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.
Agreed! Agreed! Agreed! I hope Prezi will listen. I have been giving my opinion very strongly for the past month+ and I think they are tired of hearing from me. Like you, there are some really cool things with Next, but not enough for our company to NOT seriously consider going back to PowerPoint, which my company has already and we could save the Prezi subscription fee since we no longer are getting Classic Pro support (which is still being paid for). Yeah, that is another "little Annoyance Factor for our company. We are waiting for an update. There was just one, but it was only a “bug” fix. . . . so we continue to wait. . . .
Couldn’t agree more - spot on. I really cannot understand why Prezi would want to ditch all the creative freedom offered by Classic for the straight jacket that is Next. I believe this is a big mistake - my search has now begun for an alternative I’m afraid to say. This feels like organisational suicide.
You have some very thoughtful points here, but as a Prezi Next early-adopter (and I would also venture to say advocate) it saddens me to see how you & others feel so boxed in. Super helpful to hear though, so please don’t get me wrong, but (in my opinion) I think part of the issue is that Classic users are trying to create presentations exactly like they had before, when Prezi Next is quite obviously different. I challenge you to look at the creative process a bit differently as well…
But before we dive into the Next improvements (yes, I believe there are many, even though I may be in the minority in here), I was hoping you’d allow me to address a few points above, please hear me out-
- I’m not sure I understand your issue here at all. If you think it’s something that needs fixing, could you elaborate? I just haven’t experienced, I guess, and I’m confused by this one.
- Images AND Zoom areas can be tilted & rotated to any angle you wish by selecting & hovering over a corner & holding Ctrl+Alt as you adjust to where you’d like it to be. Is that what you mean, are are you speaking of higher-level Topics/Sub-Topics?
- I agree with the low annoyance level for sure, as Analytics has been amazing for our company! I disagree with the lack of conversational presence. Being able to click within any topic at any time has taught us much when reviewing the data from links. Some individuals do go through it A-Z, click-by-click, sure, but others will jump around, and we can then be better prepared for what they find the most relevant & the most interesting, and see if they even skip entire sections. So the link opens up an opportunity to see within a “conversation” that individual is basically having with themselves. OK, a stretch, but can you see where that might come in handy? Our teams can address each person with a much more refined understanding of what their needs might be.
- I think this is hanging up many Classic users in general. I get it, I have been a Classic user for years as well. But didn’t you ever venture into Classic templates? Did you always start with a blank canvas?? If so, huge kudos (and I truly mean it) but I’m going to be honest and admit that a little help wasn’t always a bad thing for me. I now go through the huge list of templates like a kid at a candy store! I end up changing a ton, but it’s always so much easier (for me) to remove than to add, so I typically find something that has elements I like (maybe color scheme, or a few icons, or a particular page that stands out) and then manipulate the rest accordingly. My industry is also one where we like to be “metal-safe” which is terminology to indicate that you can always take more away, but you can’t put it back once it’s gone. So I could be biased in this regard.
- Have you tried messing around with transparencies? If you make your Topics/Subtopics “invisible” with no color & no text, you don’t even know they’re there until you click through the presentation. This does make it harder to jump into them conversationally though, as it’s a bit tougher to remember exactly where they are. I’ve also done Topic Fade ins & Fade outs at the Overview level, so that only certain Topics are viewable as the presentation progresses.
- This is again an issue I’d love to see an example of, if you had the time. I’m not sure I understand the problem since I’ve had zooms within zooms with plenty of text & other images, etc. But maybe I’m misunderstanding your instance?
You’ll notice I’ve skipped a few intentionally where I just don’t have an answer.
But back to where I mention the Next improvements. I think it’s worth mentioning a few changes from Classic to Next that have made my process a lot easier instead of harder. Here goes:
- A/ OK, those templates everyone else seems to hate. I think you just need to give them a chance! And no, I don’t know your use case, so yes, I could be dead wrong, but I love them for my purposes… And the reason is simple (I already touched on it a bit above) = they provide so much inspiration & possible direction when I may be challenged to come up with it on my own. I’m a designer, but I’m not ashamed to say it’s tough to be original day in & day out. Finding a great template I can start from & make my own (they look nothing like how they started by the time I’m done) is so refreshing! A big time-saver so that I can focus on content instead of structure. I still feel creatively free, if not even more so.
