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Visme is on a relentless pursuit to empower people to communicate with one common language: visual content. And to help them to do it quickly, easily and with an end result that they can be proud of.
Today, we’re going to open a new chapter in our journey at Visme.
It is with great excitement that I formally announce that Visme is coming out of Beta!
I haven't verified it with the Guinness Book of World Records yet, but I think we may have broken the record for a SaaS product (for the non-techies, this stands for Software-as-a-Service) with the longest Beta period to date, but this was done with good intentions.
Up to this point, Visme's Beta version has been used by over a million users in real-world scenarios and, although fairly close to being ready for official release, it was at times rough around the edges.
Our new release, which has been undergoing rigorous testing for some time by existing users, is now a foundation for the future of the product and all the great things we have planned to bring to our users.
In addition to our official release from Beta, this version includes neat features, new templates and assets, and a simplified user interface.
Before telling you all about what has been improved in the new Visme and our plan for the future, I want to take you back to the beginning of why and how I founded Visme. It’s an interesting little story and it will shed some light on our mindset at Visme and why it isn’t just another content creation tool.
If you want to skip the backstory, no hard feelings. Click here to skip ahead and read about features in our new release.
I’ve always believed content creation should be simple and quick and also provide a balance between ease of use and flexibility. This is one of the reasons why it’s taken so long for Visme to get to where it is today; because to accomplish both without drastically affecting user experience has not been easy—in fact, it’s been damn hard!
And we got it wrong many times—by a lot!
It turns out product developers—including me—are not as smart as you think. Great products are built based on users' needs and desires, and our job as product developers is to find the path of least resistance to solve users' pain points.
But now we are much closer to our goal of achieving the perfect balance between power and simplicity—and that’s what the new Visme is all about: ease of use married with powerful functionality, hidden subtly in the application, when and if you ever need it to create content exactly the way you envision it—not confined by the boundaries of cookie-cutter, off-the-shelf tools and templates.
To accomplish this, we've had to collect insights and valuable feedback through tens of thousands of inquiries, emails and hundreds of one-on-one live demos and screen recordings to understand users' behaviors and their likes and dislikes. The latest version of Visme is the product of this arduous but worthwhile process, which is why I am certain it will significantly improve the way people create content and communicate visually.
Most tools have been created to allow you to create only one type of content (i.e. PowerPoint or Google Slides for presentations). And in cases of tools for non-designers that do allow you to create multiple formats, they've been dumbed down to the point that flexibility and customization are sacrificed for simplicity.
Our philosophy at Visme is a bit different. I attribute this to my sometimes stubborn intuition to ask why, a lot 🙂
So when someone tells me, "this is how something is done because that’s how everyone else is doing it," I just can’t help asking why.
And when it came to standards in content creation and authoring, I asked:
And last but not least:
This led me to the core mission of Visme: to answer all three questions with one product.
Before Visme, I had been creating websites and marketing collateral for various companies for over a decade.
Every time I started on a new project, I would find myself using 4 to 5 different programs to accomplish one task, bouncing from one program to another, each with a separate workflow just to create one design.
For example, if I wanted to create a slideshow with text, icons, images and then publish it on a website, the process would go something like this:
Talk about lack of productivity and frustration!
If you’re a designer reading this, you know what I’m talking about. And if you’re a non-designer and got lost by the second bullet point, no worries, you should be confused because that’s NOT how content creation should work.
It should be a process with minimum friction, save you time and allow you to do it all in one streamlined workflow.
This pain point sparked a series of questions:
If I find this frustrating, I wonder what non-designers face when they want to create their own visuals?
It was amazing to me that no one was trying to take a holistic approach at solving this problem.
That, my friends, is why I founded Visme: to empower everyone to create beautiful content in minutes, not hours, and have the ability to create anything from simple graphics to full-blown interactive presentations, infographics and other visual formats.
So, what has changed or improved in the new Visme?
In a nutshell, a ton has been improved and changed. There are too many fine details to list here (which we’ll cover in future topics and tutorials), so I’m going to focus on the primary, high-level items below:
We made a series of small changes to the user interface. These changes included consolidating the left panel into just five tabs and introducing a new section called “Basics” (which I'll go over in the next section).
Although this may initially seem counterproductive, from a content creation standpoint, it allows for more efficiency because the user just focuses on accessing content assets by category versus individually.
