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Lucidspark OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Lucidspark is the #2 ranked solution in our list of top Visual Collaboration Platforms. It is most often compared to Lucidchart: Lucidspark vs Lucidchart

What is Lucidspark?

Lucidspark is a virtual whiteboard where teams can bring their best ideas to light. Collaborate in real time, no matter where you are. Lucidspark helps people organize notes and scribbles and turn them into presentation-ready concepts. When it’s time for next steps, teams can develop workflows and process documents to turn ideas into reality. Features include: integrations, infinite canvas, sticky notes, freehand drawing, chat, templates, timer, voting, and more.

With Lucidspark, you can not only brainstorm ideas as a team but then refine and organize those ideas to drive action. Features like assisted grouping and Lucidchart import/export help users turn ideas into plans and strategies.

Lucidspark is part of the Lucid suite, the only visual collaboration suite that helps teams see and build the future from idea to reality. Users can start ideating in Lucidspark and then seamlessly move to Lucidchart and Lucidchart Cloud Insights to complete the full project lifecycle and make their ideas a reality.

Lucidspark Buyer's Guide

Download the Lucidspark Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: October 2021

Lucidspark Video

Pricing Advice

What users are saying about Lucidspark pricing:
  • "It would be better if I didn't use Lucidspark at all and just used Illustrator and Photoshop, but it doesn't make sense for my projects to do that. It would remove a tremendous amount of steps, but it would cost a tremendous amount of money."
  • "It's a very reasonable $8 a month. That makes it really accessible and helps it fill a pretty significant need for virtual collaboration. Just about every leadership team member that I've talked to said, 'Oh, well, that's cheap, just go buy it.'"
  • "It is not cost-prohibitive. It is well worth it, but we are also a small team. We are definitely planning on having it as part of our onboarding for everyone, but I haven't looked at the pricing for an enterprise level or large set of employees."

Lucidspark Reviews

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Maryam S Waris
Customer Success Manager at a media company with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Top 10
Encourages collaboration with our clients, and reactions help to prioritize ideas, but automation to make things more consistent would be helpful

Pros and Cons

  • "My workshops have seen a much higher engagement. In the past, maybe ten or twenty percent of my clients would normally participate. With Lucidspark being involved, I see almost 90% engagement of everyone in the room, because they're required to add something."
  • "Whatever they can do to help make the visual look a little cleaner would be great because it can get a bit messy, or inconsistent. If there were automations to do things like making sure that elements are of the same size and correct alignment, it would help to make the visual more presentable."

What is our primary use case?

This is a product that is really useful in my role as a customer success manager. Our company develops marketing automation tools that Fortune 500, enterprise companies use with their internal marketing channels.

We use both Lucidspark and Lucidchart. With Lucidspark, we use it for workshops that we plan with our clients. These are strategy workshops that help them map out what they will ultimately do in our product before they actually touch it. They have to map out what the different messages are that they're going to send, what channels they're going to send them to, and what the strategy is for who receives those messages. They decide how are they going to target, personalize, et cetera.

For this use case, Lucidspark becomes a virtual whiteboard for our clients during these workshops because we've not been able to go in person since the pandemic started. Normally, we would do these works at the client site but now, we can bring it to a virtual environment and make it a really interactive experience. The client actually walks away with something really visual and really clear that shows them what they are going to use to build their system.

How has it helped my organization?

I use both Lucidspark and Lucidchart for two different types of workshops. The first type is a simple session that we call an effort impact workshop. This is where our clients will use post-it notes to post their ideas for different campaign types and different channels, and we'll then chart that on an effort impact graph. It's super interactive and it's really beautiful and easy to do when we're using Lucidspark.

We use Lucidchart for our user journey workshop that we run. It uses the flowchart method to build a user journey, such as an onboarding journey, or lapsing user journey, that then translates really easily into something that they would build using our product. The difference is that they would fill it with real campaigns.

The client does not have access to our Lucidchart directly. Rather, we present the charts that we design for them. It makes it easy to demonstrate something that we can't easily demonstrate on our own platform.

When I use this platform, things that would be really difficult to make interactive or make really visual can be done a lot easier. For example, when I am doing a user journey workshop, my goal at the end of it is to ensure that my client adopts the use of one of our products. It is essentially a user journey-building tool, but our clients have a really hard time knowing where to start. However, when you map the flow chart out and build it in Lucidchart, they get to see exactly what they need to build. Afterward, they get access to what we come up with together, and then they just have to use that logic to build what they need to build in our main product.

If they didn't have this pre-work done, then they would have a really challenging time, and run into a lot of issues using our product to build out this journey. A lot of what our clients do requires a little bit of pre-work because they're building out these user journeys that target really specific clients, and their audience requires them to think through the logic of when users will receive messages, et cetera. We found that for us, as CSMs, we have a much higher rate of success with clients being able to enable themselves to use our platform when we can do these workshops and actually demonstrate what they need to do in this virtual whiteboard space.

For instance, using Lucidspark and the post-it note method, we have a brainstorming workshop. It provides a really good foundation for something that they're going to go on to do on our platform. Also, because we are strategic partners with our clients, oftentimes, they'll come to us for things that they need. Perhaps they will ask for advice on what a new type of campaign is that they can run, or maybe they would like to do something different than they are doing today. It helps us with enabling them to adopt our platform more.

We really want to make sure that they're getting this opportunity to brainstorm with their team and come up with new ideas. We have clients like restaurants and retail clients that want to find new things that they can do, and this becomes a really nice whiteboard for saving all of those ideas in one place. We can share it with them afterward, making sure that they have something that they've taken away from this meeting and can actually apply when they're using our platform.

We've been conducting remote sessions since March of last year, and this really came in as a solution to us not being able to conduct our workshops in person. We're very collaborative on this team and also as a company. This is true not only with our clients but also internally. We really value being in person with each other and it's hard to quantify what the delta is of having to do this virtually versus in-person.

I think there's a lot of value to using something like this in person, but where I see the value of how this works for us virtually is that it was meant to replace whiteboarding in person. I really like that it's digital and that you can create what you need to on your own time. You don't have to be in the same room as your colleague to both collaborate on a document.

The same is true for your client, where you don't have to be in the room with them at the same time. Even if they are, it makes it a lot more inviting for the clients to add their brainstorm ideas because oftentimes, it seems when we go in person, it can be hard when you're sitting in a room with so many people. It is hard to speak up and be the person who offers an idea versus here, where you don't have to necessarily speak up to get your thoughts on the board. You can just put it there, and that creates a much more inviting environment for a lot of our clients.

It is more inviting even for a lot of our people internally, who don't have to raise their hand to say something or add something. It's simply that we're all working on this document, you can add your thoughts to the document, and that has created a really effective way for us to work while we've been remote.

The biggest way that Lucidspark has improved the way our organization functions is with the workshops that we have with our direct clients. The way that we quantify our own success is time to value for our clients, so we want to make sure that in the least amount of time, they get the most value out of our platform.

That value comes from them adopting more and more of our platform, handling more mature use cases, and doing what we consider best-in-class marketing. They can achieve it with our platform but it takes more time. The overall time to value has been greatly reduced, and using a platform like this enables us to enable our clients to achieve some of the goals that we have for them.

A reduction in time to value is a positive metric but also, having a higher engagement with our clients is also a benefit. It is difficult to become remote when you're used to hosting these workshops, or doing what we call executive business reviews with clients in person. Now that we've moved them into our remote environment, we've lost a lot of engagement. This is the reason that we've had to invest in tools like this, which have enabled us to get those clients to participate more.

Essentially, using this platform increases participation, which equates to an increase in engagement, which for us, is relatable to higher NPS scores from our clients for our product.

The productivity of our brainstorming sessions has definitely increased with the use of Lucidchart. My workshops have seen a much higher engagement. In the past, maybe ten or twenty percent of my clients would normally participate. With Lucidspark being involved, I see almost 90% engagement of everyone in the room, because they're required to add something. They want their thoughts on the board and it's not requiring them to speak up necessarily. Rather, it's allowing space and flexibility for them to add what they need to add, and they see that it's interactive, which has been a really quantifiable way for me to see the value in this and why I continue to use it.

