Digital marketers love online tools, and for good reason. We use apps and plugins constantly as a means of simplifying, streamlining, and powering up our creative and analytical processes.
Pocket holds on to articles that catch my eye.
Twitter helps me stay informed about trends and conversations around content, marketing, and the world.
GatherContent, a recent addition to MarketerGizmo’s content production system, makes it a thousand times easier to write, edit, and send final drafts to our production team without cluttering our inboxes with Word documents made unreadable by track changes.
You may notice that the three examples above are word- or story-oriented. In one way or another, they help me create content, so I consider them all story-oriented apps. As a writer, I burn through story-centric apps like dry firewood, and those apps that can take the heat become part of my daily app arsenal.
Finding apps that are really, really good at helping me creating graphics is more difficult.
That’s where Visme comes in. When they invited our marketing team to beta test their service, we jumped at the chance.
A quick disclaimer before I dive into the actual review. This is a beta version of the Visme software, which we were given free access to for the purpose of this review.
There’s no telling how quickly features and capabilities will change for the service. In fact, I’m looking forward to seeing their future iterations.
What is Visme?
In their own words, Visme is a simple and powerful tool to translate your ideas into engaging content in the form of:
- Web content
- Product presentations
You see why we were excited to try it out, right?
While there are plenty of online graphic creating services out there, they often specialize in just one category. Some are great for making social posts, some make infographics a snap, but no one program can do all of the above and do them well.
It must be a daunting mission: create one application to rule all of these graphic types.
And it seems like the team behind Visme is up for the challenge. They have created a veritable one stop shop for all of your visual design needs, offering an impressive library of templates and tools. And they managed to add in extra features, namely animations, that I haven’t seen other services tackle effectively.
The team at Visme did this in a way that is still much easier to use and navigate than the Adobe Suite, a boon for non-designers who need to make their own graphics.
There are three subscription levels:
Basic, their free subscription level, gives you the space for three projects, 100MB of storage, online publishing, the ability to download projects as JPGs, and some charts and infographic widgets. As the name suggests, it’s basic, but will give you a good idea of what you can do with the service. If you’re serious about using Visme, you may not be able to get away with just a Basic account for very long.
Standard, which they suggest for individual users, is just $7. For that price, you have room for 15 projects, 250 MB of storage, online publishing, the ability to download in JPG, PNG, and PDF, as well as all chart and infographic widgets, no Visme branding, and, most importantly in my mind, access to all premium assets and templates.
For Complete accounts, recommended for business and teams, you get everything. Unlimited projects and storage, the ability to download in HTML5, and additional features like importing from Keynote or PowerPoint, multiple users, analytics, folders, premium support, and more.
Things I Love About Visme
Every template is completely customizable.
Change colors, move and delete items, add text and images at will. Visme makes customization easy, especially with their built-in library of icons and stock photography.
One of my major frustrations with other tools is how the primary service may be free, but certain templates or graphic elements cost extra to use. And, of course, those always seem to be the ones I really need for my projects.
In Canva, for example, if I buy an element once, it doesn’t stay free. If I want to use the same stock photo in separate graphics that are optimized for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, I have to pay for it three times. Little purchases can really add up!
Sometimes, it’s just better (and more cost effective) to have a subscription. Visme’s Standard subscription plan costs just $7 a month and includes premium assets and templates as well as an expanded selection of charts and widgets.
All of your designs in one place.
I really do love the fact that I can keep all of my designs in one place, instead of moving between applications as I finish one project and move on to the next. Social media graphics? In Visme. The Slideshare presentation I’ve been working on all week? In Visme.
Accounts at the Complete level have access to in-app organizational tools, including folders. As a naturally messy person, I deeply appreciate any tool that helps keep me organized and able to easily track down assets from past and current projects.
There are some real benefits to storing past projects in Visme. The next time I’m creating a Slideshare, for example, I will go into Visme and make a copy of my last presentation, saving myself from having to recreate the formatting from scratch.
Visme gives you multiple options for sharing your designs. You can download, share directly through social links, or embed in your site.
I find the embedding option particularly cool, as it means you can include animations to liven up presentations and reports when they are embedded, adding visual interest to what could otherwise be a boring set of static slides and statistics.
Great blog content.
I always appreciate a well-designed, frequently updated blog. The Visme Visual Learning Center reports on topics as wide ranging as app how-tos to advice on how to foster your own creativity.
A robust blog presence isn’t just about building SEO value. It shows me that the team behind Visme is committed to their users’ success. This is a graphic design application that was built to allow people like me (who have no formal graphic design training) make projects that are beautiful and impactful. The blog exists to help support users and give insight into how to use the app better. So that we look like we have a fancy design degree.
Things About Visme I Don’t Love (Yet)
With other online graphic creation and editing tools, there is a limit on how much you can do. Making more complicated assets, like infographics or a graphic-heavy presentation, is difficult in simpler programs.
In Visme, there is so much that can be done, which means there are a lot of tools and settings to play with. Because there is so much you can do, the tools and settings aren’t completely intuitive, resulting in a steeper learning curve.
Some app sanding is needed.
The app has some quirks. Fortunately, for all of the quirks I came across, I was able to find a work around reasonably quickly.
For example, I found it difficult to format a textbox to include a bulleted list because the bullets would not change size in accordance with the font size. That said, the workaround is super simple; there is a bulleted list textbox option. Formatting within the bulleted list textbox is perfect.
Also, in the presentation project I was working on, I couldn’t find a way to copy elements between pages. For example, once I got the aforementioned bulleted lists formatted and positioned, I was disappointed to find that I couldn’t copy an entire element, then paste in the next page. To get around this, create all of the elements in the parent page, then copy the entire page. Which may be the more logical thing to do in the first place, but I like to set up the outline first, then tweak design elements after.
These critiques aside, I am interested in seeing how Visme continues to evolve as it fine tunes its features and interface. If the program is this powerful and easy to use in beta, then I have high hopes for what the full release has in store.
Should You Add Visme to Your Graphic-Creating Arsenal?
Short answer: probably.
Long answer: if you only occasionally make graphics and those graphics are simple, you may not need the power and adaptability that Visme can provide. Try it out, but you can probably stick to a simpler program.
Also, feel free to skip Visme if you are a pro designer. While Visme’s power and flexibility are impressive, let’s be honest. You’re a pro. You’ll miss Adobe’s precision, and at this point you probably have your shortcuts dialed.
That said, if you are regularly thrown into projects where you want to look like a pro, Visme could be the tool for you. Once you get used to the program, you’ll be able to do more in one app than you ever could with the three or four other programs you’re currently using.
And it’s cheaper than the Adobe Suite.
Have You Tried Visme Yet?
Already experimenting with Visme? Share your opinions with us in the comments.
If this sounds like the tool for you, sign up for an account, and show us your projects! We’d love to see what you’re working on.
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