Default To Async Video

Let's look at some of the ways creatives collaborate, and why we recommend using async video where possible both to present work and give feedback.

Death by meetings

It's never just the meeting - it's the time to get prepped, and the time to get back in flow after.

Meetings are inefficient for presenting, where you often present work days later instead of while the task is fresh in mind. They're also a poor way to gather feedback, as the responder must respond off the cuff.

Yes, meetings are still good for getting everyone aligned at the start of the project, but they kill your team's output when they become the default.

Failure to present the work

When you send someone a link or file "raw", without any context, it's easy for them to misunderstand it. If they don't get the vision, their reaction can kill the project's momentum. And without context, the feedback will be less useful.

For best results, an artist should present work in progress with context (such as a reminder of the goal of the piece, and where you are in the project) and give some suggestion as to which areas they would like feedback on.

Text is slow

Writing well is deep work, and takes a long time. We've seen people spend hours writing and rewriting a message to get it right. Presenting and giving feedback by text are a huge hidden time sink for many teams.

Writing being slow has a critical second-order effect: feedback delays. Instead of reviewers giving feedback immediately, many people will schedule time to review and respond at a later date, often out of hours. Instead of a fluid back & forth in the team, your creatives get blocked waiting for reviews.

The solution: Async Video

If you were sat next to someone, you'd speak to each other rather than type, right? And the presentation and feedback would be immediate, allowing the work to continue seamlessly without task switching.

Today, few teams are co-located, so the next best thing is to present and respond asynchronously with a short video.

Videos are easy to produce, easy to watch (or read the transcript), and let you express emotional or nuanced concepts. It's is a rich, high bandwidth way to communicate.

The fastest teams default to presenting and giving feedback over video.

Best practices

  • Don't re-record or try to make it perfect. People really don't mind mistakes.
  • Be responsive. Where possible, watch videos as soon as you receive them - not after hours - so that your creatives can continue work without switching tasks. Workflow can drop you a notification to help.
  • Store videos with the work - not lost in a chat thread or email. Workflow stores every video alongside the work by default.
  • Encourage video as the default, not text. If you're a manager, lead by example and make async video a part of onboarding. One team we know makes all new hires communicate only by video for their second week, helping them them build the habit.