Red Pen is the simplest and smallest design review tool I’ve seen

We all know the drill. Someone has produced some image — a web page, a marketing brochure, a new take on the login page of a web app — and wants to circulate it for comments. Attaching the image to a message in your company’s coworking tool gives you comments, but they aren’t linked to a physical position on the image, which is a pain.

One solution is to use Red Pen, a small and simple app design for exactly this purpose. Here’s a screen capture — just something from inside Tumblr that was lying on my desktop — that I dropped onto Red Pen and made a few comments on. I also invited Some Other Person Entirely to add her thoughts, as you can see.

red pen


These comment threads can be added by anyone, anywhere on the canvas, and there is no laborious sequence of creating an account, logging in, yada yada yada.

You can add your name when creating the first comment:

red pen id

Sharing is accomplished by sending others the URL of the Red Pen page created after you drag a file to the landing page, and Red Pen keeps track of other designs you’ve created, which are displayed there:

red pen landing


The only negatives of using this app is that it is so minimal that you can’t even give a name to the designs being shared. Otherwise, I love its simplicity and narrow focus.

Now, if it only supported the upload of PDFs, I’d use it nearly every day. Maybe there is a Red Pen Pro in the works…