Design

Pastel – Faster Web Design

June 1, 2018

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Pastel – Faster Web Design

Intro

Web designers and web developers listen up. This product was made for you. As a group of designers and developers ourselves, we have also struggled with the same pain points of gathering and implementing feedback from our clients. But fear no more, Pastel is here to solve those problems once and for good. Pastel is an online platform that allows for easy feedback and collaboration for web design.

The Problem

When you look at the way feedback and collaboration for web design is done today, you might say that the entire method is very outdated and super clunky. In an age where new software tools are being developed everyday to make our lives easier, most feedback and collaboration on web projects is still done through traditional texting, group messaging, or in-person meetings. Web design ultimately is a form of art and should be treated like one. Giving feedback on web design via written language and screenshots can cause a lot of miscommunication and confusion for both designers and clients.

The Solution

If you’ve dabbled in UI/UX design or mobile app development at all, you’ve most likely used InVision in your design process to allow clients to make comments directly to your work. Pastel is the InVision for web design. The platform allows you to enter any website link, create a “canvas” link, and share it with anyone. Your clients and collaborators will be able to open the link, then type their comments. Pastel allows the client and the collaborator to do this without any login or installation. Finally, you as the designer will be able to see all the feedback and comments from your client in one place.

Pastel as a Startup

Pastel is a SaaS startup based in Toronto, Canada. It was founded recently by three guys (Valentin Staykov, Aloke Pillai, Haneef Ghanim) who were all freelancer designers and developers themselves. As they worked in freelance, they constantly came face to face with the pain point of vague and unclear feedback from clients. This made implementing client feedback extremely difficult, and as a result, they were spending a lot of time on these tasks that should be very quick and easy. Based on their story, they dreamed that one day giving feedback on on a website design would be as simple as “leaving a sticky note on a piece of paper.” So they built Pastel to help people save time and energy in the website design and development process.

What We Love

Pastel is a very simple yet powerful product. It is extremely intuitive and very easy to explain, so we will keep this part short and sweet. The general flow of the product can be condensed into three main parts: create, collaborate, resolve/export. Creating an account takes a few seconds and once you login, this is the main home screen you would see.

No downloads. No plugins. The homepage is extremely clean and easy to understand. You would simply enter in the URL of whatever web page you want feedback on, then you would create a “canvas” for that URL. You will need to create a separate canvas for each page of your website you want feedback on.

Once you click into each canvas, it will look something like this:

This is an example site that we at AloaLabs recently got to collaborate on with an education tech startup in Dallas called Peeyr. We recently wrapped up the project, but we really wish we discovered Pastel before the project began. A huge pain point of the project was gathering very specific changes from the client and passing it on to our development team.

I very roughly replicated some of the requested changes through Pastel. In the screenshot above, the blue circles represent the input and the feedback I would give as the client. Making these comments are as easy as clicking on a specific location on the screen and typing out the text desired.

All comments are saved to the left of the screen where they can be viewed and expanded. With each comment that you implement or take into consideration, you will be able to either make replies to them or marked them as “resolved.”

Finally, if you use Trello as your project management tool, Pastel allows you to connect to your Trello account and export the client feedback directly to the backlog of your Trello board.

See It In Action

Pastel is live now and is available for everyone to use. At the end of November 2017, it was voted as the #5 product of the day on Product Hunt. If you don’t know what Product Hunt is, that’s a pretty big deal.

Pastel allows for a 14-day free trial. But that’s not even the cool part. The cool part is you get to sign up for the free trial with just your email. No credit card needed. The sign up process literally takes a few seconds. Plans start at $25/month, which includes unlimited canvases and unlimited collaborators.

Hope you enjoyed the review! If you’re obsessed with dope design products like us, feel free to check out other design products we have reviewed here.

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