ProofHQ – Web-Based Design Collaboration Proofing and Approval

1557 views 6 Comments

125x125I’ve probably said this before, but one of the hardest things to do when freelancing or working remotely in design or development is getting feedback and suggested changes for proofs. Email is generally the medium of choice, but only because nothing better is really out there. Until now, that is.

I took the chance to review the site and fiddle around with how ProofHQ works after accepting their advertisement on this site. I created an account and spent some time working from the back end as a “designer” (I’ll admit that my artistic skills are Kindergarten at best) and then again from the other perspective as a “client” proofing the materials presented.

Let me tell you, this site is extremely impressive. I expected another hack-job like I’ve seen before: lots of promise, great-looking promo materials, but no delivery once you actually use the app. Not here. ProofHQ does everything they say it will and it does it with a lot of slick app tools you don’t think of until you need them.

It basically works like this: you create your account and log in through the Web interface to upload proof materials (in my case a large PNG and a pdf doc). The site will accept most major file types like XLS, BMP, TIFF, DOC, etc. Then I created a client profile with an email address, message to tell them what the email is for, and so forth. The idea in this case was that the pdf explained the project upload, which was the PNG graphic.

Then I directed the browser on my other computer to log in as the “client” by clicking on the email link. From that end, I was looking at the project information (description, project manager, etc.) and given a screen focused on the PNG image of the project. From there, I could do all kinds of markup to make my points for design changes. Circling items to reference, drawing arrows (free-form or with built-in pointer tools) and all kinds of great ways to explain what I was talking about are right there.

proofhq-screenThe client-side tool is missing a few things that might be useful—especially the ability to input text right onto the project instead of off to the side as comments—but overall was exactly what a client would need: easy, quick, and no-nonsense tools. Nothing fancy or confusing at all. Perfect.

One of the little tools I didn’t think about needing until it came up was the ability to point to URLs automatically when you type “www.anything” or “http://” – it creates an auto-link right away. Really cool. Another one is the auto-saving, which in my case was great because my old system had one of its random failures in the middle of my test and the browser crashed. All of the comments and markup I’d done were still there, though, when I went back to it. Nice!

For group collaborations, all those involved in the project can look at the same proofs and at each other’s commentary and markups. These are kept in a historical format so that you’re looking at them in the order they were created. Handy for multiple-party projects. The comments on specific features are in a threaded discussion, chat-room history style, so you can go through them in chronological order easily.

Actions are the final step in the project markups. The owner (the one who created the beginning proof) can set any comment (or create a new one) and make it an “action” so that others working on the same proof can know that a decision has been made and this is what’s to be done. Designers can even create to-do lists from these actions (with commentary for explanation) too.

Overall, I was extremely impressed with this app and think that many in the Web design and development field will find it extremely useful and time-saving. There’s a free 14-day trial with a few restrictions, but prices aren’t bad at all. There’s a totally free option that pretty limited, but might be good enough for a single-person freelance shop. Then prices start at $17/month, so they’re very reasonable. Prices are tiered by number of proofs per month.

Definitely worth checking out if you’re in need of a great collaboration tool aimed directly towards designers.

Author Bio

Tech Guru

Passionate about the latest Technology. I enjoy traveling and Photography.

6 Comments
  1. Pingback: Topics about Miami » Archive » ProofHQ √¢‚Ǩ‚Äú Web-Based Design Collaboration Proofing and Approval …

  2. Pingback: Topics about People-search » ProofHQ √¢‚Ǩ‚Äú Web-Based Design Collaboration Proofing and Approval

  3. Jean-Baptiste Feldis

    June 2, 2009 at 6:07 am

    It's really good to see more and more people taking care of the designers!

    I’m the cofounder of a small but nice French startup and we are doing UpShot (http://upshotapp.com).
    It’s kind of half a competitor and half the perfect partner to those feedback tools.

    We focus on simplicity and efficiency which means that every non techie customer can understand how it works within 15 seconds.

    Why is it competition? Well because we basically work on the same concept (helping designers get more time to create)

    Why is it that complementary ? Because ProofHQ and others fit perfectly for exchanges between designers or designers and DAs but might be too much for end customers or people processing lots and lots of picture reviews.

  4. Jean-Baptiste Feldis

    June 2, 2009 at 11:07 am

    It's really good to see more and more people taking care of the designers!

    I’m the cofounder of a small but nice French startup and we are doing UpShot (http://upshotapp.com).
    It’s kind of half a competitor and half the perfect partner to those feedback tools.

    We focus on simplicity and efficiency which means that every non techie customer can understand how it works within 15 seconds.

    Why is it competition? Well because we basically work on the same concept (helping designers get more time to create)

    Why is it that complementary ? Because ProofHQ and others fit perfectly for exchanges between designers or designers and DAs but might be too much for end customers or people processing lots and lots of picture reviews.

  5. Jimmy

    January 8, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    I really like how such applications fulfill collaborating needs.
    I have tried this application though the pricing is way too high. $17 for 30 profs a month and then u need a basecamp account too if u don't want to get into copy pasting proofed links.
    I did find a quicker and cost effective alternative called Proofhub and would like to share with you.
    Here: http://www.proofhub.com/mini/
    Hope that helps someone.

  6. Matthew

    November 2, 2011 at 4:52 am

     I’ve found the program in question, ProofHQ, to be quite the versatile tool. I’ve used in on several projects, one of them being my blog where I teach men to attract women – http://attractwomenx.com. This program has positively effected my site in several ways, I want to give it 2 thumbs up.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *