We use CloudApp to solve lots of communication, collaboration, and productivity challenges. As a WordPress design and development firm, everything we do is visual. Text messages or words rarely cover the feedback, changes, or questions that pop up every day in normal workflows. We use it internally and externally to create screenshots, recorded videos, and Gifs that typically coincide with phases in the website design and development for our client.
Interview with Lenny Rozental, Managing Director at Takeoff
Over the past decade or so, websites have become the most crucial component of any business's marketing strategy. This has driven marketing teams and managers to put more and more emphasis on their corporate website’s design, functionality, and performance.
Nowadays, there is an entire ecosystem of digital agencies, hundreds in New York City alone, focusing on the strategy, design, and development of high-end high performance websites.
In 2018, Lenny Rozental and Jessica Principato, two seasoned agency leaders who shared a vision to offer “big” agency work without the sticker shock founded Takeoff, a New York web design company specializing in Wordpress websites. Their mission was clear: produce industry-leading websites with beautiful designs, user-friendly backends, and remarkable performance in a cost-effective way.
To do this, they operate on a lean model, which means maximizing processes and minimizing wasted time. Additionally, one of their values is to “collaborate through effective communication”, and that’s easier to cultivate with tools like CloudApp.
Explore how Takeoff uses this tool with this conversation with Lenny Rozental.
What are the challenges that CloudApp solves on a day-to-day basis?
Unless you’re in the same room with people, it’s not easy to show in a visual way what changes are needed or where the possible issues are on a website design. That creates a lot of back and forth on Slack or email, which eats into time.
We need to share these things quickly so we can be responsive, and communication doesn’t become a roadblock to project work. Visually capturing things like this without a tool like CloudApp was a drain on time and productivity. It required multiple steps and tools which were very cumbersome. We work at too high a pace and scale to stumble over manual processes.
On the client side, we also need to ensure we are addressing clients’ questions or needs. It’s often easier to do that by recording a screen. For example, we create videos that show them how to manage their new website and do certain functions within their Wordpress CMS. It’s much more effective than a PDF with lots of steps and tiny screenshots. Or even something like showing someone how to clear their cache. We can do this in less time and with more clarity.
We want our clients to have the best experience and reduce friction. Part of this is teaching them how to use their website, so the instructional element of the tool is super helpful.
What teams use CloudApp at Takeoff?
Everybody is using it in different ways. It solves lots of issues. One unique way developers and designers use it is with animated demos. We do a lot of work for B2B SaaS company websites and they typically want to demo their software with screenshots. Instead of embedding only static images, we can show their software in action with short Gifs that we create using Cloudapp’s screen recording feature.
Our dev teams and quality assurance specialists also use it to report bugs by taking a screenshot or recording and adding notations, and then developers verify that functionality is working as it should after fixing a bug or issue by sending a screenshot back.
The design team or support team also record tutorials, as I mentioned earlier. Doing this continues to deliver value for our clients because they have a more interactive way to train future additions to their marketing team.
Did your team adopt it initially, or were they hesitant?
It was immediate because it transformed our workflows. It’s one of the central tools we provide to employees in their toolkits. It’s easy to use. You don’t need any training or technical aptitude. We love it so much we’ve shown it to our clients, and some of them started using it as well.
Why is CloudApp a better solution than other options?
There are other direct competitors, and we tried one, but it wasn’t as user-friendly. The other alternative is just recording Zoom calls. Sure, you can annotate and share content on the screen, but it gets messy. Video calls are usually lower quality, too. You have less control and can’t make Gifs.
How does CloudApp improve customer experiences in your organization?
Along with the videos we make as training, we use these heavily to communicate with clients about status and updates constantly. We’re showing them how we make changes based on their feedback. It’s not just a text email. It’s a video, so it helps build a relationship, and that’s what matters to us.
What specific workflows is CloudApp improving?
CloudApp has changed our workflows by adding clarity to them. There’s clear feedback between internal stakeholders and with clients. It also saves so much time. First, it’s a quick screenshot; then, you can add an annotation. It takes seconds to create a link and send. That would be a longer, more frustrating process with traditional screenshotting.
What other special features do you like about CloudApp?
The tracking of views of the links is great, especially when we send them to sales prospects. We know if they looked at it and when. It’s valuable data that can inform when we follow up and what’s resonating with customers.
What’s the biggest impact of CloudApp?
There are many—time savings, the ability to show, not just tell, clarity, collaboration, and a better customer experience. All these things contribute to our big picture of success. Using it internally and externally are different applications but both impactful. It’s a smart tool that makes our lives easier and eliminates some of the stress that miscommunication can cause. We appreciate that it’s technology that delivers for our clients and us.