It’s almost as if one night, Prezi met PowerPoint at the late-night hotel bar of a “How to supercharge user adoption” event, they got chatting about what the world needs is a bit of what they both have. Nice vision. So they got busy, had a baby, and they called it Prezi Next. And, well, - turns out in my opinion she’s a problem child. She forces you to color by the numbers and think in terms of an outline order that may not be clear to you at the time you are setting out to create a presentation. She makes you have to remember your content since you can’t scan everything quickly like you can do in PowerPoint slide scroll or in Prezi Classic. She puts the kabash on your creative process in order to get you putting your content in a hierarchical topic-then-subtopic view of your ideas. In the end - and perhaps the most sad and wrong about Prezi Next is - that it is just no fun to create presentations in it. It’s become a tedious exercise of placing objects and forcing styles to behave the way you want them to instead of letting your creative energies relax and focus on what’s most important while considering all the details at the same time. Sad.
But there are some good things about Prezi Next - like how quickly you can put a decent looking presentation together - without much thought. But the downside of gaining that speed is that your presentations will all start looking alike even though the concepts are fundamentally different. There’s also presenters notes, commenting for when you are collaborating with others - and the analytics are cool too - but those shadow measures are for marketers more than they are for sales people that crave live engagement for conversational presentations that build trust that’s needed for sales.
Below are my top 10 things wrong with Prezi Next, all ranked according to the Annoyance Factor, with 10 being the most annoying. (If I’m wrong about these things or there are some good workarounds that I haven’t figured out yet - please let me know what they are - happy to learn and improve.)
- Headings are forced to be the largest text in the subtopic, regardless if that subtext is a hidden animation later in the presentation. Can’t make them disappear. (Annoyance Factor = 10)
- You can’t tilt an image on any angle. (Annoyance Factor = 4)
- You can’t see everything on the canvas at once and are forced to remember what content you have where, hunting around and clicking into the different sections to find what you may have placed before. (Annoyance Factor = 10)
- You can’t use it as a canvas for ideation and mindmapping because the template you start with forces a mind map on your undecided presentation. Mindmapping needs to happen now on paper or a whiteboard (or in Prezi Classic) (Annoyance Factor = 10)
- Analytics is cool, but totally useless in the context of conversational presentation because sending a presentation for someone to view on their own is not a conversational presentation - that’s a transmission of information - like a video. So having analytics on who people saw on their own is nice, but is not going to help you have a conversational presentation. (Annoyance Factor = 0)
- You can’t use vector based objects. And it’s not because it’s HTML5 - because the new Prezi viewer converts Prezi Classic presentations with Vector objects into HTML5 - so I am clueless as to why Prezi is preventing this. (Annoyance Factor = 4)
- You can’t start your presentation conceptualization unless you first choose a template. (Annoyance Factor = 10)
- Adding subtopic forces those subtopics to be visible and moves your main topic to the left. Really annoying. Maybe you want to reveal things without first showing where they are on the canvas. Doing this involves all sorts of manual gyrations with the elements on screen making “reveals” just awful to program. (Annoyance Factor = 8)
- You can’t create a small zoomed in zone and then add images and text to that zone. To add text you have to be inside a section or subsection. (Annoyance Factor = 9)
- You are unable to pinch and zoom or scroll anywhere you want to in the canvas area - as you try you are forced into one topic or subtopic area. Makes creating a conversational presenting actually difficult. Control “Z” will be your friend since once you place a small object somewhere on the canvas you won’t be able to select it or move it after resizing it small. Ouch. (Annoyance Factor = 9)
So if you want to convert your PowerPoint to Prezi Next - don’t bother. You can do a fine job in PowerPoint if you work hard enough on it. But if you want to do something totally awesome and creative - use Prezi Classic - that is if you can get copy of a reusable Prezi Classic, delete elements and start from scratch. I hope Prezi makes some changes with Prezi Next, or just fits Prezi Classic with an HTML5 editor - on top of the Player which it has already made - looks great by the way. In the meantime, I’m not going to use Prezi Next for the above reasons - but happy that Prezi Classic is still available for those who seek it out.