Skwibl is an early stage start-up which has a product offering loosely related to the collaborative whiteboard idea our team is pursuing this quarter. Skwibl offers an online collaboration platform which allows designers to work with each other (and with clients) to provide feedback on visual designs (both images and videos). Features include the ability to post designs, make annotations (on the design), assign tasks (changes to the design) and an activity feed to view recent activity on a particular design.
The product is geared towards the designer market and it appears they are focusing on smaller teams starting from freelancers up to small start-ups/design teams. Since the project is nascent, this is a good choice because the product available at the moment (and the features planned in the near term) are likely to be sufficient for this market segment. They are lacking many features at the moment which would make this suitable for larger companies, specifically enterprise security, AD integration among others.
The customer for this product offering is the designer, the people that have to collaborate on visually rich projects and usually lack the tools to do so. The most common scenario involves using email, sending large attachments back and forth between other designers and the clients (for feedback) and then tracking requests through these emails. There is a lack of a tool which makes it:
- easy to share the designs
- easy to provide feedback on the designs (through visual annotations)
- easy to track revisions and changes designs along with task and activity history
Skwibl provides a solution which addresses these concerns in a neat little package geared specifically towards designers.
Skwibl is a “Pain Killer”, it eliminates the headaches associated with sending out design revisions via email and then collecting and collating all of the feedback from emails. It also makes it easier to understand what the client is talking about, since they can highlight directly on the design as opposed to trying to determine what they mean through email which can often lead to unnecessary churn and confusion.
There appears to be some fragmented competition in this space, particularly with large solutions which provide a lot of tools and features that may or may not cover the needs of designers and are likely priced significantly higher. There is one start-up out there (GoVisually – http://www.govisually.com/) which appears to be offering a very similar product offering targetted to the same market (designers) and is much further along.