We often write about better tools for how people can collaborate easily, and one of our favorite companies just keeps coming with new ones that now it is hard to keep track of what they have in their portfolio. I guess that is a nice problem to have. Starting this week, Zurb.com launched a new service called Influence. It is useful for quickly collecting remarks and advice on graphics and PowerPoint slide decks. It is a great way to work jointly on website design mockups or presentations for example. “We recognized that presenting design ideas, controlling and making sense of feedback you get was a problem for any freelancer, contractor, or company that is designing products,” they state on their blog post.
Influence can be used in several different situations: You just want a poor man’s Webex without the hassles of setup and still have the ability to make a few comments about screen layouts for example. Or you might want to get a quick “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” on one of your designs, or some detailed annotations on each mockup in your design presentation. All of these are better than the tried and true method of the past: sending email attachments and trying to manage the resulting feedback and email streams and conflicting recommendations. You can see a screen shot of the various choices here:
We have written extensively about the company’s annotation and collaboration tools before, including Notable (for cross-device graphic collaboration), Reel (an alternative to Slideshare), and Verify (for collecting user feedback).
Pricing hasn’t yet been announced but will be similar to Notable: $19/month for basic features and $49/month for premium accounts. You can request an invite to their beta now and try it out for free here. You might want to wait a week or so for the service to settle down: both times we tried to upload a PPT deck and didn’t get very far.