Inside Brightspot: Why editors love our preview functionality

Every so often, our Vice President of Product shares an email with the company that tells the background story on why Brightspot’s features are the way they are. Not one to keep secrets, we’re sharing her insights with you here, in a series called “Inside Brightspot.” From creating users and permissions to knowing the difference between different dashboard widgets, this series will answer the questions anyone who publishes digital content has likely pondered.

Let's talk about Brightspot’s "Preview" functionality—and by “Preview” I mean “the way a certain asset is going to appear to live humans is live on a given channel."

That channel might be a desktop website, a tablet, a mobile device, or an app or a wearable, delivered via a headless API. Brightspot's preview capabilities can give editors and users a real-time look at how their content is going to appear, no matter the channel.

That said, it's worth noting that the preview of an asset hasn't become any less important now that so many different delivery channels are in play—in fact, if anything, preview has become more important in recent years.

To put it simply, Brightspot's Preview is going to show users real-time updates as they create and write content. Whether that's adding a new social embed to an Article, or a new Module to a Homepage, preview is going to ride along and update with every keystroke or motion the user works. Those, frankly, are the table stakes. There are a few extras the Preview system supports as well.

Device Preview

As stated above, seeing how an asset will render across a variety of channels is critical. Brightspot offers a variety of built-in preview views for teams, including three desktop sizes, and device preview for tablet and mobile across landscape and portrait. Preview can be extended to include preview of headless experiences.


Teams also have choices when it comes to what preview is the primary one displayed. Some newsrooms choose to have mobile landscape as the default preview experience for all users, across all content types. Others care most about desktop preview—and that sort of flexibility is easily supported.

Share Preview

Share preview is, well, a shareable preview link. With one click, a Brightspot user can create a timestamped Preview link that can be shared with anyone—and that user can view it wherever they happen to be, and they don't need to be logged into Brightspot to view the Share Preview URL.

The use cases where Share Preview come in handy are endless. B2B publishers use Share Preview to send drafts of sponsored content to advertisers. Corporate communications teams use it to share previews to legal teams for approval, and many teams use it for the purposes of executive signoff. The truly time-saving aspect of Share Preview lies in the fact that these approvers never need to log into Brightspot in order to see the content, saving the admin users time and reducing the bloat or future questions like "why does so-and-so have this user account."

Contextual Preview

In addition to previewing how an asset might look across devices, Brightspot users can also leverage preview to verify how the asset will look in different context.

For example, an Article might also be displayed in a dynamic module, or on a landing page. Using the Contextual Preview, the user can quickly see how the asset will render in all of those other usages as well, and make updates and changes as necessary.

As you can see, there's a lot of capabilities built into Brightspot Preview—and that's why editors and teams rely on this feature.

image of Brightspot employee Meredith Rodkey
About the Author
Meredith Rodkey is VP of Platform Product Management & Solutions at Brightspot. She has focused on product management for nearly 10 years, contributing to major Brightspot engagements from U.S. News & World Report to Arizent and Healthgrades. In her previous life, Meredith worked as a homepage editor and writer for, curating a daily experience for millions of users.

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