Lucidchart Review

Rapidly creates a visual representation of what I am doing


What is our primary use case?

I do a lot of strategy stuff with it:

  1. Mapping things out that way. 
  2. Laying out product plans and roadmaps.
  3. Visually showing people some of that information.

I use it for general mapping, more like a canvas. I'm a single user who uses it for our company for a very specific need.

We are using Lucidchart through the web.

How has it helped my organization?

Lucidchart's capabilities for understanding workflows is high. I use a couple of different programs, like MindManager, and what I like about using Lucidchart is that it is all web-based. So, I can quickly go into a web browser, drag and drop a bunch of files, pictures, or notes, draw some flow lines, and rapidly be able to create a visual representation of what I am trying to do. As a product manager, I can quickly organize thoughts that way and show people what we are working on.

I do more show and tell with it. We don't really collaborate too much. We are mostly just sending, "Here is where we are right now with this." We don't really collaborate on the same document, which I know could be a really powerful function. We just don't use it that way yet. 

What is most valuable?

I can throw everything into a window, copy and paste images, and then quickly add flow lines. Instead of using a bunch of Word documents or Excel spreadsheets, I often compile a lot of data or images into a single document, then use links in the comments or attach to pictures that help me go to that source. For example, if I am doing a competitor analysis or looking for visual inspirations for new product development, I could say, "Here is where this originally came from. We can research this product or identify what this competitor may be doing," then have a direct link. It is very visual, and that is the best part of it. So, I don't have 20 different Excel sheets on competitor analysis, instead I have one big document showing a bunch of images of a competitor's stuff. 

What needs improvement?

A feature that I would love to see on Lucidchart is the ability to collapse information and expand it out. If someone's looking for a reference to what I'm talking about, MindManager is an example of how you can collapse data down. The best part of that solution is I can have very large maps, but simplify it visually for people. Then, if we talk about it during a meeting, I can expand it out with a lot more data that can be provided. Whereas, with Lucidchart, I need to have a big canvas. Oftentimes, it gets really large and it's kind of overwhelming. If I'm in a presentation that I'm sharing, such as phased releases of a product line, it can be overwhelming if I have 100 pictures on there. There is too much going on, as far as comprehending it.

It would be nice to have more features that help me visually present information. Since I use it as a canvas, my use case for it is probably very specific. I use it as a way to present information to people visually on a large mind map. So, it would be nice to be able to have more graphical things to clean it up, like a header, banners, or something to help draw attention to certain areas. I would also like more infographic-like features, because I am kind of limited to float chart shapes. This makes the solution a little cumbersome.

If I have a presentation on a new product line to my board. I wouldn't want to use Lucidchart because it still looks like a real rudimentary flow chart. Whereas, if it gave me a bit more control over the visuals, I would be able to throw a bunch of information in it, rough it in, go back and clean it up visually, and then make everything pop out now that the flow has been laid out. That would be really nice to have. That has always been the downfall for me: It still lacks that visual. Usability is really high, but visually, it is still lacking.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Lucidchart for about a year.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I am the only one driving it right now in the organization, but I certainly think there is more potential for it. I have been kind of testing it out.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support was good, but I haven't used it for a long time.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Lucidchart is better than keeping a bunch of Excel spreadsheets, which I end up losing or haven't named correctly. This way, I can visually see the work that I have done, the competitors, and quickly attach images.

I came across Lucidchart when I was searching for something like a whiteboard-type system, where I could throw a lot of information on there and present.

What was our ROI?

I am satisfied with the price and features that I am getting out of it.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The pricing and licensing are fine. It has a lot of features that I prefer over some of the other programs, which is good. Being that it is web-based, I feel that it is acceptable that it's on a monthly pay basis. However, I think I pay on an annual basis, which is fine with me.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We have existing solutions, like Visio and MindManager. Lucidchart is way more versatile than Visio or MindManager; it gives me more freedom to do more with it. Lucidchart is a direct replacement for Visio. Lucidchart is easy to just pull up if I'm at home working on my tablet. I don't have to have a direct license, like I would with Visio, which would need to be downloaded. So, if I were to deploy Lucidchart to the rest of my product development team, we don't need to have it downloaded, like Visio, with a Microsoft license. We can just go online and use this web-based program.

I use Lucidchart daily. We originally intended to have this solution transfer to engineering as well as manufacturing for their purposes, but they are continuing to use Visio because it is already deployed.

I don't quite understand how Lucidspark is differentiating other than it looks simplified. I don't understand why I would want to use their other program. Right now, it looks like it is included, but I don't want to use it because it looks like it limits the features that I can have over the regular Lucidchart.

What other advice do I have?

I love the program as it is so far. Being able to link comments and things to images has been fantastic for me. For me, using it as a solution for whiteboard, canvas-type, thought-thinking, mind mapping has been fantastic.

I would rate this solution as an eight (out of 10). Feature and functionality-wise, it is fantastic. I just wish visually that I had a bit more control to polish it up.

**Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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