What is most valuable?

The user interface is great. It has a very modern and clean look. One of the things that I appreciate about Lucidspark is that it's very easy to start working in it. I think there are features that I'm not aware of that I could have used, and probably some features that I don't know exist. It might take more exploration from my end to understand the breadth of what I can do. My use case feels pretty simple because I can just put squares on a board and get votes, and that satisfies what I need to use it for. But, I think that knowing all of the functionalities would potentially allow me to gain more value from it.

As it is, it's very intuitive to use, it feels very simple, and it does have that informality. I love that the space is infinite, which is something that's not true of MURAL, or if I were to delve into PowerPoint, Excel, or another application that is a more dated form of creating what I need to create. The infinite amount of space to work in is very clean and clear, and I think it just takes a little more effort to make it look like something that is presentable or shareable because it can get a little bit messy if you're not really being intentional about where you place things, and how you're creating the visual. For the purposes of why we use the tool, it's not something that we have to worry about.

The post-it notes can be very agile. We can link out to other things, and we can make these post-its into something that has a real, thought-out idea. It's not just a brainstorm, but it's actually linking up to an example of what it is we're creating.

I have used the Collaborator Colors feature one time, and I had no issues with it. It made it a lot easier to know who edited what, and I think a really great use case would be internal collaboration. This would be where a lot of people's input was coming in, rather than just me and a colleague building something together. This is where I can see the value in it, and it's something that makes me almost want to use Lucidspark more for some of our internal use cases. These would be situations where we need to create something, and it helps us brainstorm for what we're working on from an internal strategy perspective. We really like this feature, although we just didn't have much of a need for it. Our most common uses of the platform do not benefit from it.

If we did invite clients into our space then using the Collaborator Colors feature would be a great way to get them adding to what we're building. We could use those colors to assign how our clients are getting involved and using the platform. The most challenging part was learning that the feature was there.

One of our clients had fast-food delivery as part of their business model, and we wanted them to think about geofencing as a potential campaign idea. We used the space to show an example of what that looks like, so if anyone is coming back to review the board at a later time, they have that example. They can clearly see what we voted on, what we decided to do, and how they can start building it. We can also put a link into our own product using the integration, or we can put a link to an example from one of our other clients. This is another example of a valuable resource for them that is available, even after the workshop is over.

One of the features that I really like is that you can add reactions. Because we use this as a brainstorming space, we get a bunch of people in a room and get their reactions to things. It starts with getting their thoughts on paper, and in a workshop environment where we're hoping to have take-aways, the fact that you can add reactions is really valuable because we used it as a voting tool.

It is helpful because once we have perhaps 20 ideas, all on post-its on the board, what I want to do is then hear from my clients which ideas stand out. These may be the ones that they're most excited about, or what idea they find the most feasible, or which ones have the most long-term gains or short-term gains. Once we post a question, we'll use the reaction feature to kind of get these votes.

The reaction feature helps a lot from a brainstorming perspective, as it tells you what ideas to prioritize. The voting and reactions capability is one of the biggest features that we use, so it's very important to us.

Lucidspark enables us to spend more time discussing and revising ideas' next steps and less time organizing them because we use the voting feature. It means that we're able to figure out what is a priority versus what is not, and then translate those ideas into other things. For example, I've created a priority list in Excel using what we've come up with in Lucidspark. It not only means that we spend less time organizing ideas but without some of these features, it would be a lot harder for us to take a plot of ideas and make them actionable.

The fact that you can physically present and see what you've created, is another really valuable feature for us.

What needs improvement?

This is a feature-rich product and I would like to see more opportunities for teaching new users how to learn and use the breadth of the platform. Ideally, it would be nice if there were a set of guidelines to explain what it is capable of. I know that there are videos online, and I've watched a few. But, I know that when I first started, just playing around, there were things I didn't discover that I could do until much later. This is why I get surprised by certain integrations I learn that they have.

It would have been great to know right from the start, with a guided tutorial on how to use the various options. As it is now, we have invested internally in the educational resources needed to learn how to use it. A tool that can be very self-serving in that way, and enable its users to use it to the breadth of what it is capable of doing, is always a great thing.

Whatever they can do to help make the visual look a little cleaner would be great because it can get a bit messy, or inconsistent. If there were automations to do things like making sure that elements are of the same size and correct alignment, it would help to make the visual more presentable. This is important because, at the end of what you create, it can have a very positive impact on what is ultimately shared with the client.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Lucidspark since I joined this company, eight months ago.

I'm not sure how long the company has been using it for but my team has always had a license for Lucidspark. I discovered it when I was a new hire and thought it would be really effective for my role. Not everybody in my team uses it, as we're not required to, but it is a tool that we have in our toolbelt if we ever want to use it.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have not experienced any glitches or ever lost any work.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have not experienced issues with scalability but I can't say whether or not it will be a pain point in the future.

Our main users are the customer success team, and we are a customer-facing group. We have approximately 45 people across different locations, although not everyone uses this as regularly as some do. Perhaps you can say that 50% of us use it more regularly.

I believe that our product team and some of our growth teams also have access to the platform. We're an 800-person company and there are probably about 100 of our employees that have a license to this platform.

In our situation, it's going to be these client-facing teams like mine, and product teams that are brainstorming for product purposes. The growth marketing teams are brainstorming for growth marketing purposes.

Including our clients, the largest number of participants that we have had in a single session is 12 or 13.

This solution is highly adopted across my team but not across my entire company, so it is not yet used very extensively. I did a workshop with our internal tech team a week and a half ago, and this was in order to encourage the usage of Lucid. This is necessary because we have licenses to a lot of software tools, and not everyone uses all of them all the time.

One of the problems is that people don't know what they have access to, so one of my goals is to roll this out more broadly, or at least inform more people that they have this tool available to them because it has served such a great purpose for me.

I know they've not made it easily discoverable or super prominent for people at my company coming into this role. I am happy that I stumbled upon it, but I think there's a lot more room for people at my company to realize that we have access to this and that it can serve a great purpose.

Overall, I estimate that between 5% and 10% of the people in our company regularly use it. I hope to grow that number to at least 15% or 20%.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have not been in contact with technical support.

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

I have used MURAL in the past and I think that it's the closest solution that I have used, in terms of the interface. Compared to MURAL, Lucidspark is easier to use and I don't feel constricted when using it. MURAL felt a lot more challenging to get started with and I had to watch a lot more tutorials.

Visually, MURAL creates something that is more presentable to a client. I think that Lucidspark has a very brainstorm-like look and feel to it and it's not necessarily going to look beautiful at the end. MURAL, on the other hand, makes something look very put together, presentable, and ready to share with executives. Lucidspark has much more casualness or informality to it, but at the same time, it is very easy to use and it gets the job done.

We do still have MURAL at the company, although we have fewer licenses and they are available on a request basis only. The Lucid implementation predated it and I don't know if we have used MURAL for a specific use case. Rather, it is something that we are testing the effectiveness of. In fact, I don't think that we had used anything for this specific use case before. The reason is that a big part of why we use these tools now is that we're in a remote and virtual environment.

Lucid Suite is my favorite in terms of the options I have available for how I can create a foundation, begin brainstorming, create a flowchart, or whatever it is that becomes a really critical visual that I'm going to then use with my clients.

How was the initial setup?

Using it only involves logging in. We already had a license and I didn't have to download a web app. It's all done on the website.

I had no hoops to jump through in order to get a license. All I had to do was login using my SSO and I had one. I'm not sure if my entire team or my entire company has access. We are an 800-person company and there is a suite of tools that we have access to without needing to ask, or raise a support ticket for.

I have never had to do anything in terms of maintenance, such as updates. All that I've had to do is log into the website.

What was our ROI?

