Collaborative design software

Updated: February 27, 2019

2019. Online design tool Figma gets new enterprise collaboration features



Figma, the design and prototyping tool that aims to offer a web-based alternative to similar tools from the likes of Adobe, is launching a few new features today that will make the service easier to use to collaborate across teams in large organizations. Figma Organization, as the company calls this new feature set, is the company’s first enterprise-grade service that features the kind of controls and security tools that large companies expect. For designers, one of the most important new features here is probably organization-wide design systems. Figma already had tools to create design systems, of course, but this enterprise version now makes it easier for teams to share libraries and fonts with each other to ensure that the same styles are applied to products and services across a company.


2019. Smartsheet acquires Slope to help creatives collaborate



Smartsheet, the project management and collaboration tool has acquired Slope - collaboration tool designed for sharing creative assets. Bringing Slope into the fold will enable Smartsheet users to share assets like video and photos natively inside the application, and also brings the ability to annotate, comment or approve these assets. Smartsheet sees this native integration through a broad enterprise lens. It might be HR sharing training videos, marketing sharing product photos or construction company employees inspecting a site and sharing photos of a code violation, complete with annotations to point out the problem.


2018. Prototyping tool InVision is valued at $1.9 billion



InVision, the startup looking to be the Salesforce of design, has officially achieved unicorn status with the close of a $115 million Series F round, bringing the company’s total funding to $350 million. This deal values InVision at $1.9 billion. InVision started out back in 2011 as a simple prototyping tool. It let designers build out their experience without asking the engineering team to actually build it, to then send to the engineering and product and marketing and executive teams for collaboration and/or approval. Over the years, the company has stretched its efforts both up and downstream in the process, building out a full collaboration suite called InVision Cloud (so that every member of the organization can be involved in the design process), Studio, a design platform meant to take on the likes of Adobe and Sketch, and InVision Design System Manager, where design teams can manage their assets and best practices from one place.


2015. Video collaboration startup Frame.io raised $2.2M



Frame.io, the service that improves collaboration process around video production has raised a $2.2 million. Co-founder and CEO Emery Wells says Frame.io emerged from his own frustrations about the tools available when he needed to work with clients, team members and other collaborators. On a typical project, you could share media files via Dropbox, Box or Hightail, but they don’t offer a great video-viewing experience, so might end up posting videos privately on YouTube or Vimeo. Bt even then, Wells said, “Communicating in a static email sucks; you just end up with a mess of links.” With Frame.io, you can upload video, photo and audio files; view the files in your browser; compare different versions; leave time-stamped annotations and comments; and even draw directly on the video or image.


2013. Adobe goes all SaaS



Not long ago we reported that Adobe made the subscription to their creative applications more attractive than purchasing them. Today they have gone further and declared that the subscription will remain the only option. There will be no new version for the Creative Suite (CS). Instead, there will be only Adobe Creative Cloud (CC). Why are they doing it? The first reason - to fight piracy. The second reason - Adobe's creative programs have become cloud services. No, they are not running in browser. But today they not just allow to draw something but also to organize collaboration on a project via multiple computers and with multiple collaborators (on the first place, to organize the interaction between designer and customer). In addition, Adobe has integrated Behance (the designer ecosystem) into its cloud service. It's a community where designers can share media resources and find inspiration and advice, and customers can find designers for their projects. Adobe Creative Cloud costs $50/month. It includes Photoshop and all other Adobe creative applications plus 20 GB of cloud storage.