Say farewell to Powerpoint, Flash or whatever tool you are currently using to create presentation slides, banner ads, infographics or product demos. EWC Presenter by HindSite Interactive is a powerful, web-based HTML5 editor that does not want any less than change the way you create professional content. The folks at HindSite say they are on a mission and you better believe them…
Who’s behind EWC? Easy WebContent by HindSite
Easy WebContent is an effort by internet consulting company HindSite Interactive Inc. HindSite started out in 2001 to deliver custom web solutions to businesses and organizations. Already in 2004 they created the brand "Easy WebContent".
The vision behind Easy WebContent was and still is to make it easier to create professional web content using a real WYSIWYG approach. WYSIWYG nowadays is not a new idea, yet back in 2004 Easy WebContent were to be named pioneers.
Throughout the years Easy WebContent’s product portfolio grew to the three main tools we see today. They offer Site Builder, which is a tool to build your own website from scratch. For those, who already have a website, they offer HTML Editor, which is a tool to edit existing web content, regardless of its hosting location, think of it as a cloud-based Dreamweaver. On top of these two tools, Easy WebContent built a row of add-ons, such as a photo gallery or a calender.
Site Builder and HTML Editor come at a price, yet are quite affordable compared to other solutions.
Today we are not going to focus on these two solutions, though. What I’ll be showing you now, is the latest addition to their portfolio, number three in the product triple I mentioned before:
EWC Presenter: Who needs Flash, when we got HTML5?
The Presenter, a cloud-based tool for creating banner ads, presentation slides, infographics and product demos, has just undergone significant changes in usability and design. Presenter is a straight-forward tool for clearly defined purposes. At the time of this writing, Presenter can be used free of charge. Expect that to change, once the beta period ends, though there is no hint as to pricing. As Easy WebContent encourages you to "Try it for free, no credit card needed", it doesn’t seem far-fetched to assume a monetization strategy behind the product.
I reached out to Easy WebContent to get a little more information on that matter. Here’s what founder Payman Taei told me:
We will launch new features that are not available yet for Premium which will include but not be limited to:
- ability to download HTML5 published file,
- more Custom Assets,
- advanced features for further customization of elements,
- additional special effects beyond what is available in free version,
- and the ability to have a higher number of restore points and number of projects (free allows up to 10)
The functionality for creating product demos is not yet implemented, but what Presenter got in store to build banner ads and presentations is impressive enough. Most notably, Presenter does not expect you to be a pro in creating professional content. The tool is dead-simple and almost intuitive to use. Powerpoint or Keynote, for the Mac addicts, are complicated compared to Presenter.
Infographics can be created, too. I was having issues, though. The template did not work and the "Publish" feature didn’t work either. I reported the error to Easy WebContent, where it could not be replicated. So, chances are, you will find the Infographics feature working, although it did not for me…
It is obvious that presentation slides were the initial use case Presenter got invented for. The tool-set around presentations is the most elaborate inside the app. You can use preset effects, fine-tune your own, and even animate parts of your presentation. Exporting your presentation can be done through SlideShare, the YouTube for slides or as a download in the form of JPG (individual slides) or PDF (whole presentation).
If you have ever worked with Powerpoint or Keynote, you can’t get lost. If you build your very first presentation with Presenter and have never worked with any other software before, you can’t get lost either. Presenter initially follows a step by step approach. You define what kind of content you want to create, then in a second step choose a template to start with.
After you preset that you want to – say – create a presentation with theme "Road" you are taken to the editor.
EWC Presenter: The Editor is just Great
The editor reminds me of an iPad app, which is a good thing in my perception. It has a clean and modern design. Navigation is built from left to right, where the main items are located to the left and the detailed work area, called the "Stage" spreads out to the right. In between you’ll find an area to customize tools, grids, texts, whatever is customizable.
The editor is the heart of the app. From here you can create, manipulate, throw away, start anew and lastly publish your content. Presenter’s editor sports a drag & drop interface that actually works reliably. Building presentations is easy, helpers are available at your fingertips – if you want them. Even my favorite helper in WYSIWYG design "snap to grid" is present, and comes with a grid that can be customized pixel-wise from 0 to 100 pixels squared or not.
The latest update saw Easy WebContent integrate loads of vector shapes into Presenter. You can choose from a wide variety of icons, banners or ribbons, all of which can be used freely in the works you create, without having to worry about licensing. Even a free image library is integrated. Flickr Creative Commons is available from inside Presenter, too. With such a massive back-log of free, reusable content, Presenter provides one of the most powerful creative platforms for your next presentation that I have ever heard of.
What convinces me most is, that behind the scenes of Presenter we see plain HTML5 at work. There are no proprietary technologies such as Flash, that would limit you or your customers. Content created using Presenter can be viewed on desktop and mobile clients alike, without the need for browser plugins or system extensions.
EWC Presenter: Outlook
As I mentioned before, EWC Presenter has just undergone some major changes, making it faster, better-looking and more capable. Yet, the new content formats infographics and product demo are not available right now. Especially the availability of infographics templates might bring the breakthrough for the product. At the moment they seem not be designed as interactive infographics, so I would expect them to be downloadable as JPGs only. But anyway, that’s great enough.
The addition of the product demo feature will let us see how clean and compliant the code will be, that Presenter is about to create. I would expect paid plans to be introduced together with that feature, too. Stay on top of things by subscribing to their blog.
Let’s draw a conclusion. Presenter is a free tool allowing for the professional creation of animated presentations and banner-ads. It does not rely on proprietary technology and runs inside any modern browser. You will definitely save time if you decide to leave your Powerpoint/Keynote aside. Presenter is one of the most user-friendly and capable cloud-apps I have ever happened to have the chance to get my hands on.
Noupe puts all thumbs up!
Dieter Petereit is a veteran of the web with over 25 years of experience in the world of IT. As soon as Netscape became available he started to do what already at that time was called web design and has carried on ever since. Two decades ago he started writing for several online publications, some well, some lesser known. You can meet him over on Google+.