Retina 5k, Yosemite, iPad Air 3, and Droplr

Donno about you, but I can’t wait to lick the zesty layer of organic passivation off the new Retina iMac.

All joking aside, today’s Apple announcement was, again, stunning. They’ve sapped the world’s supply of pencils, pixels, and hyperbole to create The Best Mac Ever and the Thinnest, Best, Most Powerful iPad Ever. The marriage of iOS and Yosemite was consummated right there on stage before Craig Federighi and the great Stephen Colbert. The new iPad was shown juggling volumetric lighting effects like Pelé juggling a soccer ball. More than a bajillion banks have succumbed to the mighty, all-seeing eye of Apple Pay. Then Tim Cook got all teary-eyed thanking the whole Apple team. (There was also that bit about the Apple spaceship, but we shall never, ever talk about that again).

We saw more sweet Yosemite features, including Spotlight and Safari search-fu. And more on that whole widget notification thing that everybody is so excited about.

Including us!

We’ve discovered a hidden cache of Jolt Cola and we’re force-feeding it via IV to our developers RIGHT NOW to create the next version of Droplr for Yosemite and iOS 8. What features will they have? Unfortunately we can’t leak any photos or specs because we can’t afford to hire Stephen Colbert to do a bit about security. Oops, we mentioned it. Sorry.

But rest assured that we are working on it and that the updates will be released very soon. Right after we get done playing with all the new Apple stuff.

Your design sucks and other feedback fails

Your design is dreadful, reminiscent of the black malodorous ichor that oozes forth from decaying animal matter.

That’s a rather egregious example of unproductive feedback. It does absolutely no good to simply smash your colleagues’ designs. It may be good fun, but it’s not conducive to a functional and friendly work environment.

So how do you give constructive feedback?

1 - Start with the good

Ply them with compliments. Flatter them. This does two things. First, it puts you in a positive state of mind by forcing you to look for stuff you like. Second, it makes whoever’s receiving the feedback feel comfortable. It helps them open up and puts them in a receptive state of mind.

2 - Destroy them

Once they’ve opened up, smash them into powder. Use every ounce of your creativity and talent to eviscerate them. Leave them an empty, hopeless shell. No, kidding. Don’t do that. Definitely not.

2 - (Really) Make suggestions

Instead of simply pointing out what you don’t like, suggest ways to improve their work. Perhaps a thinner font? Maybe a heavier line weight? Be specific and constructive.

3 - Provide examples

Show them the stuff you like. Find examples of sites, photos, illustrations, even music that will help them get back on track. Sometimes it may even be helpful to create a mini mood board filled with inspiration.

4 - Don’t overdo it

Too much feedback can be overwhelming. It can sap motivation and slow forward momentum. Keep your feedback to a minimum to keep the project moving forward.

It all seems like a awful lot of work just to provide feedback, but it’s worth it. Constructive feedback improves creative collaboration and ultimately leads to better designs. Also, your coworkers won’t ambush you in the parking garage, throw a sack over your head, and dump you in the river.

New feature: Video embedding

Isn’t Youtube great? The flashy ads, the promo videos, the thoughtful, well-written comments. Oh wait. No. It’s awful. That’s why we’ve added Youtube, Vimeo, Vine, and even Dailymotion video embedding to Droplr.

Now you can share a video from any of these services in a simple, clean Droplr window.

Load the video you want to share in your favorite browser. Click the Droplr icon in your menu bar, click the plus (+) button and select Shorten URL. A link to the video will be uploaded to Droplr. Paste the Droplr link anywhere to share.

Special thanks to the Droplr interns Nick and Kyle! The two worked feverishly all week to make the feature a reality. We rewarded them with donuts.

Happy birthday, CSS!

Remember when you had to mess around with HTML tables and spacer GIFs to get your site to look fly? So maybe I’m just showing my advanced age (or early onset Alzheimer’s), but I remember when web design sucked super hard. That was before CSS. Now things are precise (kinda). And easy (not really).

At any rate, CSS turned 20 today and Bruce Lawson just posted an interview with the genius behind CSS, Håkon Wium Lie. Lie is the CTO of Opera. Way back when he realized that if the Web was going to go anywhere, it needed some style.

The interview gets delightfully technical, so prepare to geek out a bit.

What do we have to say about CSS?

"Thank you CSS. Because of you I became obsessed with front-end web design and spent my youth writing stuff like ‘border: 1px solid #ccc’" -Josh Bryant, CEO Droplr

Design Week PDX

We had a fantastic time at Design Week PDX! Special thanks to FINE, Liquid, and AKQA for the free booze and cookies.

Besides consuming far too many calories, we learned a lot about the way designers and developers collaborate. Screenshots, as always, are totally key to the way creatives share their stuff. Simply yelling across the room works, too. And at FINE, you can literally just write on the walls. It’s fantastic. We’re totally jealous.

Ping-pong was also a recurring theme. According to agency reps, the game boosts hand-eye coordination and, when played in teams, promotes cooperation and unity in an office environment. Or maybe it’s just damn good fun. Either way, Droplr HQ needs pingpong.

Overall, the Portland design community was fantastic. We met many hyper-talented designers, developers, creative directors, recruiters, videographers… the list goes on and on. Portland is a shining beacon of design and creativity. It’s not just a place where 30-somethings retire.

