Online Proofing: The Answer to Workflow Roadblocks

Creative proofing and approval can be easily handled online. Whether in the cloud or residing on proprietary servers, creative assets can move through approval channels using a convenient shared interface.

Creative proofing and approval can be easily handled online. Whether in the cloud or residing on proprietary servers, creative assets can move through approval channels using a convenient shared interface.

In the past, proof approvals were passed to separate managers by sharing PDFs and other documents via email. Videos had to reviewed using video editing software, and comments were often provided using a separate word processing program. Collaborative development across teams was slow and these situations created roadblocks that could sometimes halt production for weeks!

Now that you have the ability to proof and approve through a single platform, what should you look for in an automated proofing and approval solution? Here are five critical functions to consider when choosing your platform:

Accessibility.

The intelligent tools which reside in an online proofing and approval platform must have accessibility from desktops, iPads, Android and other mobile devices. The system must be able to render files for review and annotations without the need for Flash, Silverlight, Java or other third-party plug-ins, which can often cause delays for reviewers.

Simplicity for reviewers.

People tasked with managing the review process look to make life easy for reviewers with a system that provides users with quick access to proofs, a comprehensive dashboard, the ability to collaborate in real time, and a single proofing interface that handles many file formats including images, video, audio, web pages and more.

Workflow automation.

The review process should fit within adjacent workflows, such as resource management or web development. Proofing and revision should tie into a master schedule where deadlines are clearly indicated and relevant parties are notified via email.

Single tenant hosting.

Software installations can either be multi-tenant or single tenant. Creative organizations look for system architecture to be single tenant because of the increased security capabilities, greater upgrade control and setup flexibility. Don't change the software that works for you just because another company needs a new feature.

Expandability.

Creative teams no longer work in a vacuum. Cross-function teams are often dependent on creative development practices. Therefore, the online proofing platform must have the ability to integrate with CRM, financial, project management and digital asset management systems.

Workflow roadblocks should not be due to systemic issues related to creative development. With the introduction of online proofing and workflow tools, creative developers can move digital assets through the approval and review process without the need for separate platforms and without the possibility of missed checkpoints. If you’re looking for an online proofing system, it would be a good idea to make sure it addresses these five critical needs.

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