- B/ The Animations menu and flow has been a huge improvement (again, speaking from my personal experience). One example: I had created an immense multi-level Classic Prezi with zooms & fades and wouldn’t you know it, 20+ grouped items at the top level, spanning the entire canvas, only to have someone come in and say “hey, would you update that data on the bottom-most level at the very beginning of the presentation?” and then I’m digging down, ungrouping, updating, regrouping, rearranging, it was the absolute worst. I couldn’t even zoom out to the whole canvas anymore without everything freezing up. It got to the point where I dreaded that particular Prezi (we used it for quite a few trainings & it was one I had to update & personalize for a particular customer practically every time). I have at least a dozen instances of that bear & I’m so glad we’ve moved on. In Next, the animations are SO much easier to change & adjust and you can select any item at any time, since the different layers are more easily accessible and not blocking my editing process.
- C/ Analytics- Quite honestly the main reason my company jumped in as early as we did. Now we know who’s looking at what & when & for how long, etc. It has been a real eye-opener. While before we’d send out a link to a customer & hope for the best (maybe get an uptick on that little eyball count tracker Classic has) we never knew for sure if our content was getting into the right hands. Now we do! Sales/Management has been very pleased.
- D/ Even Twitter is digging the circle look now, so Prezi Next is certainly on-trend if nothing else!!
I’ll stop there, because everyone is free to their own opinion & this is absolutely the place to get it all heard, so my response is not meant to say you’re wrong in any way. Hopefully some changes to make your process easier, or your presentations more fun to create, do occur. I’m simply hoping you can find something to take away from my comments to ease at least part of your frustrations & annoyances in the meantime. It would be great to see the “problem child” label lifted since I’ve definitely grown attached.
man, one thing for all, if they made a new experimental prezi next, why they force new users to pay same payment for only prezi next? i came here to work in prezi classic and after i paid, after i found i cannot do most of things i wanted to in prezi next, i had realized i am forced to use only prezi next, and i dont want…i hate this.
I am another user experiencing frustrations day in and out. @Plastic_Ingenuity, you have helped me in the past, and you are a tremendous asset and advocate for Prezi Next, and I appreciate you a great deal.
My frustrations stem from many of the exact same reasons @Pitch_Kitchen listed. However, I would like to add two additional items to the big list.
I would like to have an option to have animations auto-start upon completion of the previous animation. For example, if I want to have something fade out, and something else fade in it’s place, I have to click twice. Now if I have a whole topic or subtopic like that, it gets really annoying. To take it further, I would like to have something fade out, something fade in, and then zoom in on it… now that is 3 clicks. I have seen places I would like to have more animations in sequence… as many as 5… suffice to say, I put that idea in the circular file. I’d say its an 8 on the annoyance scale.
I need to be able to start with one background to get the right feeling as I introduce the problem and build it up to a near-climax. I then want to introduce the solution to the problem with a whole new feeling… a new background and new color scheme. I have chatted with Prezi on this for a few days and haven’t gotten anywhere with it. Annoyance here is a 9 for me.
I also have a few smaller annoyances, but I don’t have the time to list them. Work is calling me…
I have faith the developers are working diligently to add, amend, and advance Prezi Next to be everything it can be for the greatest number of users. I just wish they’d do it a whole lot faster.
On a related note, I cannot wait to use the analytics! In business development, as company executives of potential partners are viewing my presentation, the data will be PRICELESS!! I just have to get my presentation wow-factor up to the level I expect and demand. Am I making sense here?
I totally agree. As a Prezi Classic user, I’m used to do some things. One of them is to rearrange the flow of mu presentation. In Prezi Next is VERY difficult to do so. As you are forced into a CLOSED template, you can’t rearrange things or reorder them without a HUGE amount of effort.
Prezi was fun to use, but no more.
I recently tried Prezi Next after having spent years using Classic including teaching conference workshops on the use of this great tool. I must say, after hours spent building my presentation in Next, I am truly disappointed. While Next has clearly added some interesting features it has lost the flexibility that was the heart and soul of Prezi. The tool now feels more confining than liberating. I’ll be moving back to Classic for the immediate future. Too bad the hours spent on a major corporate initiative are now stuck in Next with no way to export out or convert back to Classic. Truly disappointed.
We are in the same situation. We too are very disappointed.
IMO - the Prezi Next software isn’t ready to roll yet. It would have been good to include some of Prezi Classic features in Next. So happy I’ve got Classic on my computer. Will be using it for the foreseeable future.
