Dept. Of Annotation: Bounce Some Website Design Ideas Off Your Friends

In general, I am not a big fan of Website annotation tools. Adding notes to Web pages just doesn’t seem like a natural act to me. I’d rather comment via Twitter or in actual comments. But sometimes you want to be able to mark up a page and communicate more visually. A new free app called Bounce let’s you do just that.

Bounce is very simple. You enter a URL and it goes and grabs a screenshot, which can then be annotated with red rectangles and comments. You draw a rectangle around the part of the page you want to comment on, then add and save your comment. Then you send the newly created link to anyone you want to share your comments with via Twitter, Facebook, or email. They can add their own comments and so on. For instance, here is one showing the TechCrunch homepage.

it is not perfect. The comments appear only briefly when you first click on the shared link, and then disappear. You have to hover over each box to see the comment underneath, which isn’t completely obvious. It also takes a while to process each page. My other pet peeve about the service is that each new comment creates a new URL, so there is no master URL showing the most up to date version of the marked up page. (The new link appears in hard-to-read grey text in a box next to the “save” button). Creating a new link for each revision is a good idea, but the original link should always be the default with all the latest annotations because that is the one people are most likely to pass around. Overall, the comments and other elements could benefit from darker backgrounds so they stand out more

Bounce is a new product from Zurb. It is really a lite version of its other product, Notable, which it charges for and has more features such as private sharing and the ability to mark up images, PDFs, and other documents. We’ve covered Notable before.