For those of you who don’t know, JAR is the name of the primary software behind Design Pickle, the unlimited graphic design service I founded.

Like a pickle jar. Get it? JAR also stands for Just. A. Request.

Product updates come in a few flavors. On the one hand, you have the beauty and grace of an Apple product launch, on the other hand, you have the mind-numbing barf of a Github update.

Design Pickle updates are much like a magical fox sneaking through the woods. If you are careful, you can spot one, and if you are really lucky, you can even hear its sound.

As the company grows, I wanted to talk more about why we make these updates and hopefully avoid another deposit into the WordPress graveyard.

So, here we go…

One of the biggest complaints about designers is they can be rather poor at communicating. Communicating timelines, design needs, their ideas, you name it. In my past agency life, I hate to admit; I was a very poor communicator.

The best designer in the world becomes an immediate adversary once communication breaks down.

Years ago, as a modestly paid marketing consultant, I discovered the beauty of ticketing tools. These tools were designed to improve the communication process between two individuals. I leveraged the ticketing tool (Zendesk at the time) to manage design requests from clients and the rest, as they say, was history.

Design Pickle launched on this simple system and to make amends for my past communication sins, we’ve put a lot of time and attention into delivering an extremely informed approach. From when you make a request, to when the designer starts, all the way to receiving your files, we keep in touch every step of the way.

Last year we decided to take things up a notch and provide “queue updates”.

Select clients received manual updates on their design queue — requests we had yet to complete. By manual, I mean old-school-copy-and-paste manual. Our team would take screenshots from our backend list of requests and paste that photo into an email every morning, every business day, week after week.

Hey Peter, Manual Updates Do Not Scale

As you can imagine, this escalated from “great idea” to “logistical nightmare” quite rapidly. Not to mention, only 10% or less of our clients were getting a report.

Manual reports? Bah! It was time to solve this problem with… technology!

Starting today, all clients can log into their JAR settings and turn on a daily report and a weekly report.

The daily report kicks out each morning with any open design requests. Each request name is a link to the conversation thread in JAR in case a client wants more details or to bump a request to the front of the queue.

The weekly report fires off on Sunday and recaps the previous week’s completed requests and what’s ahead with outstanding requests.

We realize our power users have A LOT of requests in the system, so we are limiting the reports to what is immediately coming up. If a client ever needs to see all of their requests, they can log into JAR for a full overview of what we have in the system.

We hope this update is helpful and shoot us an email if you discover anything out of the ordinary!


Epilogue

Our ticket assignment team was elated to have the reporting job absorbed by software. They now spend their time relaxing on beaches in the Philippines… I think. But for real — BIG kudos to the TAG crew for a super-human job delivering the manual reports. You guys rock!

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