Ashore

Online Proofing Software for Creatives

Background

It was a rare opportunity, when Cody Miles from Brandcave approached me for his startup idea. He wanted to build a system that can help the creative agencies. The system was going to solve a problem for the agencies today: make approval process easier. I’ve worked for software development agencies before, and I know sometimes it can be a very long and painful process to get your work approved. This idea aims to streamline the process handling / managing workflows and files and also send emails to you, your company, and your clients automatically about the updates and deadlines. Another problem that Ashore aims to improve is the reviewing process. Clients receive an email with a link when you send a file, and when they click on the link, they are taken to a screen where they can review all the files that you sent. Whether the file is an image, a webpage, or a pdf, or even a video Ashore can handle it. After listening to the description of the app, I thought this was an exciting project to work on, one that can help a lot of people with their work too. I’ve decided to put in serious amounts of work and time into it.

Features

  • Managing workflows and deliverables, automated scheduled emails
  • Email notifications to agencies and clients for deadlines
  • Analytics of the usages
  • Client review screens and annotations for images/pdfs/videos/documents (word and excel)/webpages
  • User subscriptions and monthly payments
  • Google Drive & Dropbox integration

Frontend Development

Main Site Wireframe

The first two weeks of the development was spent in making mostly the frontend of the application. From the login page to the emails that were going to be sent, I’ve communicated with the client everyday to show the progress and get the feedback. In the end, we got a product that looks exactly like the design, and also responsive.

Review Pages (Files Supported) Javascript, javascript, javascript.

Review pages have a lot of front-end functionalities involving user-interactions. I’ve created a method to add annotations to various files, and planned out how to implement it in the backend.

Supported files are: Images / PDF / Videos / Youtube Videos / Documents (doc, docx files) / Spreadsheets (xls, xlsx files) / Weblinks

Backend Development

Database Design

After setting up the project, one of the first things that needed to be done was the database design. It was something that I wanted to get exactly right from the very beginning. As for the programming and design of the frontend, I know it can be changed around quite a lot. However, database struction isn’t something that should be quite as dynamic as the code or the design. After looking through the whole site and reviewing all the functionalities again, the design has been created and I’ve begun to code.

Server Setup

After doing the DB design and handling authentication, the question about where to host the site began to arise. After research and discussion, we’ve decided that AWS would be the best way to go to power an app of this scale. We’ve used Amazon SES for emailing, and Amazon S3 for storage, which are very closely supported by Laravel, our PHP framework of choice.

Main Functionalities

And then, I’ve dug down into handling the main app business logic. Workflows and Files. User can create workflows and assign contacts. When user send a file using the workflow, it would automate the sending, versioning, notifying, and approving process.

Review Functionalities and Handling documents

I’ve worked on reviews screen, such as handling documents (word and excel) and also webpages. Keeping the UX in mind.

Stripe Integration

Users are able to subscribe monthly to be able to send more files. Professional and Enterprise models.

Files Supported

  • Images
  • PDFs
  • Videos
  • Word Documents
  • Excel Documents
  • Web
 
Image 1: Login Screen
Image 2: Overview Screen
Image 3: Proofs Screen
Image 4: Reviews Screen