I would say that in aggregate, it's possible that we haven't seen ROI, given that it's not something that is widely used. From an individual standpoint, I see a return on investment for me using it, and in me improving my role and my relationship with my clients.

In general, my company's ROI is harder to quantify.

What other advice do I have?

Lucidspark has features for tagging and automatically grouping ideas to help organize them after a brainstorming session, although I don't take advantage of them. I think that it would be helpful but it feels like a little bit of extra work, for what we're using it for.

Lucidspark has integration with Slack, although I haven't looked into how it works yet. This is something that I plan to do in the future.

The Lucid Suite can be managed by a unified administration console, although that functionality is not particularly important for us at my company. We do things in an ad-hoc fashion and I use this for different needs that we have. We don't necessarily need a centrally managed administrator because of how we use it.

Overall, the Lucid Suite feels like a very user-friendly and easy way to make that first step, brainstorming, happen. We haven't moved to the next step where we take the charts that we make and bring them into action outside of Lucidchart and Lucidspark. This is because that action is actually taken by our clients in the ways that we use the platforms.

For our clients' sake, it helps them to visualize each step of the process and it becomes a point of reference to take a look at what we built together, and then use it to expand their platform. Internally, using the suite in this way is not something we've taken advantage of yet.

For me, the suite represents a foundational step for a very specific use case.

For anybody who is implementing this product, I would encourage them to think out of the box in terms of ways that the tool can be used by them. We're definitely an example of a company that probably doesn't use it for its intended use case, but it really solves a big gap for us that was brought on by being in a remote environment.

MURAL has a much more pronounced use case that involves creating something that you can share with clients, that can be very visual, and also really interactive. Lucidspark has the same potential, even though it's not always clear that this is something you can use it for.

The biggest lesson that I have learned from using Lucidspark is that brainstorming in a digital space is much more flexible than how we're used to doing it in person. Not only is it flexible, but you get to create something that persists. It can be used and shared and made so much more agile, and it's great to have a record of that. 

It changed my perspective of how we brainstorm in the digital age, in general. It's awesome to me because in the past, using a whiteboard in the conference room didn't feel as productive because whatever we white boarded on, we took a photo of, and it wouldn't persist in the same way when we built it in this tool.

In summary, this is a good product that has very much fulfilled my use case. There are other tools out there that might be better for some of the things that we do, and at the same time, I think that there's a lot more this product offers that I haven't explored yet. I would like the tool, itself, to introduce me to those opportunities in use cases without me having to wonder what else I can do on the platform. This is a big reason why I haven't used it for some of those other purposes.

I would rate this solution a seven out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
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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David Deutsch
Creative Director at Deutsch Creative
Real User
Top 20
It's very simple, yet you can do things that are very complex

Pros and Cons

  • "The whole reason why I use Lucidspark and Lucidchart is because of the way that I collaborate with other people, e.g., if I send somebody a document that it is more difficult to use because I have to convert everything to a PDF. With Lucidspark, I can give them a link. They can open it up, then they can move things around. That is very helpful. That is one of the reasons why I like using it. It's kind of like Basecamp with art."
  • "Layers would be great. They don't have a layer feature. When you have a lot of items in the same place, it is hard to pick them out."

What is our primary use case?

I build iPhone applications, websites, and documents.

I use Lucidspark for presentations with wireframing and brainstorming. When I am creating a new application for our smartphones, I like to create each one of my windows and then figure out the best way to organize them, i.e., the best sequencing. A lot of times, by putting them in a kind of giant mine node like this, I am able to figure out what I am missing and what goes from page one to page two. It is easy for me to figure out what I need. 

I use both Lucidchart and Lucidspark. I was hoping that having both of them would be a combination because there are parts of each that I like. For example, I like Lucidchart, but I like the way that Lucidspark has a larger piece of real estate, i.e., it goes on forever.

How has it helped my organization?

Lucidspark enables me to prioritize ideas. That is why I like it. I like the fact that Lucidspark allows me to move forward with my projects in a way that I couldn't do without it. It is a fantastic tool for me. I use this solution every single day. Though, I don't use it the way that a lot of other users use it. 

The whole reason why I use Lucidspark and Lucidchart is because of the way that I collaborate with other people, e.g., if I send somebody a document that it is more difficult to use because I have to convert everything to a PDF. With Lucidspark, I can give them a link. They can open it up, then they can move things around. That is very helpful. That is one of the reasons why I like using it. It's kind of like Basecamp with art.

What is most valuable?

The containers are really great. I think they are wonderful. I like the containers because they are really the shape of a screen. That makes me happy. Originally, when I was working with the program to build screens, I was drawing my own screen, then copying and pasting it. The containers are fantastic just for that. 

What needs improvement?

Even though Lucidspark is the only one that I have found that allows me to do what I want to do, the program doesn't have enough to actually make it easy for me. For example, I will create a screen in whatever program, e.g., Photoshop, Illustrator, Word, or a text program, where there is a lot of text that I have to work with. When I place all these screens on my real estate in the program, it's great for me to help sort things out. However, unless I rebuild each screen in Lucidspark, I can't edit anything. So, I have to move things around, then I need to go back into my other program, make the edit, and then bring the image back. That is frustrating. 

It would be really nice if I could just click on it, then it would open up whatever program it was created in. Much like a link in Word or Excel, where you click on the actual file, then everything gets updated. That feature doesn't work with this program. For example, if I bring in images when building, I have to bring them in as a screen grab, JPEG, or something like that. Then, it is just really a piece of artwork in the program. It is not editable, and that makes it difficult going from my original wireframe to their mind map to the next stage.

One of the reasons why I moved to Lucidspark from Lucidchart was because of space. If I am going to rebuild all my screens so I can actually edit them in Lucidspark or Lucidchart, I have to make them almost full size. If I am going to make them full size, then I need to be able to pan out so I can see everything, which is probably like a 100x100 inch document. Now, I can get my whole document in and it is editable, but it is huge. Then, when I want to print it, it's very hard for me to give it to somebody. When I give it to my client, they can play around with it on a screen, but sometimes they like to print out the pages, tape them on a wall, and look at them. They can't do that unless I take the whole thing, make it into a PDF, and cut it into pieces. 

It would be great if Lucidspark and Lucidchart were one program. I find that a lot of the templates that you use in Lucidspark are great, but there is not enough for me to create useful artwork. I would like it if there was a way for me to add a style so I don't have to go in and select a color every single time, "Select the text, go into the color palette, and find the color." It would be nice if I could just say this is not a headline, but a certain style, and then I could just click it to something. Then, when I change that style, it changes everywhere in the document. These things might be there and I just don't know.

I have three screens that are literally just a vertical-oriented rectangle because it's going to be a screen for an iPhone. On the first screen, for example, I have it named as 00login screen. My second screen is 01login. The next one is 03join, or whatever it is. But, if I move these around in a document, I have to then go in and update all my numbers. It would be nice, when I move things around, if all the numbers changed again. I spend a lot of time just renumbering diagrams within the page. Because I have a page that is 100x100 inches, it is huge. That is not even at full size. That is about a quarter size. So, I spend a lot of time just changing the names and colors of things to make everything seem correct. This is really only to show a client and that is very difficult because this whole exercise that I am doing is really only to get somebody else to understand what I have created for them, then let me know if there is something missing.

It is helpful for brainstorming and finding missing pieces, but the build of it is extremely time-consuming. I spend more time doing a Lucidspark exercise than a Lucidchart exercise. I don't really build a lot of flow charts, so I don't really need all the different shapes and things like that. I just need the ability to move things around.

It is nice for me to be able to put each page in a document or website visually. However, once I start to go up from a wireframe where I have just a page with its name to a higher level version of it, where I have the data on the page and not just the page name, it starts to become less helpful. Now, I have to actually build the page in Lucidspark instead of bringing my page in and just putting an editable page within the program. I would like it if the program was really just a place for me to put all my stuff. If I could just take my Photoshop pages, bring them in, and then move them all around, that would be so easy and I wouldn't have to rebuild anything in the program. I could just use the program as a place where I keep all my stuff. Then, when clicking on a page, if it brought me back to my original document, I could edit it and then it would update it. That would be the perfect document. That would be wonderful. But if I have to recreate everything in Lucidspark, then that is very frustrating.

