Lean Interactive: Improving Design Collaboration with Red Pen

By Envano

Published: January 8, 2014

In our evolving efforts to streamline and simplify processes, we’ve come across handfuls of interactive tools touted as keys to greater efficiency. Some of them aid in our move towards lean innovation, while others prove more of a hindrance and fall by the wayside.

One of our recent discoveries, Red Pen, has allowed for tremendous strides and faster timelines when it comes to design collaboration, both with clients and internally. Red Pen is an extremely basic Web app that lets you upload an image file and share it with clients and team members for feedback.

Red Pen

The site’s tagline — “effing fast feedback” — says it all. After uploading your file, share the link with your client. All they’ll have to do is click the design to view and leave thoughts via personalized comments right on the mockup, allowing for easy interaction and the ability to ask and answer questions in real time.

Comments are useful, twofold – for online collaboration and feedback internally giving designers the ability to hash out certain decisions before the client even gets involved; and with the client, allowing the designer to explain the rationale behind design decisions while providing all the advantages sitting down and going over designs one-on-one remotely. For us, client integration and use is an easy process, with design collaboration and approval just a matter of sending a link to any relevant parties. Those involved can share and provide quick feedback, speeding up the development and launch process.

On top of ease in collaboration, Red Pen pro accounts offer a good history for version control, a search and tagging system, and a photoshop extension for minor edits and quick uploading right to the Red Pen cloud. Other tools like Adobe Acrobat are much more cumbersome, taking more time to upload and download, with more difficultly when it comes to saving or editing comments, eliminating overall collaborative efforts.

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