.
Modify Sender Abilities
I feel confident saying that a modify sender ability has likely been something you’ve needed in the past, but you didn’t realize you needed it. This feature allows you to send a proof on behalf of another user. This feature is designed to improve the workflow among employees as they work to make revisions and send out new versions of proofs for approval.
This ability is the perfect solution when you don’t want to disrupt who the point of contact is. A creative can now send a new version of a logo design on behalf of another designer or a brochure on behalf of a sales representative. By eliminating the extra step of sending each new version to the correct person to send out, you can expedite the approval process for everybody involved in a project.
All the Features Under the Sea
Improving the proofing process takes the right online design sign off software that can get you the approvals you need much faster. Ashore has all the features mentioned above: account-wide checklists, custom email signatures and templates, custom tags and the ability to send proofs on behalf of other users. Don’t worry, though – we also give you the other things you need: automated workflows, commenting and markup features, version controls and approval tracking features such as audit logs and analytics. These features work together to make the process of proofing move along with ease and lead you to more successfully completed projects.
At Ashore, our goal is to help you send proofs more efficiently, collaborate more seamlessly, and be more informed of a proof’s status and history. With these unique features and more, we do just that. To learn how we can improve sign off for your proofs, join Ashore today and request a demo to learn the ropes!