I have to agree with this thread. As a long time Prezi Classic user and advocate I find Prezi Next anything but the ‘Next’ thing I want to use. I keep trying to build new presentations in it and just give up time and time again. I can’t see my broad canvas I love in Prezi, I can’t ‘capture’ ideas and add them to the presentation flow quickly and instantly, I’m forced into one small area on the canvas so I lose the whole exciting Prezi experience of having a large canvas. When I use Prezi I frequently show the whole canvas with the links between ideas to my audience and share with them that we are going on a exciting journey. What was the point of this move? I really don’t get it. Not to mention the 100+ Prezis I have already created that can’t move across. Totally confused and bemused at what Prezi Next is meant to be. Is it meant to be the Next version or a different programme altogether with a different set of users in mind? I moved to Prezi because I love to take my audiences on exciting, creative rides when I present. Prezi Next keeps telling me to …‘get back in your box and don’t dare try and be creative yourself because we’ll take care of that for you’…only it does the exact opposite and I end up with trite looking presentations that all look the same.
@James_Penny - I sympathize with your disappointment. Prezi Next is not designed for the way you are used to using Classic. It’s intended for non-sequential, conversational presenting. It’s great for sales pitches, project updates, and adaptive training, but it doesn’t work for everything. Prezi Classic is much better for storytelling, brainstorming, and keynotes - leading your audience through a guided experience.
You are obviously a Power User who knows how to get the most from the Prezi Classic tools. Most people don’t understand the power of Classic and don’t take the time to figure it out. You have to admit, the learning curve is a steep one. I think it is well worth the investment in time and effort to learn, but most people don’t see it that way. They want a quick fill-in-the-blanks solution.
Yes, Flash is going away, but if you are a Prezi Classic lover, you don’t have to make the switch to Prezi Next. The desktop version of Prezi Classic is not based in Flash and it is available to anyone who has a Prezi Classic account. You just have to upgrade your license to Prezi Classic Pro. Prezi assures us that they will continue to support Prezi Classic even though they will no longer add features.
My advice to you: DON’T GIVE UP ON CLASSIC!
Robin, Independent Prezi Expert
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Classic and Next are a mess
Granted, Prezi next may have some improvements–for Presentations. However, what made Prezi unique and wonderful was that it was a tool that could be used for MORE than presentations. It was a powerful educational tool that could be used in all sorts of ways and there was nothing else like it. As a Rhetoric and Writing Studies scholar, I use Prezi with my university students as a way to build connections between ideas-- connections that cannot be discovered (or invented) in linear or template models. I had been writing a chapter for a collection on the ways Digital Writing and design can deepen and sustain students reading and understanding of theoretical concepts, and now I have to bow out. Students can no longer invent with design, color, framing, arrangement-- the loss of the infinite Canvas is awful. We try to teach students how to think outside of someone else’s templates-- that’s how change happens. So sad and frustrated.
@Donna_Qualley I really appreciate the thoughtful reply and I can see your point. I’m not in the education field, but even so, I know the Classic-to-Next switch was disruptive to my own more business-related workflow, so I can only imagine when teaching is also involved.
The infinite canvas was part of what drew me in to Classic in the first place, too. Working in a creative role like mine, it was quite freeing and fun to work within. After a few years of that though, I had basically created my own templates to reuse within the context of whatever presentation I was being asked to draft up. Working inside Next for what’s creeping up on a year now I’m confident I can be just as creative and original; it’s just a new set of rules I’m playing with. I believe(?) I understand and I actually agree with most of the frustration people are having because it IS such a different tool and there is certainly a learning curve. I’ve just been in it longer so I’ve adjusted accordingly.
I’ll add this thought in regards to your students, in the hopes it helps you to look at things from a different perspective-
It’s rare to be given the opportunity to start from scratch. I’ve found, regardless of field, you’re going to have constraints. Those constraints don’t have to be a negative! You’re given a template, OK… Now, how do you change it to make it look completely different? What parts are really necessary and what parts can be peeled away to reveal something more original? What can you add instead? I can’t think of a better lesson in thinking outside someone’s template than when I’m forced to use the template in question. It’s not easy sometimes, true, but it’s amazing when I finish up and you can’t even tell where I started from. It’s an exciting challenge to be given new collateral and to mix things up so much, so I feel that’s where the change can be?
Also, within each level you actually have an infinite canvas to work within if you’re creative enough to utilize. The animations menu with Zoom Areas gives you the chance to add those Classic-like (invisible) frames anywhere you please. And you can do that over & over & over at the Overview, Topic, AND Subtopic levels. Granted, there is not an outline for those frames, but as I’m thinking about it more, I’m going to add that as a request thread today. So, maybe they’ll be more easily tracked in the future.
Bottom line, I’m so sorry you feel this way, but I hope you find the joy in Next at some point down the road & I wish you the best of luck in teaching no matter what tool you end up using!
