Design feedback tools are crucial when you’re collaborating with internal and external stakeholders on creative projects.
But not all design feedback software is created equal. For instance, some tools can only handle limited file types, so they might be unsuitable. Others let you add comments but not annotations, so the entire review and approval process becomes tricky.
In this guide, we’ll highlight the key features for you to consider when choosing design feedback software and then present the best free and premium tools to compare.
Key Features to Consider in Design Feedback Software
Before we look at some design feedback tools, let’s consider what functionality you need to look out for.
Support for many file types
Start by checking which file types the design feedback software can handle. To avoid disappointment, make sure it has comprehensive coverage, including static files, rich media, animated video GIFs, video file formats, audio file formats, web pages and more.
For example, Ziflow supports over 1,200 different media types for use, review, and approval.
Markup tools, such as lines, arrows, squares, ovals, replace, text select, and more allow your collaborators to provide specific and actionable feedback on design files. Depending on the project, you can combine the tools to provide more granular and accurate feedback.
Once you start the review and approval process, version control for iterative designs can become a nightmare. So, look for design feedback software that lets you easily create, compare and navigate among versions of your designs. Ideally, you’ll want a tool that allows for major (external) and minor (internal) version numbers.
The best design projects involve collaboration between internal teams, external partners, and clients so that you can keep everyone in sync.
Look for a design feedback tool that allows you to collaborate directly on your design with rich discussion threads (and markup tools) that let you comment, reply, and share files. Also, ensure the collaboration functionality is mobile-friendly to keep the feedback flowing.
One feature you’ll definitely require is file status tracking. Progress indicators let you quickly track the stage of your design project. You can see which design proofs are on track for approval and which still need action or modification.
For example, they let you set stage progression triggers to move reviews forward automatically based on the length of review, and reviewer decisions, to keep your projects moving rather than stagnating.
Depending on the size and industry of your organization, your designs may have to comply with federal laws, industry regulations, or internal policies that require you to keep a complete audit trail of designs and design modifications and approvals available for inspection at any time.
In which case, it’s imperative that your design feedback software that can automatically store all your comments, versions, and decision points for potential compliance review.
Review and approval
A modern feedback tool eliminates endless email chains, messy printouts, and other legacy tools. Instead, it allows you to gather feedback in a centralized review and approval environment with robust markup tools and simple version management.
You’ll likely want to connect the design feedback software to your existing (and future-planned) design software and workflows like InDesign, Photoshop and more, so check which integrations are available.
11 Best Design Feedback Tools
Now that you know what features to consider, let’s take a look at eleven free and premium design feedback tools that scale from individuals to enterprises depending on your requirements.
Used for: Creative content review and approval.
Ziflow is the secure, enterprise-ready review and approval software used by marketing and creative teams from brands such as Showtime, Toyota, and AWS.
- File types: Supports over 1200 file types, including AI, PSD, DOC, DOCX, XLS, XLSX, PPT, PPTX, JPG, JPEG, BMP, PNG, TIF, TIFF, GIF, PDF, plus a wide range of audio/video formats, web pages (live and staged), and HTML5 banners.
- Markup tools: Gather and annotate feedback with precise markup tools so everyone understands what’s required.
- Versioning: Create new versions (major and minor) and compare any two versions side-by-side.
- Collaboration: Keep teams, partners, and clients in sync with real-time discussion threads that let you comment, reply, and share files.
- Status tracking: Monitor feedback and decisions by stage, group, and individual reviewer right from the dashboard.
- Workflow automations: Improve your design feedback by automating the workflow to shorten feedback cycles, speed up approval times, and reduce manual work.
- Compliance: Save all comments, versions, and decisions from the review and approval process so that you’ll always have access to the who, what, and when for historical, compliance, or auditing purposes.
- Integrations: Connect Ziflow with your existing apps, like Slack, Asana, and Jira.
Ziflow has a range of subscription plans:
- Basic: $9/user/month
- Starter: $18/user/month
- Business: $45/user/month
- Enterprise: Pricing by request for organizations that need enterprise-grade security and workflow automations.
- Free Trial: 14-day free trial.
Used for: Interactive designs
InVision is a prototyping, collaboration, and workflow tool powering the world’s best user experiences. It lets you control your design process and allows you to create interactive mockups for your wireframes and designs.
- File types: Supports various file types, including graphics, video, audio, coding, text, spreadsheets, presentations, and fonts.
- Markup tools: Collaborate in real-time on the digital whiteboard.
- Versioning: Only available in DSM enterprise.
- Collaboration: Provide in-context feedback on any document.
- Status tracking: Manage and review design status in Kanban-style columns – On hold, In progress, Needs review, and Approved.
- Review and approval: Create rich, interactive prototypes. Import from Sketch, then gather feedback from any device.
- Integrations: Sketch, Photoshop, JIRA, Storybook, and more.
InVision offers several pricing plans:
- Free: Free forever
- Pro: $7.95/user/month
- Enterprise: Pricing by request
- Free trial: Try Pro for free
Used for: Content review and bug tracking.
zipBoard is a web-based visual content review and bug tracking tool that helps developers, testers, and project managers collaborate efficiently on web pages, courses, videos, HTML, PDFs, and images.
- File types: Gather reviews for multiple media websites or web app URLs, images, PDFs, videos, HTML content, and SCORM files.
- Markup tools: Use markup tools on screen recordings or screenshots to highlight and pinpoint issues.
- Collaboration: Add replies and attach files to feedback comments.
- Status tracking: Manage and assign particular bugs and issues as tasks to your team members.
- Review and approval: Review and bug tracking visually.
