There are many reasons creative departments at agencies, retailers, and brands abandon solutions that they at one time were convinced was the right tool for their company.
- Sometimes the provider just shuts it down, as was the recent case with Adobe’s CS Review.
- Sometimes the application was missing features that nobody realized were critical until after launch.
- Sometimes the application that works in the trial environment fails real world deployment when it can’t scale to increasing usage or functionality needs.
- Sometimes the application functions fine for users but can’t meet enterprise requirements for security, integration, or reporting.
- Most frequently tools fail because they can’t reach a critical mass of adoption:
Success in adoption of an online approval and proofing solution is reliant on one essential fact: can the reviewers – not the design team but brand managers, business users, and customers – share feedback and approval content quickly and easily?
Designers live and breathe Photoshop, inDesign, Final Cut, and lots of other sophisticated production software. These design applications with all their icons, pull-out menus, drop-down boxes, pop-ups and deep tool sets are wonderfully powerful and their navigation is familiar to designers. But your designers are probably not the critical ones reviewing your creative content.
A wiggly downward arrow that indicates a hidden menu will make sense to a designer but it might go totally unnoticed to many of your reviewers. They’ll miss it and be confused and frustrated. The adoption problem doesn’t mean reviewers aren’t eager to review online, or that they aren’t smart or technically savvy enough to figure out how to use an online proofing tool. The adoption problem results from reviewers that are super busy and don’t have the time to figure out how to use a tool. It must be obvious. Here’s a hint: if a “How to Review” tutorial video needs to be 7 minutes and 44 seconds long, it’s probably going to be hard for your reviewers to adopt it.
We call the review interface a “first gate.” Look at it through the lens of your reviewers. If your online proofing tool is so easy that anyone can use it, then everyone will use it. It’s the number one reason why we inherit customers previously underserved by our competitors.
Read the story of the Visual Branding Team at Advance Auto Parts and their quest to find a better review and approval solution.