Any designer who has emailed back and forth with a client or collaborator about design changes knows that managing the design feedback process can get frustrating–fast.
When trying to track feedback from internal and external stakeholders on design comps and versions, using design feedback tools are a must.
However, design teams are already using sophisticated design software to create and share visual work–adding on yet another platform into the design process can seem overwhelming.
Plus, there are so many options out there for sharing PDFs proofs, reviewing web designs, collaborating on comps, and more, that it can be hard to know which solutions can truly take your design process to the next level.
Some design feedback tools only specialize in certain design files. Others provide detailed commenting and markup options, but may not offer creative workflow for design review and approval or design integrations that are appealing to design teams looking to optimize the entire design process.
In this guide, we’ll explain what to consider when choosing design feedback software and then share a list of leading design feedback tools for different types of design work.
What we'll cover
Table of contents
Key features to consider when evaluating design feedback software
Before we review some of the current design feedback tools on the market, let’s consider what functionality to look for when evaluating design feedback options.
Support for multiple design file types
Design projects today usually involve bringing together many different types of media, from static files to rich media, animated video GIFs, video file formats, audio file formats, web pages, and more.
For design teams that produce multiple types of design work, we recommend looking for a solution that can support several different media types so you aren’t toggling between several systems to keep track of files and feedback.
Comprehensive annotation options
Markup and annotation tools 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.
Markups go beyond lines and text replacement options. The accuracy of design feedback relies on reviewers being able to view design files in their most accurate and updated form. Look for solutions that provide true color accuracy and image transparency, pixel-level comparison, and frame-by-frame feedback options.
Detailed version comparison
Once you start the review and approval process, version control for iterative designs can become a nightmare–especially if you’re using email or sharing files between systems.
Design feedback software that lets your designers and reviewers 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.
Design projects involve collaboration between internal teams, external partners, and clients.
Look for a design feedback tool that allows you to collaborate directly on your design with rich discussion threads and transparency into changes requested.
A reliable design feedback environment eliminates endless email chains, messy printouts, and other legacy tools. Instead, it lets you collect design feedback in a centralized review and approval environment with robust markup tools and simple version management.
Project status tracking and approvals
One feature you’ll definitely want is project status tracking. Progress indicators show you each stage of your design project, which design proofs are on track for approval, and which still need action or modification.
Approval decisions track who has reviewed and approved each version and why–so you can get to a final version faster with a full history of approvals.
Creative workflow automation
Introducing creative workflow automation into your design workflows will improve your efficiency. Several design feedback let you automate every stage of review and approval workflows and control the flow of feedback between internal design teams, clients, and stakeholders.
For example, you can set stage progression triggers to move reviews forward automatically based on the length of review and reviewer decisions.
Brand and marketing compliance controls
Depending on the nature of your business, your designs and design process may have to comply with federal laws, industry regulations, or internal brand policies.
You’ll want design feedback software that can automatically store all your comments, versions, and decision points and signatures for potential compliance review.
Direct integrations with design software
Connecting your design feedback environment to your actual design creation software simplifies and clarifies change requests and versioning for designers.
Look for a feedback tool that integrates with InDesign, Photoshop, and Premiere Pro environments as well as file sharing platforms like DropBox and GoogleDrive. This connectivity can brings all feedback directly onto the design files within your design interface and ensure your entire team is always working with the most up-to-date files.
The top design feedback tools for 2023
Now that you know what features to consider, let’s take a look at the design feedback tools that designers should consider incorporating into their creative process for more efficient design work in 2023.
Ziflow: Best used for comprehensive design review and creative workflow
Ziflow is an enterprise-level design review and approval software with clients that include Showtime, Toyota, and AWS.
With support for over 1,200 file types, Ziflow provides the best all-in-one review space for design teams that need to share and collaborate on live websites, PDFs, video, static and rich media, and almost any type of design project.
Numerous design integrations enable design teams to use Ziflow directly within platforms like InDesign and Adobe Premiere Pro, file sharing like Google Drive, projects management tools like Slack and Asana--eliminating the need to switch back and forth between design environments and automating file and project task sharing throughout the entire design process.
Unlike other design proofing solutions, Ziflow also offers robust design workflow automation and compliance controls–making it the ideal solution for design teams, brands, and agencies that need to standardize and automate high-volume design projects with many collaborators.
InVision: Best 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. Comprehensive whiteboarding combines with project management, interactive widgets and reactions, and more create a central hub for creating and managing user experience projects.
zipBoard: Best used for web 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. Designers that have a hand in creating eLearning content and web developers that implement interactive course materials, training, and internal documentation can rely on zipBoard to simplify communication and collaboration across teams and projects.
Bounce: Best used for reviewing web pages
Using Bounce, you can easily share ideas on websites and images, 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.
Usersnap: Best 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.Gain confidence in product roadmap planning by referencing customer feedback and request trends.Group, upvote, and assign issues and suggestions in one dashboard so that you can prioritize feedback.
DesignDrop: Best used for solo designers and freelancers
DesignDrop helps individual designers capture and organize feedback, making the review process significantly more effective and less painful. With support only for JPG and PNG files, it's a simplified solution for solo designers or freelancers that need a quick, free, basic way to share designs via a short URL and collaboration with basic visual annotation and commenting options.
CloudApp: Best for capturing and sharing screen recordings
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.
Mockflow: Best used for collaboration on UI mockups
MockFlow is a cloud-based tool for brainstorming user interfaces, including UI design mockups, sitemaps, documentation, and design approvals. With MockFlow, you can auto-generate design specifications and documentation from wireframes and draw UI collaboratively using role-based permissions, real-time editing, annotated comments, design approvals, and more. It's a great option for product and web design teams that need streamlined collaboration within the UI brainstorming process.
Which design feedback tool is right for you?
With 10 top-tier design feedback tools to choose from, you’ll need to weigh up the best solution for your design process. 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.
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