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Liveshare is dead, freehand is shit. I need alternatives.

10 months ago from , Creative Director, Molamil

Rant: I use Liveshare for presenting prototypes to clients over phone conference. Works great. Now Invision has killed Liveshare and yesterday I tried presenting with Freehand instead. It was a shit show. There was zero continuity because all screens are visible at the same time, I couldn't update the art boards during the call and at one point everybody got confused because one of the clients accidentally deleted the artboard we were loooking at. I mean, what the hell?

Question: What alternatives are there to efficiently show visual prototypes? Preferably that syncs with Sketch and requires very little setup and stuff.

Thanks!

24 comments

  • Stephen OlmsteadStephen Olmstead, 9 months ago

    Joakim - such a bummer to read about this experience, obviously not the takeaway we're aiming for. A lot of hard work and hands-on time with the community has been spent building out Freehand (especially as a successor to LiveShare). We've been seeing overall good traction, reception, and usage thus far but there's of course always room for continued improvement. Sounds like we have some opportunities to do better here in a couple ways based on what I'm seeing in your original post:

    1. We need to look at messaging our 'read-only' mode better. Sounds like the link that got shared with your stakeholders was a fully-open version where everyone has access. There is a read-only mode that you can share with clients so that deleting like this doesn't happen. I suspect that would have helped immensely in your use case.

    2. We need to look at messaging our artboard focus feature better. Double clicking on any artboard will trigger this and you can then switch between artboards with arrows keys (like you could in LiveShare). I did a quick LICE-cap record here to demonstrate.

    3. We need to look at messaging our presentation mode better. When you enter presentation mode it 'forces' all active viewers to your view. This gives you the ability to ensure all stakeholders on a call are following along with you at all times. You can click the 'play' button at top to trigger this. Here's another LICE-cap demo I did where I popped an incognito window to simulate what this would like on your presenter screen (left) and your clients screen (right).

    Goes without saying (but I want to say it anyway) we always have room for improvement and value your feedback. Building these tools is a deeply personal endeavor. This is the space we live in too and we want to give you a platform that can help you be more productive, not less. Can you hit me up at stephen[at]invisionapp.com? I'd love to go deeper with you on this and make sure were building and evolving Freehand continually as complimentary asset to your workflow.

    So sorry for any frustration you've experienced in the meantime- appreciate the transparency so we can continue to learn and do better by you and everyone else in this community. Thank you for shooting straight and elevating- look forward to connecting more deeply 1-on-1.

    36 points
    • Alex Dahl, 9 months ago

      Interesting. Yeah, I also had no idea any of this was possible.

      FWIW: I tried out Freehand for the first time the other day. Went through its whole tutorial, felt it struggle loading a prototype with dozens of artboards, didn't see any of these features at a glance, and left quickly.

      Kudos on the helpful response.

      2 points
      • Stephen OlmsteadStephen Olmstead, 9 months ago

        My pleasure Alex- thx for the feedback. Confirms the need for better onboarding here. Had a good chat with one of the PM's here today and the team is already cranking on a better messaging/onboarding experience. I may ping you for more info with regards to and struggles on load times- thats not something we're seeing at a systemic level here- would love to try and reproduce to see whats going on. Hit me up, and if the file is one you are able to share, would love that so we can give it a play --> stephen[at]invisionapp.com

        1 point
    • David ThornDavid Thorn, 9 months ago

      Is there a reason there is no way to use any of the hotspot/prototype controls when in Freehand? Arrow keys are pretty useless unless you are presenting something with a single linear path.

      1 point
    • Ann Chen, 9 months ago

      My feedback is similar to Joakim's - how it differs is that the biggest advantage of Liveshare for me was in user testing. With Liveshare, through a simple link, I had the ability to give users control over a prototype while still being able able to use the computer independently. Users could run through a prototype while I was watching without me giving them control of my mouse through a separate screenshare application.

      I know Invision is trying to build collaborative tools for designers vs just be a prototyping tool but this takes away my primary use of Invision and IMO one of the product differentiators to other apps.

      0 points
  • George Brown, 9 months ago

    You got your lesson. Never rely on InVision. Ever. Use figma or marvel. If you can't use both, stick with the old method. Jpegs. Even Jpegs are much better then InVision.

    I don't know how many times Invision let me down while in the presentations, meetings and presentations.

    11 points
    • Bruce Vang, 9 months ago

      +1 for Figma. I really don't get why Invision and Invision Studio get the hype they do. Too many times I've been burned with Invision not syncing the designs I've uploaded. Great design but terrible reliability.