The Sticky Notes are great, but it would be nice if I could take all my Sticky Notes and have them merged into a document.

I don't really want Sticky Notes as much as I want to be able to just write on the background layer of the program. If I build a bunch of screens, I want to write little notes on them. I do that with just text, which is fine. I bring in little screen captures and drop them on the side, but it would be nicer if there was almost a small, very simple word processor where I could just click on an image, then my word processing document pops up and I see all my text. For example, my image one would relate to text one, then image two would relate to text two. Then, I can print that out instead of having to go in and copy and paste all the texts from my stickies or little notes around the page, copying and pasting them all into a document. What I am doing is making a big text block. I just write in it, but it's not meant for doing that. So, I'm kind of using it for the wrong thing.

Layers would be great. They don't have a layer feature. When you have a lot of items in the same place, it is hard to pick them out.

It would be nice if I could add something to the container, so I can make my own. For example, if I had a group of shapes that I use on a regular basis. I could place them into templates and drag from that group. So, if I'm making a screen, I can drag a screen right onto my background, then it would be the way I want it. It would have a text box inside of it and a text box on top of it. It would be very useful for me if I didn't have to do every single thing. Right now, I take a container, which is just an image, and drop a text box on top of it. That is just a very time-consuming way of building. I have a text box on top of the name and a text box that I have to build from the bottom, then I have to copy and paste all the information from each of the boxes into a document later on. It would be nice if one of the images in my document was connected to something else.

I would like to be able to use it through the entire project, but then we're creating a project that does more than most of the user's needs. That makes it not probable that this will be the eventual outcome of the design of the program. However, it would be nice if it did more. It would be nice if I could do more complex designs on top of it.

As a basic program, it's fantastic. It's really great. However, I would like to not have to redraw my entire design or app in another program after I build it. So, I end up building the original program in Illustrator or Photoshop, then I make a new version in Lucidspark. That is very time-consuming because every time I make a change in one I have to go back into the other and make a change. There are a lot of different copies of things. Some things get lost, then you need to have people just checking to make sure that everything is the same in bulk. A lot of editing is really unnecessary. 

The arrows are not very neat. Sometimes, I will spend 20 minutes trying to make all the arrows lineup and go in the direction I want. It would be nicer if they had more tools to make that work. I know they do because there are some of the people that work in my group who don't have any of the problems that I do. However, there are other people who can't make an arrow.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using it for only a few months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability and availability are great. I didn't even know there was a desktop version of it. I originally went to get a desktop version of it and ended up using this web version, which has been fine because I'm very happy with it. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

As far as scalability for my clients and me versus the rest of the company and their clients, this solution works great because I can share this with an unlimited number of people and have an unlimited number of people giving me input. So, scalability in that respect is fantastic. 

Scalability in the project is not as favorable because I can't go to the next step in a project with Lucidspark because it doesn't have the ability to do full screens. It's really just more of the beginning of our projects, the organization of the projects, and the wireframing of the projects. Once we figure out where we want to be, then we move to a different program. 

The larger number of people who are part of a project are at the bottom of the funnel, when you're creating it. As you get closer to the finished product, the number of people involved in it decreases. When I'm at the bottom and starting, I could do this whole thing in Adobe Illustrator because my real state is unlimited. I can move things around the same way. I could actually build all of my screens in Photoshop and they would work perfectly. What I can't do is give a copy of Illustrator to every single person that I need to work with because it is cost prohibitive. With this solution, it's very inexpensive and I can have everybody playing around with the design when I get to the next level. I take this and then move it into Photoshop and Illustrator. That's when their program becomes less capable of handling my needs.

How are customer service and technical support?

They are very responsive. That is really the most important thing to a software user - if you have a problem with the software, the builders of the software's help department are quick to respond. If I have something that I can't figure out, find on the Internet or in their FAQs, then I can send a note to the developers. They are very quick with a response, which is extremely important. This is one of the things that makes it better than OmniGraffle, who still hasn't responded to some of the things that I wrote. The beauty of this smaller company: As long as they keep responding, I will keep being happy.

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

Overall, this solution has affected the productivity of my working and brainstorming sessions. It did it in a way that everything else didn't do. It is the only program that I have stuck with. I have used four or five different programs. After building something in them, I left and came back to Lucidspark. Lucidspark is the way that I communicate with my clients.

What was our ROI?

Lucidspark is really awesome because I can do things that I could not do without it. 

It would be better if I didn't use Lucidspark at all and just used Illustrator and Photoshop, but it doesn't make sense for my projects to do that. It would remove a tremendous amount of steps, but it would cost a tremendous amount of money.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I started with Lucidchart, then I went to OmniFocus and OmniGraffle. I played with a bunch of other ones too. The problem with evaluating software when you are actually in a project is that you can spend more time evaluating software than actually doing your project. I love to evaluate software. I have a lot of fun rebuilding things in different programs, but it is a lot of back-end time.

My problem with the Omni solution is it's bloated. Lucidspark software is good enough. It could do things better, e.g., working in Illustrator versus MakeDraw. Illustrator has so many things that you don't need. I do a lot of work in just the text editor because Microsoft Word is just so bloated. It's great, but bloated. It is slow and takes a lot of time to get things done. Although the features are wonderful, the features that you don't need are just huge. 

With Lucidspark, it's really great for what I do, but it is a couple of features short of where the perfect program would be. However, I am not using it for what it is supposed to be used for. I'm kind of using it for something that is not really what it was created for.

One of the things that is great about Lucidspark is that it's very simple. It's very simple, yet you can do things that are very complex. Whereas, other programs, like OmniGraffle, are very complex to do things that are very simple. This solution is very simple and allows me to do things that are very complex, which is the way it should be. All those programs have so much bloat that is frustrating. When you are trying to be too many things to too many people, you start to have just way too much going on, then something gets lost because you can't constantly work for the world. You have to work for the main set of people using your program.

I haven't found another program that I really like as much as this solution. There are a lot of programs that I use on a regular basis where the company doesn't do anything other than work to the lowest common denominator, not for the people who really use it all the time.

What other advice do I have?

It is a fantastic program. It is just limited.

Lucidspark's interface and intuitiveness are great. It is sometimes frustrating because things aren't where you think they would be, and then you find them. One of the problems I have is that you look in one area for all the things that you need, then when you're going through one of the help documents, you find out that, "Okay, the reason why you couldn't find that was because you were looking in the wrong place." While it is great, it would be nice if everything was in one place and I could move it to where I wanted it so I could make it easier for myself to use. Aside from that, I think it's a great program. 

I have looked at a lot of the videos, and I always find it amazing that I have done things in very complicated ways when I find out that there are people who are doing something similar but they are doing it in a completely different way. I guess this means that you have to read, and most people don't read. They just jump in, then they look for help later.

They are doing a great job. I really like their software and will continue to use it. I would just like some things to work a little bit better. 

Read before you use it. There is a lot of information out there that is very helpful and saves a lot of time. People like to jump into programs and play around with them. When you have a program with a simple interface, and all Lucid's programs are very simple in their interfaces, but they do a lot of complex things. If you don't know what the text tool can do, then it is really just for making words. You won't get all of the wonderful things that are built into a lot of these tools unless you read, and people don't read.

I spoke to some people while I was working on this project right now, and they were like, "You know what? This program is really great because I can type things, but I can't format anything." I said, "What do you mean you can't format anything?" I was like, "What's the point of having a text tool if you can't format your text? Of course, it's there. It's right on top of your text." They are like, "Really, I didn't see that." 

