Theresa and I are often asked about the applications we use on our computers, tablets, and mobile devices, so we decided to write a monthly blog post about hot (and cold) new apps we discovered. Found a golden app yourself? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll review it!
This space is typically reserved for app reviews on iOS and Android systems, but there are also many web apps worth mentioning to our clients and followers. This month we decided to review a web app Colordrop recently added to our personal client workflow and one we think has much potential for aiding in productive cloud-based collaboration.
Application Description (from dropmark.com)
Dropmark is dead simple collaboration in the cloud. The site has a drag and drop interface that allows users to drop files from their desktop into any browser. The files will be automatically viewable in the cloud. Colleagues can be invited to view and collaborate privately, work can be shared with clients, and there is no required signup for invited guests. The site works with popular software such as iPhoto, iTunes, Courier (mac), RSS, and every major web browser.
- Drag and Drop Interface
- Collaborate with a Team
- Full Screen Presentations
- Organize public and private collections
- Instant Photo Slideshow
- Collaborative playlists and podcasts
- Useable with personal domain
Dropmark is a web application written by Oak Studios project that attempts to make cloud-based collaboration simple, fast, and easy to use. With a free dropmark account, users can drop almost any file into their browser and have it automatically upload to their personal username.dropmark.com domain. This content can be anything from images, to videos, to content housed on other sites such as Youtube, Instagram, and Vimeo. Users can organize their dropmark content into collections based on how they wish to use the service and each collection can either be private or public.
The Dropmark blog notes an easy way to create a simple microsite where one can have a simple ad-free space to add their artwork, demo reels, or photography. If one upgrades to their paid pro plan (currently $4/month paid annually) users can link their dropmark account to their own domain. This is something colordrop has done, so our current dropmark account links to http://droplets.colordrop.com.
So, how are we using this software to streamline our client interaction? Before we were introduced to Dropmark, clients would be sent design mockups via email as an image file. In order to ensure our clients could open the files we sent, we often had to downgrade the resolution or send multiple emails. With Dropmark we simply drag and drop the images into the client’s “collection” and send them a URL link. We know exactly how the image will appear in their browser and there is no need to decrease the resolution/image size.
This web software has more possibilities we might explore in the future, but for now we are impressed with how this simple program improves our client workflow while allowing our clients an easy way to view design mockups. However, there are a few things we’d like to see in the future and hopefully some will be implemented. Dropmark has a very clean interface without ads or social networking links, yet their pro plans do not offer personal branding. I am sure we are not the only design company who would like to see our logo on our dropmark page. In addition, clients are not able to currently comment on each mockup we upload to our Dropmark page. This little addition would save time on the clients side because they could note what they do and do not like about each mockup.
Despite these two small areas of improvement, we still highly recommend Dropmark to both our designer friends and for those clients who just wish to have a space to collaborate with online content.
- Simple, uncluttered design
- Easy drag and drop interface
- Ability to redirect to personal domain
- No personal branding
- No way to comment on content