You’ve made a design, and need some quick feedback on it. So, you upload it to CloudApp, share the link on Twitter, and wait for the @replies to come in. At best, you’ll get 140 character replies, letting you know what needs fixed. But good luck figuring out exactly what they’re talking about, since they can’t point to the spot on the design they’re talking about to show you.
There’s dozens of apps for feedback on designs, but most at least require you to make an account and at worst require those giving you feedback to make an account. How about something radically simpler?
That’s what Red Pen is. You upload a file, get pointed feedback, and go. That’s it.
The Simplest Feedback Tool.
Seriously, Red Pen is that easy to use. Just open it, then drag-and-drop your .png or .jpg file into the center drop-zone. Don’t try to upload PDFs or PSDs, though, or Red Pen will remind you that it’s only a simple website, one with simple hopes and dreams. Cute.
Using Red Pen
After you’ve dragged an image into Red Pen’s uploader, you’ll see a preview of your image while it’s uploading, and then you’ll be redirected to your file’s share page. You can copy the link and share it with your colleagues privately, or share it on Twitter and other networks to get a wide range of opinions — your choice. Then, you can enter your email on the far right of the page header so you can get email updates when comments are added. You’ll need to type your email address, then hit enter to save it.
When others open your design link, they’ll see a similar page, albeit one letting them know that this is the design you want feedback on. They can then just click anywhere on the design, and type in their comments about it. Then, when they post the reply, they’ll be asked to enter their name and optionally their email address. That’s all. It’s just as simple for those who want to give you feedback as it is for you.
There’s one other thing: you could select a spot on your design and add your own comment to it, if you want to give your reviewers more info. It’s a way to get a little more out of the app, even when it has so few features.
And now, the part you’ve been waiting for: feedback. You’ll be able to see everyone’s comments right on your design, and can then reply to them right under their comment. Other commenters, also, can reply to comments already on the image, and they’ll get emailed when comments are added to their comments if they’ve entered their own email. So, you just might get a discussion going if you’re lucky.
Keeping up With Your Designs
Since there’s no accounts on Red Pen, it’d seem that there’d be no way to manage all of the designs you upload with it. There’s technically not, but there is a nice touch on the homepage. Just scroll down below the upload box, and you’ll see a list of the recent designs you’ve viewed, based on your browser cache. That’ll include your own uploads — which you view when the share page auto-opens after uploading complets — as well as any of your colleagues’ designs you’ve checked out.
And, of course, you’ll get emails from Red Pen when people leave comments on your designs if you added your email to the top of your design page. That might not be so important at first, when you’re watching the page for feedback, but it’s sure nice when, several days later, someone decides to comment and you get an email reminder.
It’s Simple, and Just Makes Sense
Red Pen is one of those tiny yet useful apps that you should add to your design toolbelt. It might not be as essential to your work as Photoshop, but it sure might keep you from pulling your hair out when you need feedback on your designs. And that’s valuable.
It does exactly what it says it will, works fast, and looks great doing it. If you need a quick way to get design feedback, Red Pen is the app I’d recommend.