There are a lot of people who work with us that don't have any idea about what any of the tools do. That is very frustrating because people just don't read. I would suggest that users take a course. There is so much on Lucid's website. There are so many things available. They are not always easy to understand, but there is a tremendous amount there. I don't think they need to do anything they are not doing already. I think they're already doing everything, which is great. I think that you really can't train your customers. You have to just give them what they don't know so they know the right questions to ask.

I would rate Lucidspark as an eight out of 10. If I didn't have to rebuild everything, I would give it 10. Because I do, that is hugely annoying. 

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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Learn what your peers think about Lucidspark. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: October 2021.
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DG
Solution Architect at a tech services company with 1-10 employees
Real User
Top 20
Intuitive, collaborative, and offers a great virtual whiteboard feature

Pros and Cons

  • "The fact that you can have multiple users working at the same time is a really big plus. The fact that we can all collaborate in real-time is a very useful aspect."
  • "One thing that I actually found difficult to do was to introduce video calls. Managing calls and the whiteboards and being all remote is difficult."

What is our primary use case?

Currently, we are using Lucidspark to design and export database structures. We mostly use it just for that, however, we were using other software for doing mind maps, and we're starting to introduce the use of Lucidspark also for this purpose. We were also using another software for designing infrastructure, the architecture of software, and infrastructure in deployments. We have recently started moving into Lucidspark for that as well.

How has it helped my organization?

Last week we had to design and deploy a database really fast. It was for a customer of ours. The thing was that it being July in Italy, a lot of our employees were on holiday. We were on a strict term and therefore we had to gather around our war room to design and implement our database structure. Being able to have an export from working all together on the same document at the same time for the structure was really helpful. We could not only have discussions in real-time and have one point of entry. We could also have multiple points of entry and multiple discussions going on at the same time on the same structure. That was one of the pluses.

Being able to represent the whole database in a really easy-to-use and fast-moving application, having the possibility to export that same database into real code, being able to pass that real code in real-time, really flawlessly, with a couple of clicks, really cut down the amount of time that it usually takes from the designing of our database to putting it into our database engine and being able to test it. The product really cut down our times by quite a bit, and that was a huge improvement in our pipeline.

We design the database and then we have to physically write the structure of each and every table. We still have to make some modifications to the code itself for some specifics, however, I would say that the amount of the time that we use to actually write the code for the SQL has been cut down by 80 to 85%. It's a huge improvement. That's why we stepped up our game from the free version to the paid version. The benefits are enormous.

What is most valuable?

The ease of use is great. It's far more fluent in the process. Using the software itself is actually a breeze. It works flawlessly. It has no hiccups. 

Lucidspark is really fast, even on relatively low-powered computers. It simply needs a good internet connection. It's also really smooth to use. We tried it on big projects and we put a lot of data into our schemas and it still works flawlessly. Zooming in, zooming out, there's no problem. 

Presentations come out really good. 

The fact that you can have multiple users working at the same time is a really big plus. The fact that we can all collaborate in real-time is a very useful aspect.

We can introduce frameworks inside the application and it exports it in a perfect way. The fact that we can export the database code directly into SQL, for example, is also a really big plus.

The interface and intuitiveness are actually really good. It's really pleasant to use. It feels fresh and new. Our UX department said that it's actually really competitive with what is out there, and probably a step further, meaning that it's actually really good in comparison to other options. It's easy to use, and it's good to look at. It feels natural, as it should. There has been really great work put into the design.

We've tried the virtual whiteboard for brainstorming high-level ideas and concepts, however, not for too much. If I recall, we did two sprints with that. It looked really interesting and it looked like an opportunity to expand into something that we already did, given the fact that we became remote for a lot of our tasks. 

For whiteboards, you can assign each user a certain color for their cursor, sticky note, et cetera (although not for the whiteboard). This is during database planning. We could actually see who was handling which part. That was a really nice part of being able to work all at the same time. We could recognize who was doing what and take into account that we might have different timetables. With this feature, we know who made which change. That was actually useful.

Having an infinite whiteboard has its pros. We all can develop something in our small corner while everybody's working on the same thing, and then we can just copy and paste and stick together whatever we've been working on. You can get visibility on an entire project. This isn't the case with a physical whiteboard, where someone presents infinite space, and someone else's work is on the back of the board, for example. 

During specific scenarios, we can prioritize ideas. Being able to have a whiteboard actually helps us with prioritizing which tasks we can work on. We use an agile methodology, and therefore we can have voting systems on ideas which helps us in our meetings. We can decide which goes into sprint planning first. 

Lucidspark may have features to tag and automatically group ideas to help organize and synthesize ideas after a brainstorming session, however, I don't think we actually have been into that space at this point. It is something that we want to use in connection with our Confluence and Jira activities so that we can actually prioritize, make sprints, decide the sprints inside that, and then have them organized into Confluence as documentation and in Jira as tasks themselves, or actual sprint stories, et cetera. I've seen from the documentation that this is something that is possible, however, we haven't tested it yet.

What needs improvement?

One thing that I actually found difficult to do was to introduce video calls. Managing calls and the whiteboards and being all remote is difficult. Apart from that, it works pretty well.

Sometimes the whiteboard can be distracting if someone is presenting. For example, if one person is building and wants to have the attention of others, it can become a bit hard to focus the sharing only on that specific part, or following that specific part and not having a call at the same time, which is something that actually works in-person. It's easier to focus in-person on a person just talking in front of a whiteboard and presenting whatever he's working on. 

Right now, we're using the web-based version. If there could be a desktop application or a specific OS application that would render faster times with lower lag, under the benefits of having a desktop application, that would probably be in our best interest. A browser is going to have its limitations in terms of how much computing power it can deliver from that standpoint. Therefore, if we could use our own machine to render our schemas, that would probably be an even faster render and offer a smoother interaction between the schema and the user. That would be something that I would like to use. 

At this point, from what we were using in Lucid so far, I don't actually have any suggestions in terms of extra features. I'm really happy with what I have so far, and we're probably going to have to use it a little bit more in order to dream of something better.

For how long have I used the solution?

We started using it in our company two or three months ago with the free version, and then we upgraded to the paid version less than a month ago.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Living in Northern Italy, as long as we have a good connection to the internet, the software works flawlessly. We haven't had any downtime. It always responds with the same access speed. Even as our schemas and our whiteboards were growing in size, the access time to the data was always the same. That was actually one of the reasons that we moved from the old software. The old software didn't guarantee this speed and access to our working environment and the data that we worked on, even as the data was growing. This accessibility was a huge plus. It was just like switching between HDD and SSD. Randomizing access time was really useful.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Working together at the same time was also a really big plus. Independent of how many people are working on the platform, we maintain the same level of proficiency. Everyone could actually access the same amount of resources at the same speed at the same time. In that sense, it scales well. Even with a growing number of users, it didn't actually lose any speed. The user experience stayed the same no matter how many people were working on the same schema or whiteboard.

In terms of expanding the capabilities of the platform itself, scaling the platform itself, my perspective is that it works flawlessly. We've been using it for a couple of months, three months now, and we actually haven't had the time to really stress it to a point in which we could see the scalability features stretched. That said, it looks really good so far.

Currently, we have seven people working on the same project at the same time, and we have multiple boards. Probably the highest usage that we've had is four people working on the same board at the same time. We have a wide variety of positions, ranging from data scientists to front and backend developers to UI and UX designers.

Right now we are using it on a daily basis. Being able to use it for planning and for the daily work of the company itself, we can actually use it for a lot of different tasks. We started from the database design and architecture infrastructure, which was more development-related, and then we introduced it also to the UI/UX team, and now they are using it as well. The company is using it daily now and pretty extensively.

How are customer service and technical support?

I had a weird experience at first with technical support. Meaning, that at the beginning when I asked their support team if they could help me with the setup of the premium account, the paid version, they were unavailable when I asked for them, and then I forgot about it. For the rest of the week, I kept receiving emails, which I thought were just commercial emails.

