Working in a virtual office is difficult. Between phone calls, email threads, IM sessions, and the occasional face-to-face meeting, it’s easy to lose track of exactly what the hell someone is talking about.
Designers in particular face this problem with client work. Designers, illustrators, and other visual artists have to be in constant contact with their clients, utilizing all of the communication methods listed above. Cage, which is entering public beta today, was built to streamline the process of showing off a particular piece of work and allowing other artists or clients to comment on or approve the final product.
“We want you to be able to have a conversation on top of that work, whether that’s a video and you need to leave a comment at a specific mark or it’s an image and you need to leave a comment on specific pixels, Cage is there,” co-founder Sandip Patel says.
A product like this is important in the visual field, where an artist can open themselves up to criticism that, frankly, doesn’t make a lick of sense. “If you’re looking at a new comp on a mobile website for PandoDaily and someone says ‘I wish that button was moved to the left’ in an email thread, you have no idea what button they’re talking about,” Patel says. That’s where Cage comes in.
Cage doesn’t simply allow users to comment on a visual piece in its original context, it also allows users to take their request and turn it into a task. Instead of leaving a passive comment asking for a button to be a different color, a client can create a task that the artist can interact with when they’re done.
Patel says that some 450 users have emailed him since Cage’s public debut this morning, and the “overwhelming majority” have requested that the company build a general task manager into its product. While the company understands the desire for a true, dyed-in-the-wool, general-purpose task manager, that isn’t why Cage was built.
“I don’t know if Cage is going to be this big, huge, beast of an animal that’s the end-all be-all for project management,” Patel says.
The team will work on refining the features that they have built for the time being, focusing on polish and refinement instead of expansion. Patel was refreshingly honest about Cage’s current version, saying “I’d be lying if I said we had something perfect right now. I think we’ve got something good, and we’re going to make it a lot better.”