      1 point
    • Stephen OlmsteadStephen Olmstead, 9 months ago

      Ouchies, so sorry we've let you down in the past George, es no bueno. This is not the experience anyone should be having on our platform. We've got a major infrastructure overhaul hitting this year in the form of v7 as well as continuous updates that have been rolling out regularly for some time to mitigate syncing/presenting hiccups that should be mitigating this.

      However, we def have had our missteps and I'm incredibly sorry that we've let you down in the past. I want to be respectful of your time, but I'd relish the chance to chat with you further about this at some point live if you'd be up for it? Want to learn from those missteps and earn back that lost trust over time if possible. If you'd be down to chat I'd absolutely love that: stephen[at]invisionapp.com

      8 points
    • Andrew ConnAndrew Conn, 9 months ago

      Couldn’t agree with this more. Zero trust in InVision after giving it chance after chance. Would not recommend.

      1 point
    • Jesse C.Jesse C., 9 months ago

      Never rely on InVision.

      Or almost any cloud service, is what it feels like at this point. Been burned so many times.

      0 points
  • Pol KuijkenPol Kuijken, 9 months ago

    Figma has all this built in and it works really well.

    5 points
  • Hanu ManHanu Man, 9 months ago

    Use Figma, Man!

    5 points
  • Yasen DimovYasen Dimov, 9 months ago

    I normally present straight from Invision, but over Skype / WebEx and only in Preview / Comment mode.

    I share only my browser and either add comments and change screens later, or change the screens in Sketch (which I keep invisible to the audience).

    I actually never, ever show clients how I change screens while presenting, it leads to unwanted results.

    Also, I hate Freehand!

    4 points
    • Gareth LewisGareth Lewis, 9 months ago

      I do exactly the same. I'm based in the UK and my team is in San Francisco, so I regularly do design reviews using InVision in Preview mode using Skype.

      1 point
      • Yasen DimovYasen Dimov, 9 months ago

        Same, based in London, teams across HK, US and Europe.

        Never had issues with Preview/Comment mode!

        0 points
  • Christopher Taylor, 9 months ago

    Am I missing something here, or can't you just use skype, join.me, or hangouts for screen sharing with a client?

    2 points
  • Antoine Ravin, 9 months ago

    Exact same situation as Joakim.

    To me one of the biggest benefit of Liveshare was to combine prototype demo & screen sharing. It provided an immersive demo effect along with an increased stakeholder participation.

    Issues I wasn't able to solve so far with Freehand

    • the project I'm working on is a webapp of about 200 pages. It takes ages to load
    • it requires a lot of work to prepare a presentation as I have to pick and chose the screens I'll present (With Liveshare it was straighforward to avoid "work in progress" areas within the project)
    • recreate a demo/presentation with stakeholders pointing at specific areas on the prototype (I have to choose between shared presentation with another screensharing software OR stakeholder participation with Freehand)
    • overlay screens kill continuity during a presentation. It requires my stakeholder to understand that the overlay "sits on top" of the screen we were looking at just before

    With Freehand I have the feeling I need to create a new "Freehand" for each presentation on a specific topic (to avoid stakeholder digressions on screen they weren't supposed to see)

    Any suggestions? Thanks

    1 point
  • Mike A.Mike A., 9 months ago

    For visual comps we use http://www.realtimeboard.com There's also Sketch plugin for it so you can update designs in one click.

    1 point
  • Dan WilkinsonDan Wilkinson, 9 months ago

    I was in a similar position last week and created a similar post asking for alternatives because of the annoying "Sign up for a free InVision account" popup that keeps appearing when presenting a share link to a client.

    The tool that we're trailing at the minute is Evrybo. It's still in beta, they don't have Liveshare, but I believe they have some promising features that are being released in future updates.

    I've been told today they're implementing 'tour points' and screen sectioning in their next updates – oh and they have a Sketch plugin too.

    1 point
  • Ciaran Madigan, 9 months ago

    https://ludus.one/

    A top notch presentation tool in it's own right, with the lovely feature of being able to embed invision or framer prototypes

    0 points
  • Greg Warner, 9 months ago

    Historically we've just done screenshare over Uber Conference or Hangouts with Marvel with relatively few difficulties (aside from audio hiccups).

    0 points
  • Emir BukvaEmir Bukva, 9 months ago

    Another option is Keynote Live feature of Keynote but it obviously adds a deal of overhead.

    0 points
  • Alexis Morin, 3 months ago

    I'm having the same issue as Joakim here. Used to present prototypes with customers in LiveShare and I'm finding that Freehand is way underwhelming in its capabilities to replace LiveShare. Even @Stephen Olmstead's comments don't represent features that exist in Freehand. It's obviously impractical to maintain separate accounts on different services just so we can present to customers.

    Very disappointed by Invision RN.

    0 points