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How to make design approvals easier in three steps

A smooth and easy design approval process should always feel like a conversation, not a conflict. Discover how to make your design approvals process easier.

A project being shared on Dropbox with a timeline of activities for design approval

Designers and architects don’t have an easy job. Beyond the work it takes to translate ideas into interior designs or blueprints into beautiful buildings, you have to navigate the murky waters of opinion. You have to call upon Zen-like patience to deal with brutally blunt criticism while somehow turning layers of feedback into an idea everyone approves. But there is a way to make the approval process feel more like conversation than conflict. It’s all about choosing tools that let your whole team work together seamlessly. Here’s how to start.

1. Create cohesion among apps

When apps aren’t integrated, your users have to take the time to close one app, open another, and try to pick up where they left off. These gaps are awkward obstacles in their workflow that cause inefficiencies and can lead to a loss of data and time. Ensuring a foundational connection can keep productivity up.

When the co-founders of PritchardPeck Lighting needed to facilitate team communications, they turned to an integration of Dropbox, Slack and Gmail. “We communicate in our office using Slack,” says Kristin Peck. “It's great to separate internal communication from our clients, which we use Gmail for. But the Slack interface is good because we'll be working over instant message basically. My team will send Dropbox links, and I can quickly click on it, and it will open the file… I can see what's happening without being there.” Here’s how PritchardPeck uses Dropbox to grow their “Small, but Mighty” business.

2. Scale to your projects’ demands

Relying on best-of-breed apps gives your organization more flexibility to scale as needed. An all-in-one solution might have features you don’t need or lack features you’ll need as your business grows. An optimized workflow lets you select which solutions you need to grow, without disrupting your processes.

For example, when award-winning architectural firm BNIM was launching seven new offices across the US, they relied on Dropbox for business teams to simplify their workflows. Here’s how they used Dropbox to collaborate on large design files from any office or device, and achieve faster turnaround times on their client projects.

3. Streamline your workflow to save time

Without an optimized workflow, employees could waste time searching for files or connecting processes that don’t fit together. Establishing a seamless workflow will enable your organization to spend less time coordinating and more time getting work done.

Architecture firm Red Dot Studio uses Dropbox shared links to send large presentation and CAD files to members of their team, as well outside engineers, consultants, and clients. Whenever someone needs to review the latest concepts, they can quickly pull them up from the Dropbox mobile app.

“After visiting a job site, we used to waste time searching for a sketch, scanning it, and then saving it... Now we can snap a picture on our phones, save it to the correct long-term location, and disseminate it on the spot. It’s much more seamless now.”—Alix Daguin, Project Designer, Red Dot Studio

Building a workflow that combines best-of-breed apps and tools helps you work smarter and more effectively. That means more time to focus on job-specific duties and less time sifting through a sea of apps. When you need to round up approvals, creating cohesive collaboration prevents confusion and saves countless hours.

To find out how Dropbox can help, download our free eBook, Better Together.

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