Thanks again and see you next year. We plan to return all the favors from this year and host our own event. Expect beer, maybe ice cream, and definitely some sort of game involving objects flying at high speed.

Droplr October Internship: Day 1

We’re thrilled to have two programming interns joining us in our PDX location. Welcome developers Nick and Kyle! We’re stoked to have you on board.

We started things off with the usual forms, a tour of the office, and coffee. We followed up with a deep dive into our stack with Director of Architecture, Jesse Piascik. Then we talked about coding standards, development workflow, and finally what projects they could tackle. Now it’s off to the races.

The goal for this week is to deploy a new feature to production by Friday. That might be a bit nuts but we’re a startup and we don’t want to waste anybody’s time. Even interns.

Droplr user Peter Sundwall Hansen

When you work with a design team remotely, sharing screenshots is key to creative collaboration. You need to swap ideas and iterations quickly and easily and get back to work without waiting. For freelance designer Peter Sundwall Hansen, however, that hasn’t always been easy.



“I used to share things the slow, old-school way,” he says. “I’d print the screen, edit it in Photoshop, upload it to my FTP server, then send the link.” The process was cumbersome and time consuming, to say the least.

Copenhagen-based Hansen works with web design firm Siino remotely from his home office, sending a steady stream of files and screenshots between the two locations. It’s a significant part of his day, and a process he needed to streamline.

That’s why he started using Droplr. Now he can share screenshots, code, images, and links in seconds with his colleague at the web design firm. With Droplr, he can capture, upload, and share screenshots with a few keystrokes.

“If I am working on a website—let’s say setting up the text or graphics—and I need his opinion on how it works, I use the screenshot feature to drop it to him,” says Hansen. “Or if I have a code snippet that doesn’t compile as it should, I troubleshoot by sending it to him with Droplr.”

Hansen shares dozens of screenshots a day and Droplr has become an integral part of his workflow. “The swiftness and automation are just great,” he says. “Droplr is just a great tool for sharing screenshots and files in a fast way.”

For samples of Hansen’s work, visit http://siino.dk/.

Droplr user Mike Vannelli

Sending video over the web is a pain. Sure, you can use a public service, but you risk bombarding your clients with ads. You can use FTP, if your clients are tech savvy. Or you can use email and hope the servers don’t explode. Video producer Mike Vannelli tried it all before he found a simple, elegant solution.

“None of the services really worked well,” he says. “They all had upload limits or ads, or they were just cumbersome. Then I discovered Droplr.”

The LA-based producer started freelancing in 2009, offering design, photography and video services. He’s produced spots for Lifehacker and promo vids for myriad apps, including Tidy, Cyplifi, and Moga. “I had been using Droplr in my design work to share screenshots and files and it occurred to me that I could use it to send videos, too,” he says.

Vannelli uses Droplr to deliver finalized, high-resolution digital files to his clients quickly and easily. “I can just upload a video file, send my clients a link, and they can download it through any browser,” he says. “No storage limits, no ads. It just works.”

Vannelli simply drags a file or folder into the Droplr icon in his Mac menu bar. It’s automatically uploaded to Droplr and a link to the file is copied to his clipboard. He can paste the link in an email, chat window, or anywhere to share. He can even password protect the files to ensure only his clients have access to them.

Why not just use YouTube? Vannelli wanted a more professional way to deliver video files. With a Droplr Pro account, he was able to add his logo and domain name to download pages. “Having your custom logo and domain name shows another level of professionalism and branding,” he says. “It’s also a matter of trust. If you send clients to download pages with a bunch of ads, they might question your quality.”

Vannelli’s Droplr account is also a repository for client videos. “I send the download link to my clients and tell them that if they ever need the video again, it’ll live there forever,” he says. “And if—worst-case scenario—my backups fail, I’ll have a copy on Droplr.” Thanks to rock-solid and redundant Amazon S3 storage, Vannelli’s video files will be safe if disaster strikes.

“For me, Droplr is just easy to use,” he says. “You just drag and drop, send the link, and you don’t have to worry about clients getting the finished product. That gives me piece of mind and more time to work on the stuff I love.”

Vannelli is currently working on a series of videos for online job board Fiverr and an independent film set in ancient Rome. His work can be found at http://mikevannelli.com/

Collaborate with screencasts

Sometimes a screenshot just isn’t enough. You need video. You need a screencast. With Droplr, you can capture and share screencasts in minutes.

Right click the Droplr icon in your menu bar and select Capture Screen Recording. Select the area of the screen you want to record, then click the Record button.

Make your recording, then hit the stop button in your menu bar. Your movie will be automatically uploaded to your Droplr account in the cloud and a link will be copied to your clipboard.

Paste the link in an email, chat window, forum or anywhere to share. Your colleagues will be able to view the video in their browsers or download it to their desktops.

It’s that easy. Give it a try.

Droplr user profiles

We want to know how you use Droplr—how it helps you collaborate and work faster. We’re especially interested in how Droplr works for teams of designers and developers.

Give us a shout out at marketing@droplr.com (marketing@droplr.com) if you’re interested in chatting with us about your Droplr experience. And because we have no ethics, you’ll be rewarded for your time with some Droplr schwag!

Thanks!