Paul Sawers was a reporter with The Next Web in various roles from May 2011 to November 2014. Follow Paul on Twitter: @psawers or check h Paul Sawers was a reporter with The Next Web in various roles from May 2011 to November 2014. Follow Paul on Twitter: @psawers or check him out on Google+.
We first reported on Cage last June, noting at the time that it was a beautifully simple way of sharing and collaborating on designs.
Just to recap, Cage is Web app from Oklahoma-based BitConfused that aims to solve one problem in style: How to get feedback on a piece of your creative work?
“Cage does away with the need for sprawling group email threads discussing revisions, replacing them with a simple interface that lets anyone view the current draft and highlight any element they’d like to discuss by drawing a box around it,” wrote TNW’s Martin Bryant at the time.
“Each highlighted element then has its own discussion thread, allowing everyone involved in the project to have their say in a format that’s easy to keep track of, and, most importantly, tied closely to the design work itself.”
While Cage was in public beta at the time of writing last year, the good folk behind it switched off access in October so that they could “quietly grow Cage into this current version,” says co-founder Sandip Patel. “It’s not only a redesign, but also a complete re-write with none of the same code being used in this version of Cage.”
So, Cage has turned on its heels and relaunches today, yet again in public beta.
Cage is an online collaboration tool that provides a secure environment for creatives working in Web, mobile, print, video, design, 3D and motion graphics to present their work for feedback and approval. It also offers a pretty intuitive forum for offering real-time direction on actual creative assets.
You can upload and present files, manage tasks, organize revisions and receive approvals all from within one environment. Since Cage first launched last year, we’re told that more than 20,000 creative professionals signed up to use the product, including users from big brands such as Google, Twitter, Facebook, Saatchi & Saatchi, Target, AT&T, Virgin Media, Moleskin, Marvel, Electronic Arts, Walmart and Ogilvy.
In addition to the complete redesign and redevelopment of the interface, several new and improved features have been rolled out, such as.
- Tasks: You can now manage, assign and complete tasks from within the app
- In-app sharing: You can also now send and receive projects without having to copy and paste links into emails
- Video Player: It’s now possible to offer frame-by-frame feedback directly on video projects
- Approvals: Client approvals can be received directly within the app
- File Support: You can upload a broader range of files, including all the standard image and video formats, and even PSDs
- Archive: Users can now archive inactive projects to reference in the future
While in public beta, Cage will remain free, and Patel reckons the overhaul makes the Web app appealing to a much broader range of creatives.
“Our biggest goal in re-imaging Cage was to make it useful for any type of designer, artist or creative team without a lot of clutter,” he says. “Leaving out vital features for the sake of simplicity leads to workarounds, and that doesn’t work for anyone. We wanted to make sure the tool we built would make it easy for creatives to present, manage and secure approvals on their work…and look like geniuses while doing it.”
Despite offers to move away from South Central USA, it seems Patel was keen to stay put. “In the last few months we also turned down a few top accelerators to stay in Oklahoma and launch,” he says.
Meanwhile, check out the new Cage promo video below.
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