Thank you for your response. Yes, I realize that every genre and every on-line platform comes with its own set of affordances and constraints. Poetic forms such as the sonnet and sestina and terza rima are good examples of learning to work within a set of constraints. I’m not a poetry teacher, but I discovered that it was only working within in these constraints of rhyme scheme and meter that enabled me to produce something that I would call a poem. In that genre the “open canvas” of poetry was overwhelming when I was learning. I am a rhetoric professor, however, and rhetoric is about discovering and inventing “the available means of persuasion.” It’s about knowledge and design generation (so thank you for including a “blank” template at the very least). And yes, we don’t really ever start from “scratch” because one of the limits and constraints we are always working with is our own prior knowledge and experience. We always unlearning as well as learning.
You mentioned that you found yourself reusing templates you had created. People (especially students) do this with writing and designing too. This tendency may be fine when you are primarily focused on using your rhetorical and design tools as communication and presentation devices. However, many of us use writing, rhetoric, and design as tools for idea-generation, invention, and discovery.
I like using Prezi Classic as a content-curation tool, where students are personal curators of their own learning. (In fact, that is what the chapter I have been writing for the last couple of months is about. Seems silly to continue when so few users will be able to use or adapt the idea). They are drawing on information from multiple sources and learning how to organize and aggregate, group, and distill. They learn design principles (coherence, proximity, contrast, etc.).
So, I am continuing to play around with Prezi Next to see what affordances it does offer for non-presentational purposes. I may ask my students to use it for another project called “to make a long story short” where they had been making infographic-like texts to talk about the subject of our course to an audience who has not been part of the conversation. But as an idea-generating tool, I’m not seeing it. I and perhaps others are feeling limited by some of these attributes:
• I have to think in topics (just like paragraphs) and order them linearly.
• I have to decide ahead of time what is a topic and what is a subtopic and a sub-subtopic. I have to do my thinking in my head rather than on the screen. Many writers and designers do not see relationships between information until they can move things around on the screen and visualize the lurking connections. The very last thing I ask students to do is figure out a path – not the first thing.
• I can’t just put information down on the canvas and decide how it connects to what. It has to fit on the overview page or in a topic/sub-topic planet
• I can’t see all my topics-subtopics at once so I can decide if I want to re-order or rearrange them. (It would help if I could see the entire path on the side—I think I saw that that idea was under discussion).
• I guess I don’t want a book of pages—I want a mural.
I am very disappointed with Next. I have had excellent (and some not so good experiences with Prezi - the Classic). I was an advocate and a marketer by using Prezi at international conferences around the Globe.
I almost stopped using Prezi because of Next. I suggest that Prezi reviews the trend of usage after Prezi Next.
I still believe that there should be collaboration / reuse in prezi classic. There are great ideas worth for sharing among the non-profit community, just because it’s oriented for business presentation that’s a lame excuse to not think that many non-profit seminars/presentations could reuse something as simple as a campaign for recycling or to use more public transit or the dangers of drugs for kids.
My point is that there’s still room for our community to benefit from prezi next for free and I certainly believe that users from Prezi Next will love to share some ideas to the world. IMHO.
As a 4 year user of Prezi Classic I just can’t use Prezi Next. I spent about 4 hours trying to get to grips with it’s nuances but it is just not intuitive enough. I still remember how easy and refreshing Prezi was originally. I’m sorry Prezi Next people but I am sticking with Classic.
There are a number of frustrating things with it, I have tried to list them below in what I hope will be taken as constructive and honest feedback for you to improve a much loved product
- No way to group images
- No spell-check
- No ability to crop images
- No massive canvas, Classic was a great tool for brainstorming - this has been lost
- Cannot edit the path - this was your single best feature
- Zoom frames cannot be resized in different ratios
- Constant zooming out to the overview page. This causes loss of focus for presenters and audiences.
A common theme I hear on the choice of omitting the Prezi Classic path editing from staff is “This is what users tell us”. I dispute this claim. How many users were surveyed, what were the questions asked, how did you make your conclusions. Please share this data as this seems impossible to comprehend that this could have ever been the case
Others are that the Product Managers will be consulted - I’ve seen posts over 6 months old with this excuse and no action on them. What is your roadmap, when are your features being delivered, if you are building a world-class product you should have confidence in sharing
There is a great sense of angst about Prezi Next. This should tell you
- People hate it so you need to fix it
- People loved Classic so make Next more like Classic or incorporate it’s best features
Lastly I would highly recommend your people read books on strategy theory and good product management, you have failed to understand what your customers want and if you do not iterate, and fast, to improve your product a competitor will offer it. History tells us this, please learn from it.
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