When trying to think of something to write about this month, I began to think of all the things I could potentially complain or rant about. I know, that sounds terrible, but those two thoughts are usually a good source of inspiration for me. I started to realize that, while work has been fast-paced lately, we are totally managing! How is that? Truthfully, it’s in no small part because of a few new tools we’ve been using lately that have totally changed how we manage projects.
TrackDuck is a feedback and bug tracker that also integrates with other platforms, like Asana and Slack (to name a few favorites). For any digital studio, feedback on website designs are an integral part of the process and can drastically affect the final product if handled incorrectly. Your feedback loop is where your customer service skills are put to the test and trying to keep track of everything can be overwhelming. What I like best about TrackDuck is the combination of simplicity and thoroughness. When a client clicks on a bug or indicates a revision somewhere on the site, you get the comment, who submitted it, what time, and a screenshot of what they are referring to, with the browser type to boot! As if you couldn’t ask for more, it’s integration with Asana is seamless. Every time there’s a comment submitted, you get all that information sent straight to whatever Asana project you choose. Personally, this gave me the ability to regulate, prioritize and delegate inside a platform that I already use every day which was a huge time saver right off the bat.
Like TrackDuck, GatherContent handles an equally fundamental (and potentially frustrating) phase in the digital build process: the acquiring and organizing of the client’s content. I think we have the tendency to get caught up in the design that we forget how no site is complete without its content. That is the whole point! By the time you can shift your focus to the content, it can take forever to wrangle everything needed and could end up costing you more time than you had allotted. GatherContent helps you keep your content organized in a way that corresponds to the outline of the website. You set up as many “buckets” as you need to represent the pages and subpages of the site, and then you can upload or copy/paste your content into that bucket.Not only does it perfectly catalog each and every bit of your website meat, it virtually eliminates the countless emails of going back and forth sending numerous docs that run the risk of getting lost in your inbox. You can bring your client into the project and have them upload their content as they create it. On your end, you can see how much progress has been made and even make comments on what the client has put in there.
Although we have been using Wipster longer than the previous two life savers above, it has been worth its weight in gold. This tool is a staple in our video production arm and it isn’t hard to see why. When we send clients Wipster video links for feedback, all it takes is just a point and click inside the video, while it is playing to leave a feedback comment at exactly the moment you want it. Before Wipster, which officially launched in the fall of 2014, it was an extremely tedious task to record feedback, let alone try to relay it to the editor. Now, memorizing timestamps are a thing of the past. There is a convenient feed on the side of the playback window that shows you all the comments in order of appearance in the video. Within the comments, you can reply and “like” them for even more interaction with the client. This is a totally hands-off solution that works every time and takes under two sentences to explain (another project management win!).