I recently received a complimentary subscription to Visme, an online infographic and presentation maker, for evaluation and review. I have thoroughly enjoyed using the software so far and definitely plan to keep it in my toolbox. This program is intended for people who do not have design training and skills (and the expensive software we typically use), but even an experienced designer will find some good use.
TL;DR – Get a free account and play with it. Definitely worthwhile! After playing around, you’ll know whether or not you need a paid account. [Not helpful? Read on!]
Here are my thoughts after one week of use.
Visme is an online platform for making presentations, infographics, flyers, graphs and charts, scatter plots, and other types of documents and images. There are many templates and pre-made graphics, including animated icons. After creating a project, users may share it online or download it in various formats for other usage.
In this review, we’ll evaluate based on three questions. Is it easy to use? Does it produce good work? And is it worth the price? Our verdict? Solid A!
(all graphics on this review are either made in Visme or are screen shots of my work in Visme)
Is it easy to use?
Visme is very easy to use. It is an online service, so you will be using it logged into your Visme account in a web browser. I have pretty good internet service and I did not notice any lag or have trouble working with the projects online.
I’ve been playing with design tools for about 20 years and there are things I easily did with Visme that I would not be able to do otherwise. I’m not sure exactly which programs to compare with Visme – it seems unique to me. It’s not Canva or Prezi or Venngage although it has things in common with all three.
The simplest way to create a project is to select a template and go.
With the template you can easily add and remove elements, adjust colors, change images and fonts, and adapt to your heart’s content. For a basic user, this has all the power that you need. More advanced users will bump up against limitations.
The graphics supplied are good. There are shapes, icons, and animated graphics.
There are animated characters that are really cute. I added a character to the template on the left.
You can also build and animate charts. With its infographic mindset, there are plenty of diagrams that you may insert into your project.
It is pretty easy to change the color of many of the graphics.
Visme ties in to Unsplash, which is a great provider of free-to-use high quality images. You can search and use Unsplash photos right within your project. You may also upload your own images to use.
If your organization has a specific color pallet, you can create a brand to upload logos, fonts, and your pallet of colors.
For presentations, the system is pretty easy to use if you are familiar with PowerPoint or Keynote. You may start with one of the awesome templates or build from scratch. The animations are smooth. The system makes it simple to change colors and images on the templates. It is easy to re-order, duplicate, and delete slides.
For building web graphics and printables, it is still easy to use if you’ve used any drag-and-drop software. If you’re starting from square one (and even if you’re not) there are plenty of tutorials to help you get going.
For presentations and printable documents, I did run into limitations in manipulating text. This was particularly true in indenting lists of courses. There is a limit of 20px in indenting a list. I know, I could make another text box with the list items and put them wherever I want, but then I get into eye-balling locations and re-aligning boxes, etc. I just found it a little frustrating that I needed to do that.
Does it produce good work?
Depending on the type of project you create and the level of your account, you may access and share your project in a number of ways.
If you’re not paying attention, you may miss that there are two buttons in the upper right corner to access your project: share and download.
Share gives you options for sharing it publicly on the web or privately by invitation, or for getting embed code to post it on your website.
Be aware that if you embed a slideshow into your website, it may be too small to read depending on your theme.
Here is a link to view the slideshow.
How you are able to download your projects depends on your level of account. With the complete account you may download your presentations to PowerPoint files, but note that the slides are converted to images and you will lose any animation. You can download it as a video (this feature is in beta). To get the full effect of your work, you’ll need to show the presentation online, which makes this less useful if you are presenting live rather than having someone browse you slides on their own. (This makes sense since the Visme engine lives online.) Most places I go to present want my presentation loaded on a computer.
I am pleased with the quality of the finished products. Here, for example, is a link to an infographic I made for fun with tips for attending Zoom classes at HST. Below is a static version – this is a limitation of embedding the graphic in a WordPress.com site – it does not run the script.
It was fun and easy to make the infographic. I do wish that you could click it to re-start the animation. Too many of you missed seeing the old guy at the bottom with his hula hoop.
Individual accounts come in three levels (very basic overview).
Basic is pretty limited, but is free. With basic you can have up to five projects saved in your dashboard at a time. Of course, you may delete an old project when you need to make a new one, but if it is shared online and linked, you will lose those links. You may only download projects as jpgs.
Standard is $14/mo. (billed annually) and comes with access to all Visme assets, more storage, more options for downloading projects, and the ability to remove Visme branding.
Complete is $25/mo. (billed annually) and gives you a lot more storage, additional options and download formats, and more privacy control.
There are many other features available with Business and Education accounts.
The prices are fair. As a designer, for example, I live in Adobe Creative Cloud, which is a lot more expensive. Visme isn’t trying to compete with Adobe, it is a different product, but I’m trying to get my mind around who exactly would need which paid plan.
If you just need to make a flyer or graphic every now and then, the free plan is perfect for you.
If you are producing flyers, social media graphics, and presentations as a regular part of your work, then $300/year is not an outrageous price for a platform like this – you’ll more than make it up in saved time and aggravation.
If you spend a lot of time making social media graphics or would like to up your game with animated graphics, then this is for you. If you want excellent templates for your presentations and printed documents, you’ll find this helpful.
Is it perfect? No, as I pointed out above. You do not have absolute control over you text as easily in, say, InDesign for a printed document. You will lose animation if you want to save your presentations for offline use.
But the pros – templates, graphics, animations, ease of use – outweigh the cons by a metric ton.