Then I read them last week and I found out that it was actually their customer support team writing me direct emails, asking me if I resolved the issue. I am actually to blame for not answering them right away, however, they were really, really helpful, they actually care, and they follow up on a daily basis to see if my issue was resolved. It was my mistake completely that I thought the emails were commercial messaging.

That incident aside, from what I've seen, I would say that they are actually pretty attentive and they want to follow up closely with the client. That was something that made me appreciate that they went the extra mile to help me resolve my issue.

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

In our recent sprint, due to the fact that we use Atlassian as software for handling tasks and for documentation with Confluence, it is our goal to connect it. It's my understanding that it has been connected, however, we haven't tested it so far. VTT is something that we want to do, and it is one of the reasons that we chose Lucidspark - due to the integration capabilities with tools that we already use.

Integrations are important to our operation - if they work as they are advertised. If they do, they will be a huge boost in our productivity, due to the fact that being able to just share data between our applications, our tools, is something that is invaluable in terms of time management. That way, we can focus on having everything inside one container and then share down the pipeline of production, for example, from mind maps to documentation, adding them into Confluence and from Confluence into tasks in Jira and from Jira into actual production. That's actually a pipeline that we're trying to build, and it's something really, really important to us.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was pretty straightforward. The fact that we were going for something really specific made it a little bit harder to find inside Lucid, such as making Lucid usable for a wide range of applications with the same tool, we were going for something really specific, which was database designing, and finding out how to implement database designing into that required some work outside of the platform itself. That said, we found really good documentation on the Lucid website. Once we found that, it was straightforward to implement.

The deployment took less than a day. In the morning we had the accounts set up and shared and the rest of the afternoon was spent just working on it, to find out how we can actually export what we were working on into actual code, et cetera. That was it. 

What was our ROI?

We have witnessed an ROI. Just the fact that we can actually cut the database deployment time by so much is a huge return on investment. We can spend the time that we would be using on the implementation of the database to do something else. 

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

The pricing is pretty fair for what it does and for the performance that you get. We are in the lowest tier right now as that's more than enough for what we need, and I'd say that it's a fair price. You get a good bang for the buck. It's actually really good.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Before this and concurrently with Lucidspark, we are using Draw.io, which is the platform that we were using for database design before. However, it had really bad concurrent working between users and no export feature that would allow us to actually use it without working heavily on the export. 

We also are using Miro and Figma. We're mostly Miro for the whiteboard. I could say that Miro is the closest competitor in terms of the whiteboard feature. Miro has more or less the same speed. It does have a desktop application, which is faster using the render on the computer itself, and it also does have a really nice video conferencing feature between team members. It doesn't have the database capability that Lucid has. Apart from that, Lucid is way better. We started using it instead of using Miro.

What other advice do I have?

We're using their web-based application.

We do not yet use other products in the Lucid suite, such as Lucidchart.

I'd advise other organizations to really try it. If you use any other applications similar to this one, you would see the benefits really quickly. It is worth mentioning that most of the features are actually worth switching from one application to another area in the paid plan. The free plan doesn't actually cover most of the things that we were looking for in a platform. That said, if a company makes a product, it's okay for them to ask for payment for their hard work. If I have to give one suggestion to other users, I would say don't stop at the free version. Try out the paid version and you will see the benefits.

I would rate the solution at a nine out of ten, simply due to the lack of a desktop application and the lower-quality web-conferencing feature, however, for everything else, it's been smooth sailing, from my perspective.

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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Kevin Replinger
Client Success Manager at Thankview
Real User
Top 10Leaderboard
The ability to prioritize ideas in a virtual environment has helped our business with decision-making

Pros and Cons

  • "I have really enjoyed Lucidspark's virtual whiteboard. It is a big step up from some of the other tools that I have used... I appreciate the robustness of Lucidspark quite a bit. It adds a lot more functionality when it comes to multiple participants, and I really appreciate that it is an expanding canvas. The limited size and shape of something like a Jamboard is not conducive to new ideas expanding, going further."
  • "The one other significant recommendation is because I do work with folks outside of my organization quite regularly. The user experience of having them all have to set up a free account to join me in a workspace is a bit cumbersome. I really would love it if there was a Visitor link that would allow contributors who don't have free logins to join and participate."

What is our primary use case?

I'm using it for two purposes. One is internal brainstorming with team members inside of my own organization, and the other is external facilitation, in a consulting capacity, with our clients.

How has it helped my organization?

Just yesterday I led a session with some existing team members and some new team members, an onboarding session, to talk about what attributes make for a good client. It was really easy to have team members with more experience contribute more, and have team members with less experience see and learn from those contributions. And when it came to the distillation and sorting and aggregation of those ideas, everyone was able to contribute to those bigger-picture things.

Lucidspark definitely enables you to prioritize ideas and that is extremely important. The prioritization of ideas is one of the most important pieces of decision-making, and decision-making is a central function of any business. If you can't make decisions, you can't move projects forward. We're all trying to figure out how we make those decisions in a virtual space, without sharing an office together. This is a tool that has helped us do that.

It also enables you to spend more time discussing and revising ideas and next steps, and less time organizing them. I had no idea it was important to me until I knew that it was possible. Now that I know that it's possible, it has a lot of value. Any opportunity to get to the most important pieces and parts, such as what is the hardest question and what is the most challenging next obstacle—the sooner you can elevate them—the easier it is to get to the hard conversation.

Overall, Lucidspark is a vast improvement when it comes to the productivity of working and brainstorming sessions. Where we may have previously had folks respond to a static survey, with open-ended responses, it can now be a dynamic, crowd-sourced session with real-time contributions and improvements that may have otherwise never appeared. Or, if they did appear, they would have been in a follow-up meeting after a whole bunch of synthesis of those old survey results.

We also use Lucidchart and that was actually how I became aware of Lucidspark. The overall suite, for helping to visualize each step of the process, from brainstorming initial ideas, to turning those ideas into reality, is very good. I have used a lot of different chart-building tools in the past, in many different forms, but there are a lot of intuitive features in Lucidchart, inclusive of their templates. Those features make standard business process design and modification really easy, and really easy to convey to others who do not contribute to the creation of those documents. The ability to take a chart made with Lucidchart and use it in a Lucidspark environment is a really great opportunity to take what used to be one person writing down and designing a process, and turn it into allowing more people to contribute.

What is most valuable?

I have really enjoyed Lucidspark's virtual whiteboard. It is a big step up from some of the other tools that I have used. Not to be judgemental, but the Google Suite has a product called Jamboard and that is what we used previously. They are very different in their capabilities. I appreciate the robustness of Lucidspark quite a bit. It adds a lot more functionality when it comes to multiple participants, and I really appreciate that it is an expanding canvas. The limited size and shape of something like a Jamboard is not conducive to new ideas expanding, going further. I really like a lot of those features in the design. 

I certainly have made a lot of use of the template library as well.

I also really enjoy the emoji reaction voting. That is a fun gamification of a pretty common feature for facilitation. 

And the sorting and aggregating by color, or grouping, or contributor, are all also really helpful features. While the Collaborator Colors is a really nice feature to have, I could imagine a way to still use the tool without it.

Absolutely all of the work I've done with Lucidspark has been done when I've been in a different location than the other contributors. It meets the different needs of contributors, who may be less comfortable in an in-person environment, to be at a place where they have more ability to contribute, and I really appreciate that. It's not reliant on somebody speaking up because there are so many ways to contribute, without having to come off of mute on a Zoom call and say something out loud. Not everybody likes that version of contributing. It might make them feel anxious. The ability to just be able to type, or respond, or help with consolidating ideas into groups—any of those things are really easy for anyone in a session to do and to support. I've loved that.

What needs improvement?

One thing about the template library is that it does seem too focused on folks who develop SaaS products. There might be an opportunity for a little bit of an expansion for other, virtual, business-meeting-facilitation use cases, for folks who are not in the product development space.

