Case study: PDF is not always the best way to get approval on creative
Some time ago, we completed a beta version of responsive site and turned it over to agency’s client for review. The client came back with a number of issues, all centered around font and image sizes that were apparently not to spec for one of responsive states. Naturally, we were concerned as this indicated a significant lapse in our QA process. Upon closer look there was nothing to resolve, as our work was a pixel-match to Photoshop files provided by the agency; the mystery deepened, as there were clearly issues on the client’s side which we were not seeing.
It took a screen-sharing session with the client to get to the root of the problem. Creative work was submitted by agency to client in a PDF format; client’s team then viewed scaled-down PDFs during internal meetings to get the artwork approved. Once they saw beta site coded to 100% scale of Photoshop files, there was a clear disconnect between that and the 72% zoom they were using to view PDFs.
The solution was to introduce another breakpoint in responsive states to make that particular responsive state match the exact scale as seen by the client. Luckily, this was not a major issue.
The morale of this particular story is that PDFs are not an optimal way to share final creative work with your client, as PDF zoom options make it possible for client to sign off on creative work when viewing it at incorrect dimensions.