Lars Damgaard
strategic user experience designer
December 13th 2013

Using Evernote to share designs with colleagues and stakeholders

For years I have been looking for an ideal way to share designs with people. However, I never really found a good solution up until a couple of weeks ago when my colleagues and I started using Evernote as a design sharing tool. It’s not perfect, but unlike most other tools I have tried, it does a really good job.

Some of the widely used tools for sharing designs

The seemingly simple task of sharing designs with others can be handled in many ways and I guess you have tried the following tools already.

Email

Though extremely easy to use, it has lots of limitations. People don’t like to have their inboxes filled with huge files and if you work in a large organization, chances are that your colleagues receive way too many emails already. However, the good thing about email is that you get the chance to explain your design rather than just delivering it, which is crucial if you want someone else to comment on it.

Dropbox

Dropbox is very powerful for sharing files, but it’s very hard to explain a design or a mockup in dropbox. All you can do is to make sure the other person gets your file. Of course you can send an email with a dropbox link and use the email to explain the design, but it’s not exactly ideal for multiple iterations.

Generated prototypes

I use Axure for most of my designs, which means that I can easily use axshare.com (or upload to ftp) to share my designs, but it has its disadvantages too. Sometimes it’s slow, sometimes the fonts don’t work perfectly and sometimes you don’t want the Axure panel in the left side of the screen, though these can be hidden.

Generated prototypes work well and I use it a lot, but I find it more useful when finalizing a project than when iterating through a project.

What makes Evernote a good tool for sharing designs

At the moment, I use Evernote for two things. In the beginning of a new project I might want to collect a massive amounts of inspirational screenshots for others to see. Later on I want to share my own designs or various iterations of a design, which usually means that I have to deliver relatively large files to colleagues or stakeholders.

Shared notebooks in Evernote work perfectly for both use cases. I can easily share and explain a design either by synchronization or by generating a shared link that can be sent by email without any of the shortcomings of the alternatives mentioned above.

What would make Evernote an even better tool for sharing designs

Though it works really well, Evernote would work even better as a collaborative design tool if had some of the following features:

My colleagues and I are all using the Premium Edition, but we will probably explore the the business version at some point.

What is your favorite way of sharing designs with colleagues or stakeholders? Let me know on twitter.

Thanks for reading.

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