Presentator: Powerpoint for Webdesigners
When it comes to the presentation of static drafts, a product such as Powerpoint is a valid choice. Presentator realizes this concept as a web app, for free.
Powerpoint, Not Only for Nostalgists
If you've been following our content for a while, you probably saw a few posts in which I described the use of Powerpoint presentations for web design clients. Just a bit over ten years ago, this was my standard approach. My colleague Denis Potschien also described his early days of the new millennium in a similar way.
And if your design approach is graphically oriented as well, meaning you take Photoshop drafts to the client, this approach is still valid today. However, instead of the static Powerpoint, you should go for a more flexible solution, such as Presentator.
Presentator is Like Powerpoint, But Different
Presentator is a project of the Bulgarian Gani Georgiev, who calls himself a full-stack developer and clearly aims at the target group of designers with this project. Presentator was initially released in spring of 2016 and has only been available in the current version since fall of 2017. A few days ago, version 1.5 was released.
Presentator is open source, distributed under the license BSD-3. This makes it an equally good choice for both personal and commercial projects. You can also host the product on your own server. For that, it is available on Github.
According to the developer, more than 1,500 designers have already decided to use Presentator. Thanks to this community, Presentator could already be translated into tons of (western European) languages.
The functionality is quite similar to Powerpoint. Upload your page designs to Presentator, and connect them via hotspot, or set a target URL. This lets you simulate your interaction options. In contrast to Powerpoint, it is possible to post comments right on the respective design. This makes Presentator a good tool to receive easy feedback from colleagues and clients, which makes it even easier for the client to post his "Can we make this logo bigger?".
Only a Partial Alternative to Prototyping Apps
At first glance, Presentator might seem like an alternative to competitors like UXPin or InVision. However, both of them can do a lot more than the small presentation tool from Bulgaria. Presentator has one unbeatable advantage. It's free. If you use it extensively, you might want to consider donating, or at least contributing to the development, which also includes error reports or feature requests.
Gani also provides the online web app for free. Running it definitely isn't free though, as there are no restrictions regarding the number of possible projects or the number of screens per project. A version control makes sure nothing gets lost, and you also get to take care of the versioning manually if you want to. I'd like to see that hosting bill.
The collaboration is as easy as it gets. Colleagues are entered as additional project administrators. Send a password-protected preview link to the client. With the existing REST API, the project is future proof too, even if there is no use for it right now.
Conclusion: Fast and Simple
If you have the raw material, meaning page oriented drafts as JPG or PNG, there's probably no faster way to get results than Presentator. The feedback function is especially attractive, and it's free and fully viable for collaborations. Just try it.
We've presented more collaboration tools for web design in this post.