Go Media has always been a strange combination of passions – art and business. So, it was no surprise that when Go Media started we were consistently thinking about the business systems side of being a graphic designer. How do we keep track of our projects? How do we track our time? How do we deliver proofs to our clients? We were anxious to start building these systems for Go Media.
It wasn’t long before we digitally designed the original Prooflab v1. It was a very simple online tool. Users would fill out a form and select proofs. Prooflab would automatically build a web page with our client proofs on it so that we could avoid any mishaps with client’s being unable to open .jpegs in email attachments.
It took us about a year and a half to build Prooflab v2. It was a major leap forward in functionality from Prooflab v1. The basic structure of the site was as follows – both the client and the designers would log-in through the web. Once logged into the system, they would see a projects queue (a list) of all their projects. The list would include things like project number, title, client (or designer), status and deadline. You would click on a project to see the project details. The details of the project included items like: general description, project specs, hours logged, correspondence, proofs and design team. From there, the user could post/review proofs, send an e-mail or edit/request changes to the project.
Finally, on the third go at it – things started to click. Of the utmost importance to the version 3 upgrades was the fundamental structure with which Prooflab handled the organization of the information. Additionally, we were constantly asking ourselves how we could keep the interface as simple and ergonomic as possible. The system had to be so simple and intuitive that a child could use it. And yet, it had to manage very complex projects and piles of information. With this in mind, we tried to build intuitive layers of information; giving the user only what they need at any given moment with a clear path to more information.