In terms of its user interface and intuitiveness, it took a little bit of time to figure out the difference between the selection tool and the move-around tool. When I was able to figure out a few keyboard shortcuts, that helped a whole lot. Having those keyboard shortcuts a little more apparent or visible, in the early setup, as a new user is getting used to the platform, could help.

The one other significant recommendation is because I do work with folks outside of my organization quite regularly. The user experience of having them all have to set up a free account to join me in a workspace is a bit cumbersome. I really would love it if there was a Visitor link that would allow contributors who don't have free logins to join and participate.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using Lucidspark for just over a month.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have had no outages, no glitches, or anything that would make me think that something in the solution is unstable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I would rate its scalability as very strong. I appreciated that when I dropped a link in Slack, it said, "Hey, we think this is a Lucidspark link. Do you want to download the Slack plugin?" I thought that was intuitive and helpful, given that we do so much of our day-to-day work in Slack already. If it talks to Slack nicely, that's a heck of an upgrade.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have not used technical support for Lucidspark.

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

We selected Lucidspark because the existing work that we've done in Lucidchart is a huge component. We have a bunch of process and workflow documents that exist there, and team members who already have Lucidchart logins. Adding an additional license to access Lucidspark on top of that was really seamless and easy, once I found the button to start a Lucidspark session. That existing product that we already had was a huge foot in the door.

How was the initial setup?

The distinction between what components were in Lucidspark, such as the virtual white boarding component, and which ones were in Lucidchart, was a little tricky at the onset. Finding that it was truly in the "setup new template," and that that additional link was present, took me longer to find that I expected it to.

I've certainly received a good number of marketing materials and communications that are branded from Lucidspark. While the branding and the coloring allowed me to pretty clearly connect the dots that these two things were associated, when I clicked through on the link, the acknowledgement of what we currently had versus what we could have if we upgraded or added Lucidspark, was more confusing than I had anticipated. The way I overcame that was just a bunch of button-clicking and finding the dropdown that allowed me to start a Lucidspark canvas. Once I did, I said to myself, "Oh, it's here," and I could show my team exactly where it was. But prior to that, I was asking myself, "How do I get from this logo that says 'Lucidspark' and that is clickable, to doing something in Lucidspark?" because it always brought me to up my Lucidchart interface. I didn't know how to get around that.

Overall, the Lucidspark deployment took almost no time at all, except for that little kerfuffle of trying to figure out how to get to it.

I've shared it in our organization and folks have free logins, right now, to act as contributors. We have not done a full company deployment with paid user profiles for all members. I work on our client success team and that team has just over 10 people. In addition to them, I have shared it with our chief creative officer and one of our senior product designers and they are starting to work with the tool in their product teams.

What was our ROI?

We have absolutely seen return on investment from using Lucidspark because of the time savings.

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

It's a very reasonable $8 a month. That makes it really accessible and helps it fill a pretty significant need for virtual collaboration. Just about every leadership team member that I've talked to said, “Oh, well, that's cheap, just go buy it."

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I've used the embedded white boarding feature in both Microsoft Teams and in Zoom. They're rudimentary, but certainly better than nothing. The other product that I have spent the most time in is MURAL.

The connection between existing documents in Lucidchart and Lucidspark is a huge value-add, and I like that that ecosystem allows you to benefit from previous work inside of that suite. That's a great value.

MURAL's biggest thing—and it's actually where I had the inspiration for the recommendation for how Lucidspark could be improved—is that it does have a Visitor link. While working with clients, you don't need them to set up a free account to participate. That's a big thing. I could see a world where we continue to use Lucidspark internally, because it's really easy to have your employees set up logins and pay attention to them, and do client-facing work in MURAL because it's less cumbersome for the client. The teams overlap little enough that it would be very possible for them to do their specific work in each of those different silos. However, it would be another silo and it would be lovely if we did all of it in the same place.

In functionality, MURAL is very similar to Lucidspark. The templates that are available in MURAL are a little more advanced, and they cover a broader cross section of use cases.

What other advice do I have?

My internal resource sharing across our teams was a little silly and delayed. When I saw this solution I said to myself, “Oh, this might be helpful," and that was probably a backward way to go about it. It may make more sense for people to think about all of the possible use cases in their organization, or at least multiple use cases in their organization. I really did come to Lucidspark thinking about just the chair that I sit in, but it has a lot of applications outside of my own role. Ensuring that folks know about it and can benefit from it can take the productivity that you might get from one team doing this kind of collaboration, and spread it to a broader cross section of teams.

The solution has features to tag and automatically group and organize ideas after a brainstorming session, but I need to spend a little bit more time with them. We've primarily done manual sorting at this point. Part of that is a holdover from in-person facilitation. The sorting and aggregating component when you're in an actual conference room is just a part of the process, because there isn't a way to do that with sticky notes. I still rely on that a little bit as a facilitation point, and it means that I've just not leaned on the tools that are built-in, as much.

But the feature that I like the most in that context is the ability for individual contributors to link associated ideas when somebody else may have had a similar recommendation or suggestion. Having those little legacy trails, where two sticky notes have a line connecting them, is something that you just couldn't do in a physical space without tangling the entire conference room in yarn. This ability to automatically group ideas speeds up the ability to take action, a little bit, and I'm still getting used to whether our team is ready for, and desirous of, that speed. The main focus has not been the speed at which we can execute. It's been the consensus-building along the way. But overall, it does help. Using the tool to group and bundle ideas takes about half the time that it used to take.

Using the Lucidchart suite of products, I actually think of things such as moving ideas from the idea stage to execution as still occurring in other spaces, from an execution standpoint. We leave the sessions in Lucidchart and we're still going to databases and to our product. The groundwork and the alignment and expectation-setting and direction, from the work that's done in Lucidchart and Lucidspark, are incredibly valuable to ensuring the ability to do those other things, but I still do think of those other things as happening outside of the Lucidchart suite.

I really have enjoyed the product. It is filling a valuable gap in the market as we all transition, still nine months later in most places, to remote work. I am happy to have it.

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.
John Duer
Counsel at a renewables & environment company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 10
Enables me to highlight and prioritize tasks and subtasks in a more fluid manner

Pros and Cons

  • "I discovered over time, after going through Visio and OmniGraffle, that when I started to use Lucidchart it was vastly superior. It is just so much more intuitive, so much more smooth. It works, it doesn't crash. It's just perfect."
  • "Lucidspark has done an incredibly good job of providing a very robust library of templates. I'd like to see more of those. But right now there are many more useful templates than anything I've seen with any other similar apps. Hats off to Lucid for that."
  • "There is an emphasis on Google as a set of cloud apps and cloud storage but I don't use Google so that doesn't really help. We're a Microsoft shop so we've got a lot of OneDrive. We have been using Box, which I don't like and which we're moving away from, but my legacy storage asset was Dropbox. Some flexibility there would be worthwhile."

How has it helped my organization?

It's a faster process. Time comes at a premium. A lot of what I do is less long-term project planning, and much more a subset of longer-term projects and a lot of very fluid, short-term tasks to be accomplished with medium-term goals. It's a lot more like a series of sprints and a couple of longer-term races. The choices I have are that I can put it on a whiteboard, I can put it on a pad of paper, or I can put it on Post-it notes. In some cases, it works keeping track of that stuff that way. But I end up crossing things off, moving them to another pad or another page, and rewriting the things that are still open, to make things clearer in my head. Whereas if I'm using Lucidspark, I can keep all that stuff there. I can reprioritize. Nothing is permanent like it is when crossing something out. I can take a group of tasks, I can move them up, I can group them and highlight them, as the things that I have to do today. It's just much more fluid.

I can't tell you that I've taken a large energy project from beginning to end on one of the Lucid products, but I've used those in conjunction with such projects. In the past, when I was doing development work for energy projects, there were areas where you had to worry about certain things such as procuring land, getting the right permits, doing public and government relations. Within those, there are always a garden-variety of tasks, plus a lot of things that are unique to the project. A lot of times, I've used Lucid products to put together those thoughts, get them in one place.

