Notable App: a collaboration tool that lets you clip, annotate, and share feedback on websites and images

At heart, this software is a web-clipping tool with online storage, similar to Evernote. Yet Notable App is designed for sharing clipped web pages with collaborators, making notes on them and receiving feedback in a kind of virtual conversation.

Notable App is a web app used in conjunction with a Firefox extension or IE bookmarklet (or even an iPhone app) in order to create and upload web clips or screenshots that can later be shared for feedback with friends, colleagues, or collaborators.

This program seems to be geared towards creative teams of designers, webmaster, usability designers, developers and SEO practitioners interested in dissecting websites and sharing knowledge not just on the content of websites but on the way they were put together.

notableapp screenshot1

However, you can use Notable App any way you want, as a web clipping app or a platform to simply share sites that you find, like, and choose to clip. Up to three people can use Notable for free; adding more will require paid licenses.

The best way to get a feel for what this app is about is to view this demonstration video:

The concept here is fairly simple: a web-clipping tool with online storage where you can share your clippings with others on your team, and where they can respond and/or look at the shared websites in a number of different ways that help them comment on the design, metadata, and source code. A fairly innovative and noteworthy concept in theory, except I am not quite sure who this tool is targeted to, who these teams of fanatical website-analyzers would be, and how many of them are out there.

Which may not matter too much, because as with any tool you can create your own uses for it. You could also use it simply as a web-clipping tool with online storage and sharing options. The web clipping component is generally a good one, except it really needs to get a lot better (see wish list below for more on this).

More notes on this program below:

  • Types of ’views’ available: (1) a straight screenshot of the clipped website; (2) a text-only stripped version, (3) the source code of the page, and (4) the metadata/SEO tags. Strangely, there is no “normal” view where you view a straight, functional webpage that you could interact with, click on functional links, etc.
  • Ways of capturing data: by using a Firefox extension or IE bookmarklet, by uploading an image into the web app, by specifying a URL to capture, or by using the iPhone plugin to capture and share iPhone screenshots.
  • Giving feedback: you can give feedback within any of the different views available; i.e. the screenshot view, the text-only view, etc. See the above video for a demonstration.
  • Workspaces: you can create workspaces (which are similar to categories) and, once you’ve added feedback on something you can add to a workspace. Strangely, there doesn’t seem to be a way to add clips to workspaces without giving feedback first.
  • Sharing: once you give feedback on something you can make it public or keep it private and share with your contacts. An easy way to share-in-batch is to create a “set”, add multiple entries to it and then share the set as a whole. Or you can give a contact access to a workspace so that they will always be able to view its particular contents.
  • iPhone app: I didn’t test this myself, but the iPhone app seems to be designed for capturing screenshots from your iPhone and uploading these to your account. I am unclear as to whether you can use the iPhone app to browse clippings and feedback.

Wish list (or how this app can be even better)

  • The ability to clip a ’normal’, ’functional’ site: i.e. a site where you can click on the links and preview any functionality, such as being able to see what the options are for dropdowns in a form. I know that both Evernote and my favorite desktop-based “Local Website Archive Lite” will let you do this.
  • Categorization and/or tagging: is not really supported in any way (you can use workspaces as categories, but only after you add feedback to your clips).
  • A “visual” interface: i.e. the ability to drag thumbnails to workspaces or sets, etc. (this is a wishlist after all).

The verdict: this is an innovative and generally well-designed application. However, like I said previously I am not entirely sure who the intended audience is. The free version allows you to share feedback with up to 3 people, which further limits its usefulness.

Still, I am guessing that for some readers this may be exactly the app that they were looking for, and if that is the case for you please leave a note in the comments section below and let us know how you are using it.

My 2 cents: I really think they should focus on (1) making Notable App out to be the best online web clipping app out there, which is to say a direct competitor of Evernote. This will broaden its audience while still maintaining the differentiating aspects of sharing feedback; and (2) doing away with the 3-contacts limit for the free app, because it will merely stand in the way of this application ever achieving a critical mass.

Compatibility: a modern browser. Firefox extension available but you can use a Javascript bookmarlet for IE (and potentially other browsers).

Go to the Notable App site to signup and download.


 
 
 
Samer Kurdi

Samer Kurdi

Has been reviewing software since 2006 when he started Freewaregenius.com
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  • Toni

    Strange app. Like you said, which people is this tool for? The video says: “let’s say I am a productmanager”. So i guess it’s for productmanagers, whatever productmanagers do. And then it goes further on how the productmanager and his team comment with on the technical aspects of the site. So you need to be a tech-savvy productmanager with the need to comment on webdesign. Most productsmanagers would only do this for their in-house produced sites. So, it’s a tool for ehm… product-mamagers and webdesigners who don’t work in the same office?? Or something like that…

    If someone has real good use for this tool, I would like to know.

  • Pingback: Notable App: a collaboration tool that lets you clip, annotate, and share feedback on websites and images « Zigmas’ Weblog()

  • http://www.ilovefreesoftware.com/ Ishan@ILoveFreeSoftware

    As you said, this is a good app for those working in teams. Can quickly share and collaborate on stuff.

  • Meghann

    Tools like Notable are good for use with clients, as well, let’s not forget. The place I work for developed their own tool, Denote (www.denoteapp.com if you’re curious) and they have clients sign up and add the project that is in development. Then if the client sees anything on the site, a typo or just something that they think needs to be changed or added to, they can drop a little note on it and comment on it, and then the design team can respond and check off that they have corrected the item. I did a test-run of notable and it does just about the same thing. It’s also helpful for a production team because if you have to go in and correct a bunch of problems (I will write about Denote instead of Notable, since I know it better), one designer testing the site can just drop notes onto the site. Those notes are then saved, and when they’re reviewing the site later with the team, they can go in and review the notes instead of having the remember where every single little error was. Believe me, it’s useful, you just need to use it before you dismiss it.

  • http://www.sitehatchery.com Chico Design

    Quite useful if one works in a team for some project. Sounds good with its features like feedback, sharing, different ways of capturing data.
    Valuable Post.