Proofing is undoubtedly not a new concept, and it has been around since the first printed books and newspapers were printed.
However, online proofing is a relatively new concept made possible by today’s high-speed internet and the increase of digital media required for multi-channel distribution, including images, videos, websites, e-commerce, and e-learning platforms. The demand for a fully online, real-time proofing process is also on the rise.
Online design proofing tools are utilized to allow all team members, including designers, project managers, clients, managers, anyone! To get involved in a single dashboard. This will essentially streamline and improve the effectiveness of the review and approval process.
What Is Online Proofing?
Online proofing, or soft proofing, is essentially doing all the steps required in the review and approval processes for print and digital design content fully online.
This is made possible via an online proofing software or platform. Designers, project managers, and any other parties involved in the design processes can share and organize the daily collaboration of comments in a single location.
Online proofing makes it easier for everyone involved in the design project to collaborate and share real-time comments. Online proofing makes the proofing and approval process much more interactive and transparent while at the same time providing a full audit trail for each party involved in the approval process.
When performed correctly, the approval process can be much more effective, accurate, and efficient by having the comments and feedback in a single source.
An excellent online proofing software can also provide automatic notification for those involved in the review process when a deliverable is ready for review. This will also ensure the approval process gets performed in a timely manner, every time. Depending on the software, you can also customize policies and rules like not letting the project move forward unless all approvers have responded and/or signed off.
Why Online Proofing Is Important Today?
Here are some significant reasons why online proofing is now gaining popularity among designers and marketers:
Online communication is now the norm
Nowadays, most people are familiar with fully online communications like messaging, emails, and chats, and on the other hand, collaboration and communication are the integral parts of the proofing process.
Online proofing software, simply put, enables the team for better, real-time collaboration, which essentially improves clarity and response frequency.
The demands for agile business processes
Businesses nowadays are required to be more agile and adaptable than ever. New products are being launched faster than ever before. Social media has allowed two-way communications between businesses and consumers in real-time, increasing the demands for quick fixes and updates for virtually all products.
With that being said, we can no longer rely on a manual approval process that relies on emails, phone calls, and even pen-and-paper approvals in this increasingly agile business environment. It’s essential to embrace better technology to facilitate quick approval time in every step of the process.
This might surprise many people, but investing in a proper online proofing tool for graphic designers will considerably lower the cost of your approval process. By facilitating streamlined online proofing, collaboration, and real-time review process, the cost of sharing and circulating digital proof is much more cost-efficient than circulating a hard copy of a proof that is typical in a manual approval process.
Online proofing is not only easier and faster but is also cost-effective.
People are now increasingly mobile with flexible schedules. With online proofing solutions, the approval process is accessible from anywhere, as preferred by both the approver and the designer. This feature alone can remove the time and geographic constraints, which is impossible to do with a manual approval process.
Some online proofing software solutions are also fully cloud-based, so you don’t have to download newer files every time you access the platform.
The Benefits of Online Proofing for Graphic Designers
Eliminate email approvals
One of the most frustrating things for any designer is going back and forth through a heap of emails to find a particular version or approval when attempting to resolve a conflict. This can be extremely time-consuming. With online proofing software, we no longer need to rely on this system, and finding any version of the design is a breeze.
Easily find every feedback
Acting as a centralized hub, you can easily batch feedback and send the relevant ones to your team. This can reduce the risks of missed or overlooked feedback.
Reducing compliance risks
With feedback and comments placed in one place, this can significantly reduce the possibility of missed revisions, reducing compliance risks.
More transparency and accountability
You can analyze the progress of the project in greater detail with online proofing software. When, for example, a designer makes a very small change to the design, we can easily keep track of it.
On the other hand, this will also promote more accountability for both the designers and the approvers. Other parties can now see whether a review request is indeed necessary or redundant.
This might be very good news for designers, as online proofing software typically will ensure fewer revisions for each project.
A good online proofing solution should offer various markup tools to highlight various sections and mark annotations on files. This will help both designers and approvers to put across their point effectively.
Also, by having every approver in one place, we can avoid situations where different reviewers are making the same revision requests repeatedly, as often happens in the manual approval process.
Online proofing software can provide a more efficient and transparent feedback process that will allow all stakeholders to provide a more accurate approval. In turn, this will reduce the deliverables’ compliance risks and improve the overall quality of the design.
The less time the creative teams are stuck in the unnecessary administration process, the more time you can create a better design product. An online proofing process is easier and faster, and more cost-effective than your typical manual approval.