What is online proofing?
Proofing creatives and other marketing materials have come a long way from fax machines to emails and Slack. It brought an improvement in productivity and clarity in work.
But has it completely checked off your list allowing you to quickly sign off on any creative? Are all the stakeholders working in harmony when it comes to giving feedback? Review and approval of a creative is a crucial part of every project.
That’s where online proofing software comes into play. It is a cloud-based software that makes the entire process of sharing feedback and approval much smoother, helping you to quickly approve the creative and move on to the next.
Definition of online proofing
An online proofing software can include annotation tools, comparison tools, multi-stage approvals, high-speed rendering, custom workflows and checklists, and more. So how does online proofing work? Let’s find it out!
Top 3 reasons online proofing is better than email proofing
Emails are no doubt the all-time favorite for work communication. But when it comes to sharing feedback on creatives, online proofing software has more convenient and reliable features which saves you a lot of your time.
Imagine sending emails back and forth and creating an email thread to involve other stakeholders in the project. What you send by email can never be edited and there’s a chance that you might miss out on attaching the right version of the file. Online proofing provides a centralized platform for proper collaboration eliminating the need for scattered emails and attachments. This speeds up the review and approval process compared to the delayed nature of email communication.
Tracking different versions of your creative is more in control in review and approval software, reducing the risk of confusion caused by multiple email attachments with similar file names. Online proofing systems also provide a detailed history of comments, changes, and approvals for accountability and traceability which is hard to follow on an email thread.
How many times do you check your email just for feedback or approval? The organized workflow and review process in online proofing saves time compared to the often chaotic email communication, resulting in faster project completion. You can find all the comments and iterations in one place preventing both the designer and the reviewers from making the same mistake again.
What are the benefits of online proofing software?
Online proofing systems extensively improve collaboration, accuracy, and efficiency in the review and approval process, making them invaluable tools for creative teams and industries that work with visual content.
Online proofing in industries
Various industries make use of online proofing to mainly streamline their design and collaboration processes. Here are some key industries that commonly use online proofing:
Choosing your ideal online proofing software
Want to reap excellent results with the available resources? The right online proofing software helps you to collaborate effectively, streamline workflows, and approve content efficiently.
Here are key features to look for in an ideal review and approval software:
Why you should consider Artwork Flow’s online proofing software
Artwork Flow’s robust online proofing software is apt for different teams varying from small businesses to enterprises. This is why we think Artwork Flow can match your team's requirements.
1. Intuitive platform
Rated 4.8 out of 5 by G2, Artwork Flow has a powerful online proofing feature that is also easily navigable. You can easily upload files of any size for proofing which renders at high speed and can zoom up to 6000% giving you more visual clarity. The user-friendly nature of the platform results in a smooth onboarding process for any manager and client.
2. Version comparison
Want to see where you went wrong? Compare different versions of the same creative side-by-side. With Artwork Flow, you can handle multiple iterations of a creative like a pro. This feature helps to track changes, understand revisions, and give clarity on the collaborative review process. Review and approval software keeps the changes transparent for all.
3. Real-time collaboration tools
Working simultaneously from different corners of the world is now easy! Share your feedback with smart annotations. You can highlight the subject or draw shapes around to leave comments. This way, team members, clients, and stakeholders can provide precise feedback without repeating it which makes the job of the editor easy as well.
4. Flexible workflows and checklists
Digital proofing by Artwork Flow enables the creation of custom workflows and checklists for proofing creatives. This feature streamlines the review process, resulting in efficient approvals and progress of the project on time. The checklist feature allows you to create a structured set of criteria for content approval, improving consistency and adherence to quality standards.
5. Asset compatibility
Supporting over 160 file types, the online proofing feature by Artwork Flow allows you to proof common files that various teams deal with daily. This flexibility allows you from online picture proofing to video proofing.
6. Free proofing tools
Apart from the above-mentioned proofing features, Artwork Flow also offers its users free online proofing tools to get started in the world of online proofing. This gives you an idea of proofing creatives effortlessly. These tools help you find fonts, extract colors, measure dimensions, speed up FDA compliance review with AI-powered tools, and more from your creatives.
Artwork Flow goes beyond to ensure your data is well-secured. With ISO certification and a SOC 2 compliance badge, this robust online proofing system takes compliance seriously so the teams can share sensitive files and collaborate on creatives securely.
Quick tips to review creatives using online proofing
Now that you know how online proofing can benefit your business, it is essential to know how to make the most out of creative reviews using efficient online proofing software. It is only a matter of combining best practices and strategic approaches.
1. Set clear guidelines
Establish clear guidelines and realistic goals for the review process. Clearly communicate the criteria for feedback, approval stages, and any specific requirements to streamline the review and avoid ambiguity.
2. Use real-time collaboration features
Make use of the real-time collaboration tools in the online proofing tool. Encourage stakeholders to provide immediate feedback, comments, and annotations, nurturing dynamic and efficient communication during the review process.
3. Share specific feedback
Encourage reviewers to provide specific and actionable feedback. Clearly state what aspects of the creative need attention or improvement. Specific feedback helps creative teams understand the reviewers' expectations and implement changes more effectively.
4. Establish a structured approval workflow
Implement a structured approval workflow within the online proofing platform. Define clear stages of review and approval, ensuring that content progresses through the necessary steps before reaching the final approval stage.
5. Use version management effectively
Use version control features to keep track of changes and revisions. This ensures that reviewers are always working with the latest version of the creative. With the version comparison feature, compare different versions side-by-side to give more precise feedback. This practice minimizes confusion and maintains consistency throughout the review process.
6. Automate notifications
Take advantage of automated notification systems within the proofing tool. Ensure that team members receive timely alerts for new comments, revisions, or approvals, keeping everyone informed and engaged throughout the review process. This way you won’t miss out on any important tasks and meet your deadlines on time.
7. Involve clients early
Engaging clients from the beginning will help you align their goals and perspectives. This way, you can fast-track the project and avoid multiple iterations.
8. Encourage collaboration across teams
Make sure you foster collaboration across different teams and departments on your online proofing software. Ensure that team members from marketing, design, legal, and other departments are involved in the review process. Involving them can bring fresh perspectives and expertise to the table.
9. Review various file types
Remember that review and approval software not only is designed to review creatives but also to review PowerPoint slides, Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, and more. A good online proofing tool can render any assets at high speed and allows you to magnify even up to 6000% which allows you to review with more clarity.
10. Conduct post-review assessments
Last but not least, every time a review process is completed, conduct post-review assessments to evaluate the effectiveness of the creative review. Gather feedback on the review process itself, identify areas for improvement, and take away the lessons learned for future projects.
Frequently asked questions on online proofing
Online proofing streamlines the review process by providing a centralized, digital platform for collaboration, eliminating the need for physical proofs and reducing turnaround times.
With features like real-time collaboration and structured approval workflows, designers can easily collaborate with each stakeholder, receive centralized feedback, and speed up project timelines. This increases their efficiency and saves a heap of time instead of going back and forth with the design.
Online proofing reduces communication delays, minimizes errors, and provides a structured workflow, resulting in faster project completion.
Online proofing tools typically support a variety of file formats, including images, PDFs, documents, videos, audio, and other common design file types.