Pixelapse

Design collaboration platform.

Pixelapse is a design collaboration platform, offered with the stated goal of improving communication on projects… and providing an easy to access workflow for open source and private design projects. It does this by integrating with a range of popular tools and software packages, allowing comment and collaboration, as well as a number of nifty extra features.
 
The result? Well, in short, we were impressed. The Pixelapse platform is clean and easy to use, while our main concerns of compatibility and security seemed to be well addressed.
 
Another thought likely to occur to anyone used to working in a certain way, is the pain of having to learn a new platform and navigate alien interfaces just to find those commands you would usually use day in, day out. Pixelapse gets around this neatly however, with a very simple interface. There are no new commands to learn, and everything operates in a clean and logical way.
 
Which allows you to get right to the good stuff – and that’s the communication element. This aspect of the app is very well catered for, offering users the ability to add notes to a developing project, or have more in-depth discussion with colleagues through the use of a chat feature. Versions are auto-saved, which means that on any given project you’ll be able to whizz back in time looking at all the previous comments and suggestions left by your team.
 
The result is a multi-dimensional, evolving project diary – more than just a workplace, Pixelapse provides a time capsule which chronicles the ongoing development of any given project. Particularly for those used to working in larger teams, we can see this being a really useful tool for managing workflows.
 
Before we get to our conclusions though, let’s take a more detailed look at some of the features provided. 
 
Pixelapse is a design collaboration platform that works with the existing tools you use.
 
 
Features
 
Pixelapse manages to fit a surprisingly dense selection of tools and features into its interface. Here are a few of the more note-worthy features you’ll be able to take advantage of:
 
Unlimited Backups.
One of the great things about working on Pixelapse is that every version of your design gets saved and stored – allowing you to revert to earlier versions with ease, while eliminating the threat of hard drive crashes.
 
Conversations.
Discussions within the platform are centred around the design itself, letting your project lead the way as you communicate with colleagues through chat features, comments and inline annotation tools.
 
Access Privileges.
Pixelapse allows you to take fine control over who can see what – by setting up a granular permissions system to differentiate between contributors, editors, reviewers and clients on each project.
 
Massive Compatibility.
Perhaps one of the most important jobs for a platform like this, is to fit in alongside the tools you already use. Pixelapse achieves this with aplomb, featuring full compatibility with some of the most popular design suites – including Illustrator and Photoshop, Fireworks, Graffle, Sketch App, InDesign and plenty more.
 
Security.
Anther key factor is that of security… and when working in Pixelapse, you’ll be able to enjoy complete confidence in the safety of your work. The platform stores you work using industry-standard AES-256 file encryption, combined with SSL encryption for data transit.
 
Team Work.
While Pixelapse can be used to organise projects for a solo designer, it really excels in a team setting. Using this platform you’ll be able to assign work before centralising communications in a relevant workspace. Managers can then monitor their team’s work and permissions from an admin dashboard.
 
Community.
Finally, Pixelapse prides itself on ‘bringing designers together’… something it achieves through the provision of a full community section. While this part of the product might not appeal to purists, it nevertheless provides a useful source of dialogue, tips, feedback and advice. The ability to show off your work in a public gallery is a neat touch though, and acts as a kind of in-app portfolio.
 
 
Conclusion
 
Pixelapse is available at a number of different pricing options. The free package allows users to work on public projects using the platform, and take advantage of the site’s community section. Alternatively, paid options start at $15/month and allow designers to use Pixelapse on private projects as well as making use of cloud storage space. These go all the way up to the ‘large’ and ‘enterprise’ bundles, which each allow for large project workspaces, plenty of storage, plus some other team-supporting features besides.
 
Simple, clean and user-friendly interfaces make collaboration a breeze.
 
A free 14-day trial is offered too, to give users a chance to get to grips with the software and decide if it works for them. Check it out for yourself, over at http://www.pixelapse.com/tour.
Pros
Cons
  • Simple, clean and user-friendly interfaces make collaboration a breeze.
  • Full history backups allow you to jump in and out of a project’s developmental timeframe.
  • The price includes everything, so there are no hidden charges to worry about.
  • A free trial is always a good idea, and gives you the opportunity to get to know Pixelapse before committing to buy.
  • While the ‘large’ tariff allows for up to 15 private projects, this still might not be enough for designers who tend to work on multiple smaller jobs.
Bottom line
Ultimately, Pixelapse is going to work for some – but not all – designers. It favours large teams over individuals, but if it’s a match for the way you work then you’re likely to find this an invaluable tool for streamlining your work processes. Our advice? Pick up a free trial, and decide for yourself.
Review Author: Richard Morten

About the Author

Richard Morten - Richard Morten is a freelance writer and self-confessed geek. His interests include travel, coffee, and spending way too much time on the Internet.
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