- Integrations: Connect with other third-party tools like JIRA and Slack to streamline your workflow.
zipBoard has a range of subscription plans:
- Starter: $49/month
- Team: $89/month
- Business: $129/month
- Enterprise: Pricing by request
- Free Trial: Free 15-day trial for all plans
Used for: Quick design feedback.
Red Pen claims to be the fastest feedback tool for visual teams. Simply drag in a design (or a bunch of related designs), and then everyone can collaborate effortlessly.
- File types: Only designs and images.
- Markup tools: Point and click to give feedback. Everyone sees comments live as they happen.
- Versioning: Update or replace each image for every iteration.
- Collaboration: Ask colleagues and clients for feedback by giving them a private link or inviting them via email.
- Status tracking: Keeps your team updated about comments, additions, and new versions.
Red Pen is priced according to how many projects you run at once:
- 5 projects: $20/month
- 10 projects: $30/month
- 25 projects: $60/month
- 40 projects: $90/month
- Free Trial: Try Red Pen free for 14 days
There’s also a free, basic version with no projects – just single uploads that you can share and last for 20 days.
Best for: Reviewing web pages.
Using Bounce, you can easily share ideas on websites, making it ideal if you want to review web pages. Simply enter a URL, and Bounce will take a screenshot of the page. (Or, you can just upload an image file.) Then, you can mark rectangular areas, add comments, and share your reviewed file via a link.
- File types: Web pages and images.
- Markup tools: Click anywhere on your screenshot, and type in what you want to say.
- Collaboration: Review screenshots, make notes, save them, and bounce them!
Bounce is free to use.
Used for: In-app and website visual feedback.
Usersnap is a versatile user feedback platform that lets you share visual feedback right in your browser by using point-and-click annotation tools. You can use it for collaborating on new ideas, tracking bugs, and sharing the vision of your product or idea.
- File types: Click, screenshot, and send. That's how easy it is to send in-app visual feedback.
- Markup tools: Pin comments on the screenshots directly. Metadata such as URL, browser info, and console logs are captured automatically.
- Versioning: Gain confidence in product roadmap planning by referencing customer feedback and request trends.
- Collaboration: Assign, label, comment, search, and filter feedback to match your team's workflow.
- Status tracking: Group, upvote, and assign issues and suggestions in one dashboard so that you can prioritize feedback.
- Integrations: Streamline your development process through JIRA, Azure DevOps, Asana, Github, Trello, Intercom, or 1,500 other third-party integrations.
Usersnap offers a wide range of subscription plans:
- Basic: $9/month
- Startup: $69/month
- Company: $129/month
- Premium: $249/month
- Enterprise: Custom plans from $949/month
- Free trial: Try Usersnap free for 15 days
Used for: Design reviews by solo designers and freelancers.
DesignDrop helps designers capture and organize feedback, making the review process significantly more effective and less painful.
- File types: JPG and PNG files only.
- Markup tools: Draw visual annotations directly onto the image and add comments in the sidebar to specify detailed feedback on the design.
- Collaboration: Share each design anywhere via a short URL. See the comments and annotations appear in real-time.
- Status tracking: Use one single reference point for all feedback instead of sifting through multiple email threads.
Used for: Streamlining the design process.
CloudApp is an all-in-one screen recording tool to capture and embed HD video, GIFs, screencasts, screenshots, and marked-up images throughout business workflows. You can record your screen as a video with your voice and face, an annotated image, or a GIF and instantly share it as a link to get your point across.
- File types: Screen recording.
- Markup tools: Add deeper context with annotation.
- Collaboration: Capture, annotate feedback, and share an instant link with your teammates.
- Integrations: CloudApp has powerful integrations with Atlassian JIRA, Slack, Trello, Zendesk, and more.
CloudApp is free for Mac, Windows, Chrome, and iOS. Premium plans include:
- Free: $0
- Individual: $9.95/month
- Team: $8/user/month.
- Enterprise: Pricing by request.
Used for: UI design and feedback.
MockFlow is a cloud-based tool for brainstorming user interfaces, including UI design mockups, sitemaps, documentation, and design approvals.
- Collaboration: Draw UI collaboratively using role-based permissions, real-time editing, annotated comments, design approvals, and more.
- Status tracking: Organize each screen in a project by status to give a clear picture of the design's outcome.
- Workflow automations: Auto-generate design specifications and documentation from wireframes.
- Review and approval: Easily provide annotated feedback and approve the best variations.
- Integrations: Connects with industry-leading business apps such as Slack, Confluence, and Trello to provide a seamless workflow for UI collaboration. Plus, you can extend your UI workflow with 30+ addons called Power-ups.
Mockflow has several subscription plans:
- Basic: free
- Wireframing: $14/user/month
- Product Design: $16/user/month.
- Enterprise: Pricing by request.
Used for: Video review and approval.
Screenlight offers designers and videographers a simple way to collect clear creative feedback and move their projects forward.
- File types: Upload video, audio, or images.
- Markup tools: Add comments at the precise timecode and keep the conversation all in one place with threaded comments.
- Versioning: Upload a new version and we’ll let your project team know there’s a new version for review. (You can also carry over all previous comments to ensure that each change has been made.)
- Collaboration: Set permissions for each individual, then share the link with relevant stakeholders. Password protect your project or set an expiry date for added security.
Screenlight has three subscription plans:
- Free: $0/month
- Professional: $9/user/month
- Enterprise: From $500/month
Which Design Feedback Tool is Right for You?
With eleven top-tier design feedback tools to choose from, you’ll need to weigh up the best solution for your business. Draw up a checklist of features you require and, where possible, take the software for a trial period to ensure it does everything you want.
If you still haven’t tried Ziflow, now’s a great time to see how a modern design feedback tool functions. Sign up for a free trial.