Conceptshare: collaboration for designers

February 23rd, 2007 at 12:00 am

Graphic designing is a visual trade and having team mates and collaborators all over the world doesn't make that all to easy. In this age of collaboration and outsourcing, the once usual meet in a room and discuss designs has taken a drastic makeover. the room is not tangible anymore, it's in cyberspace and unlike the four-walled counterpart, it's harder to discuss design concepts and other stuff.

Why is this so? First and foremost, collaboration on the internet lacks tactility which is a very important aspect of human communication. Another problem is the communication channel. IM and email or even VoIP is never and will never be the same as face to face meetings and discussions.

Given these problems, sometimes it's just more practical to do it all on the internet. This practicality has spawned dozens of collaboration tools and Conceptshare is one of these tools that is specifically designed for collaborating design professionals. Here is its official description.

ConceptShare allows you to easily share designs inside Workspaces that contain designs related to a certain topic or project.”

Workspaces are the heart of the application. This is where users can upload and share their concept designs by uploading image files or URL's. The images are then put up for review by their team members (assigned by the author). Images can then be commented on, zoomed in and out, drawn on, and basically the usual things done on design studies.

A good thing about this workspace is that to start commenting and all, not all users have to bonline all at once. So if for example I submitted a design for my peers to discuss, I could uipload it anytime and the next time I check it out, I 'll see my peers' comments. the funa nd interactive part comes when Me and my peers are online together. From anywhere in the world with a decent connection and a browser (since the application is Ajax based), I can chat and draw on the design just like being in a room with my peers.

The number of workspaces for every user varies with the plan they are subscribed to. The free version allows 5MB of storage and a single work space. This of course increases geometrically with the price tag.

As of now, ConceptShare is still in Beta and other features aren't working so well yet. upcoming features include:

  • Text Tool: Add text elements to your comment drawings. Perfect for describing design elements or labeling parts..

  • RSS: Keep track of new concepts in the workspace of your choice with a RSS feed.

  • Concept Grouping: A handy feature for grouping together concepts in a workplace.

  • DWG Import: Upload DWG files from CAD programs. Soon architects and engineer can share blueprints and other drawings.

  • Ruler: Measure anything in the workspace by providing scale and measurement type.

  • Eye Dropper: Need to know what color the designer used for that background? Use the eye dropper to get the exact web color.

  • Voting and Reporting: Get easy quality quantitative results from the Concepts in each workspace.

  • Community:Invite members from our Designer Expert directory and also have the ability to list your WorkSpace in the community directory for rapid outside feedback.

All in all, the application has a lot of potential but for now they got to get their act together first and show the world a good reason to subscribe to their service.