Our new favourite tool for design documentation and client presentations
This might sound ridiculous, seeing that we’ve professionally operated in the design space for some 15 years now, but we never actually had a great way to share our conceptual design work with clients. On our everlasting quest for a nifty, simple solution we recently came across Small Victories. Small Victories is also great for documentation and, quite generally, living documents. Here is why you might want to try it too.
How to best share early-stage conceptual design work with clients? We usually start with running people through our work in person or via screen-share. We find it tremendously valuable to verbally give people context of what they see, and to be able to address questions right away. Our clients appreciate that, too. That being said, they usually need something they can disseminate amongst their teams or reference at a later point, as well. “This is amazing guys. Can you send us your presentation?” Unfortunately, more often than not our answer used to come down to, ‘Well, uh, not really’.
We usually include video in our concept presentations to illustrate our thinking with little prototypes we built, or visualise specific potential user interactions. Also, we want to be able to change presentations and add to them after sending them off — much like digital products per se, concepts are never finished, are they? So anything along the lines of PDFs is a huge pain and not really an option. “Yeah, there should be a link to a video in there… Just making sure, are you working off of concept_v2_final_final_db_20161026?”
Small Victories “takes files in a Dropbox folder and turns them into a website”. The idea is that you can focus on what you want to get across and the app does the rest for you. While designing and building considered and beautiful experiences for the web is our main business here at A Color Bright, this comes in super-handy when it comes to quickly whipping up a presentation. It’s just easy, no thrills
You pick a template — say, a presentation, a document, or a slideshow — and start dropping content in a folder on Dropbox. That can include text files in the Markdown format; images; fonts; and anything else you want to include in your presentation or document. We also write some very basic CSS to be able to control the layout of the presentation, the padding, and how images and video are presented alongside text. We are a design-driven company after all, so we want our stuff to look the way we want it to look. The level of CSS required here is very low: any designer with a basic understanding of coding will be able to pull it off. However, the standard templates that Small Victories provides are also perfectly fine, so you don’t even have to go there.
What you end up with is a simple URL that you can share with the client, and all team members can keep updating the presentation as the project progresses. (You can also point your own domain to the Small Victories file, so you can share a pretty “branded” URL. The little details, you know.)
Other things we love using Small Victories for are brand guideline books and, quite generally, all types of living documents that multiple team members contribute to. Think: design documentation, strategy papers, and everything else that requires a little more love or specific design work than what Google Docs or Google Slides offer.
Of course there also are a bunch of tools for this specific use case (e.g. Frontify) but sometimes it’s enough to take a more light weight approach that also doesn’t have ongoing costs.
Check out Small Victories here. There are plenty other things you can do with it, but as far as we are concerned, this is definitely our favourite solution for client presentations, design documentation and brand guideline documents.
Excuse the horrible pun, but more than a small victory this is a huge win in our day-to-day.