In the early part of our design and planning for the Impression Presentation Platform we surveyed several graphic design firms and kept getting the same feedback about their customers and rich media presentation. In almost all cases, designers told us there was a significant portion of their customer base that would like to have professionally designed presentations. Of that sampling, several customers wanted their presentations to be produced as rich media presentations. However the following concerns and limitations to rich media presentations were always cited:
Production of rich media presentations was too expensive for what typically ends up being one-time or limited use presentations.
However, in follow up queries, business customers rarely took issue at the initial cost when told that their presentation would not only be editable, but also could be rebuilt from scratch while maintaining the original design look, feel and quality.
Inability To Edit:
With traditional rich media production software used to create engaging multimedia presentations there is always an issue about small changes and customer editing. Almost always, your customers cannot make edits themselves to the rich media presentations you author. So they come back to you to make the changes.
While designers typically invite rich media presentation projects into their shop, and because the end result is usually impossible for their customers to edit, they are perpetually asked to perform edits that are generally more of a distraction than profit center. Even though you are willing to perform those edits, it is difficult to justify the cost to both you and your customer.
Enter Impression Presentation Platform:
At Media Connexus, we decided to solve those problems with the Impression Presentation Platform. It has always been our belief that once a rich media presentation has been produced, you could replace the presentation specific content and most of the design integrity from the original presentation would remain. We're not talking about replacing the design - you know, fonts, colors layout or supporting elements - just the presenter's content; their message text and supporting media.
We believed that if the former were true, then it should be possible to separate the two (design and content) in such a way that a designer could build amazing multimedia presentation themes and a presenter could just insert their content into that theme and still maintain almost all of the original beauty and elegance you intended. Keep in mind we're not imagining the incredible custom multimedia presentations you might produce for a Fortune 1000 annual shareholders meeting. We're thinking of the image conscious professional that wants to stand out from their competition and turn their back on slide-based presentation software forever.
So how does the Impression Presentation Suite address the problems cited above?
As noted above, many businesses don't mind a one-time expense periodically, especially when it comes to their company's image. Most spend significant money to have their corporate ID designed and maintained across their entire collateral spectrum - from business cards to letterhead to web site and branding. However, most don't want to spend that money for a one time, or limited use presentation. But if they are given the opportunity to invest into a custom rich media presentation they can continue to use and reuse for a reasonable lifespan, many are willing to because they can amortize their investment over many uses.
Inability To Edit:
The Impression Presentation Suite finally solves this problem. When you develop a custom theme for a client, you build it in smaller pieces we have fondly named "Actors". The presenter then uses Impression Studio to author their presentations mating your Actors and their content to create compelling results almost every time. We have really solved this problem for both you and your client. For the designer, Impression allows you to offer a rich media solution for clients that want it allowing you to earn money at what you're good at - design. For your client they get flexibility and editing freedom and don't have to pay you for every little change they might require, which is generally a distraction to you and your staff.
Ease of Use:
When we surveyed professional presenters about their needs we asked if they would prefer to give rich media presentations and the response was almost always a resounding, "Yes". However they also made one equally resounding request, "It must be as easy to use as my current slide-based presentation software."
In our focus groups, we found most Impression Studio users became proficient with the application within 1-3 hours of effort to learn it. Once they did, they could generally produce incredible rich media presentations as fast, or faster than they could in their traditional presentation software, depending upon how much time they spent trying to make their traditional presentation look good. With Impression, since they mostly spend their time on their message and not acting as a proxy designer, their initial investment pays off very quickly.