For example, if you want to visualize numbers in the form of graphs, icon arrays or maps, you’d just go to one place: Data.
Additionally, we redesigned the template interface and added two new categories (Printables and Web Graphics), so you can now create anything from posters, flyers and business cards for print to graphics for your blog and all major social media platforms.
The traditional way of creating presentations in Visme required users to either start from a blank slide or select from one of our professionally designed slide decks, each composed of 10 to 15 custom slides now called “Legacy Templates.”
This gave users a good starting point but most of them would eventually hit a roadblock since they were restricted to using only the 10 to 15 slide layouts contained in a specific theme.
After reviewing thousands of presentations and collecting feedback from our users, we came to the conclusion that the best course of action was to allow users to search for the exact slides needed for their content. So rather than creating more presentation templates, we created two giant sets of slide banks in two styles: Classic and Modern.
These two slide banks each contain over 400 layouts in over 20 categories, giving users the power to mix and match the slides that best serve their content needs.
Check out this quick video to see how you can create beautiful presentations in minutes with Visme.
Visme provides hundreds of beautiful infographic templates across a variety of categories. However, what if you want to create a custom infographic or add more content to an infographic template?
To save users time, we pioneered the ability to create infographics from blocks of content about a year ago.
This feature was received with a lot of praise when we first introduced it, so it was time to perfect it. We went back to the drawing board and asked our users what they wanted and they said: 1) The ability to easily rearrange the order of their content; 2) and a greater variety of blocks.
We completely redesigned this feature so that each infographic block acts in a similar fashion to a slide in a presentation: You can change the order of the blocks at any time and each is isolated from the other.
In short, our infographics are now made of individual blocks that you can customize and stack on top of each other and rearrange at any time.
We made all infographics automatically interactive by adding a parallax scrolling effect to them. This means that when you view an infographic, all the graphs, charts and objects that are not viewable enter the screen one by one, activated by your scrolling movements. Also, the background moves at a slightly different speed than the foreground, creating a 3D effect as you scroll.
Check out this quick video to see how you can create beautiful infographics in Visme without any design knowledge:
One of the biggest challenges content creators face is the lack of a central repository to store their photos, logos and other assets.
As you add your photo assets to any project, they will automatically be stored in your Media Manager, where you can always find them and re-use them as many times as needed in future projects. (If you have a Visme team account, you will have a shared repository that your entire team can access to reuse assets.)
One of the functionalities we completely changed was the ability to add and manage backgrounds. We completely removed the presence of the background feature in the interface. It’s now hidden subtly behind the scenes and is easily accessible via a single click on any empty area of the project canvas area.
You can drag and drop an image to serve as a background, as well as apply photo filters, move and position your background and even scale and tile it. The possibilities are endless.
The Basics tab is a huge time saver for users. Users can now tap into a series of ready-made, grouped objects that allow for quick and easy content creation. Rather than dragging and dropping individual objects onto the stage, one by one, you just drag one basic object that will give you a great starting point to create content.
Additionally, users can save their own blocks of objects to re-use in other projects and even share them with other team members, which is a huge time saver.
Although Visme has been known so far as a presentation and infographic tool, our vision has always been to position Visme as an all-in-one platform for creating all types of content.
The launch of our Printables category is another step that will take us closer to our long-term vision of allowing users to create all forms of visual content, from posters and flyers to invitations, menus and even business cards.
Last but not least, today’s world is fast paced and when you're working for a large company, it’s all about productivity and efficiency.
So we created Visme for Teams, which can be described as a layer of productivity and collaboration features wrapped around the Visme editor to empower teams to share their content, set permissions, establish brand guidelines and templates and even measure the effectiveness and delivery of their content.
We took an extra year to onboard hundreds of team users—many from notable companies—to learn more about their needs and use this knowledge to refine our Team features.
And that’s where we are today!
Someone recently asked me, “With so many content formats and features, what could you possibly want to launch next?”
The short answer is: We have a full pipeline of new features and improvements in the works.
It’s amazing that as we progress, rather than running out of ideas, we keep getting more of them. The challenge is sifting through and finding the common denominator of what makes the most sense for all our users.
There are two primary objectives:
If you are one of the over one million early Visme adopters, I want to personally thank you on behalf of my team and I for believing in us and our vision for Visme. We truly appreciate your support. And if this is your first time hearing about Visme, I’d like to invite you to take it for a test drive and see how it works for you.
Please feel free to share your input and comments below.