Despite significant scientific and medical gains in recent years, implementation of certain technologies remains slow at best. This gap is particularly evident in the world of graphic design: many designers continue to rely on decades-old techniques that needlessly complicate the document design and printing process, costing time and money.
The Traditional Approach
Historically, designers have purchased or downloaded specific software packages to meet their needs. This method presents a few difficulties. Initially, simply selecting the right program for a given setup can be a challenge in a world that draws sharp boundaries between various operating systems and devices. There’s also the problem of handling the design software itself, which must be purchased upfront, downloaded, installed, periodically updated, and even replaced when it becomes obsolete. But the latest isn’t always the greatest: users running new software can easily be overwhelmed by a bewildering array of options and features—even as they endure the sluggish response time typical of such programs. Under this strategy, the final step of submitting the finished document to a printer can become a hectic flurry of last-minute changes and back-and-forth memos to get everything just right.
A New Direction
Perhaps this explains why designers are increasingly turning to web-based programs throughout the printing and document preparation process. Switching to the cloud not only replaces hefty licensing fees with more affordable pay-as-you-go subscriptions, but also facilitates easy sharing across platforms and devices. An active document can be accessed as needed from a smart phone, tablet, laptop, and desktop computer on various operating systems—without any downloading. In fact, recent developments in Internet technology mean that multiple users can work together on the same document in real time while chatting about potential revisions. This makes it easier than ever to incorporate eleventh-hour changes.
But all of these improvements of convenience are useful only if the content of cloud-based design software can rival that of the of the best traditional programs. Fortunately, a community-based approach can help even here. Members of such communities enjoy access to a constantly updated database of polished templates that virtually erases the need to ever start from scratch. For example, this Microsoft Publisher alternative with the intuitive drag-and-drop interface makes it easy to get started.
As technological barriers to publication subside, leading more and more individuals and companies to find online solutions, we can expect to see a more integrated workplace and an increase in the overall quality of publications. Online document design software will give people the tools they need not only to express themselves but also to do so in a way that appeals to and connects them with potential readers.