The alternative that a lot of people use are bullet-points or checklists. Those make it hard to visualize things. If I'm working in Word or in Excel, and I'm typing in entries or things that I'm thinking about, they're in a line and I've got to go through three or four or five keystrokes to move a line to a different place, to reorder them. On the other hand, if I'm working in Lucidspark, I can keep generating items. I can mind-map them out. I can move something up, highlight it and move it up to a different place. I love the fact that the connections automatically move around. There's a freedom to the way that it allows structuring of your diagrams that makes it a lot easier.

What is most valuable?

Lucidspark is very powerful and it's far more intuitive. It's not clunky. I confess, I love it. I played around with it and the Templates library is very robust compared to a lot of other platforms. Other solutions do things that look funky and colorful and they give you options to change the color, but not much more. That's not what I really need. I really am trying to use this for work and so far I've been very successful.

The package of the two apps together, Lucidchart and Lucidspark, completely covers the waterfront. It's a great platform. I use Lucidchart all the time. I'm starting to use Lucidspark regularly, and the fact of the matter is that the output looks great. One of the things that I found and that I really hated regarding a number of these mapping apps is that they looked great on the screen, but when you printed them out they never quite looked like what you wanted. I've had really good luck with the output coming out of Lucidspark. A lot of times I'm reducing it to a PDF and emailing it around.

I love the SVG with the transparent background format. You just take one of those things, drop it into a document, scale it and it works, especially when I'm doing presentations to investment committees.

The combination of Lucidchart and Lucidspark in helping to visualize each step of the process from brainstorming initial ideas to turning those ideas into reality is absolutely fantastic. There's something to be said for the expression, "A picture is worth a thousand words." If you can reduce what you're doing into a picture, people will have a tendency to understand it better, and it's more concise. If you can reduce your thought process into a format where you can rearrange it freely and easily in real time, without a lot of interruption from having to use five keystrokes, the chances of your being able to get your thoughts down on paper quickly, and move them around and move them a different way, and move them again, and come to a coherent thought process and solution, are a lot better. It's a great tool.

What needs improvement?

One of the things that I had trouble with, and it may be due to the fact that we're a Microsoft Teams environment, and it may be that I just have not been able to get the permissions to integrate my versions of the apps with Lucidspark because of the security measures, but I have not been as successful in integrating my desktop apps with Lucidspark and Lucidchart, which is something I would like to be able to do better.

There is an emphasis on Google as a set of cloud apps and cloud storage but I don't use Google so that doesn't really help. We're a Microsoft shop so we've got a lot of OneDrive. We have been using Box, which I don't like and which we're moving away from, but my legacy storage asset was Dropbox. Some flexibility there would be worthwhile.

I was looking at the Kanban Board template and it's great. You bring it in, the grid is set up, and then you can add sticky notes. I would like to be able to lock the structure in place so that I could just move sticky notes. Maybe that's just something that I haven't figured out yet, but that would be amazing.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used Lucidspark since it came out. I've used the free version. I wanted to test-drive it to see what it was like.

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

Since they integrate together, I wish they offered a special deal for people who subscribed to both Lucidchart and Lucidspark.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

By way of background I have, as a general matter, looked at a number of mind-mapping and project management software platforms. I've actually been really keen on trying to go from just white-boarding to something a little more tangible. My background is as a lawyer, but I worked in the energy space and spent time in tech as well. I did a lot of Agile project management and Kanbans, trying to manage project tracking and ideation related to strategic planning and the like.

I started out years ago with MindManager. They have, perhaps, the worst support for Macs. I tried to stick with that for a little bit. Not only did they provide terrible support, but it was also a question of how clunky the interface and the whole environment was. I've done a variety of work in conjunction with projects where I've used Redbooth, LeanKit, Project Plan, and Pivotal Tracker for Agile project management. Those are okay.

But between the ability to diagram in Lucidchart, white-boarding or mind mapping, like Lucidspark and, somewhere in between there is the realm of project planning and being able to move things around, I feel that the industry has been all over the place. I don't think there has been a particularly good solution in the past. Some have done some of these things well, and they work for a limited purpose, but I'm idealistic and I've been looking for the Holy Grail in this area. I've worked with a lot of these and I haven't really stuck with any of them.

On the diagramming side I used to use Visio. I discovered over time, after going through Visio and OmniGraffle, that when I started to use Lucidchart it was vastly superior. It is just so much more intuitive, so much more smooth. It works, it doesn't crash. It's just perfect. 

Enter Lucidspark which was trying to break into that somewhat related field, which is the mind mapping. As I said, I've used MindManager. I've used SimpleMind. I've test-driven some of the other stuff out there but Lucidspark brings together all of the ability to customize mind-maps and diagrams that you used to get in MindManager, and more, and that you don't get in a lot of the other apps that are out there.

For a team, Lucidspark makes a lot of sense. For a while we used LeanKit. I was working on a tech startup and we were doing long-term product planning and we had a fairly intricate project-steps chart with swim lanes. I spent a huge amount of time setting it up. It was great when it was there, but I ended being the only one who was keeping it current and it was just too much. It was really too much work to set up. Simple and intuitive and powerful, Lucidspark is fantastic; it has really hit on something. 

Lucidchart solves the Visio problem in a really elegant way. And Lucidspark really solves the mapping question very quickly. You can do pretty much all of your project planning very cleanly in that context. 

I am not a fan of these very clunky, entry-type project planners like JIRA and Atlassian. You ended up having to have someone who manages the platform and does the entries. I just don't think people want to be constantly updating their entries. It's just too much. It takes on a life of its own. Having done traditional project planning in the context of energy projects, and Agile in the context of tech, there are times and places for each, but there are pitfalls. One of the problems is just trying to keep a team organized in a more fluid environment, where there aren't very long lead times and very discreet, concrete steps. Lucid is a fantastic tool.

One of the things that was very valuable about MindManager, although it was very clunky, was the maps library. Lucidspark has done an incredibly good job of providing a very robust library of templates. I'd like to see more of those. But right now there are many more useful templates than anything I've seen with any other similar apps. Hats off to Lucid for that. That's fantastic. I love that.

I have been chasing this Holy Grail; I love the idea of mind-mapping and I've always been an early adopter trying these things. I like this whole area. It's a bit of a hobby. I really have wanted to find that, and to find some way to be more efficient in that process and to deal not only with immediate tasks, but also ideas. How do you break it down?

One of the big problems with planning is how do you go from A to B. You've got to break it down into tasks, then you've got to break it down into subtasks and get more and more granular. It's hard to do that. You can't do that on paper easily. It's very hard and messy. You're always writing and rewriting and breaking it down more. Using an app like Lucidspark makes it really easy to do. 

The idea has been out there, but no one has really done it in a reasonable way. MindManager had a great project 20 years ago and, although I don't really know how successful they've been at this point, they rolled it out to a lot of big companies. But they stopped at a certain point. They focused on the PC world and the result was that they really left the idea in an analog state, and they never brought it meaningfully into the Mac world or into a fully digital, really useful configuration. And that's been the gap. 

There have been a lot of other products where people have tried to solve some of the aspects of this, but I honestly think that Lucidspark has got something pretty amazing. I feel like they've been in my head, seeing the same things that I have, but that they've actually gone ahead and they've fixed these things. These are the things that prevented me from continuing to be a customer of these other companies and apps.

What other advice do I have?

I don't have a good sense of how many people really have the desire to jump into this sort of thing, unless it's imposed by their company. I've tried to implement some solutions in the past and there's inevitably a certain degree of resistance. You don't always have tech-savvy people, and that's an issue. But my understanding is that if I had someone else who had a free account, I could share a link to a board that I had done and they could see it. I might not be able to collaborate in real-time, but I believe that I could provide them with a link that's evergreen, by publishing it. Presumably there are certain things that can be done without having that collaboration feature as part of your membership. I think there's certain limited functionality where you can do some collaboration, it's just not as smooth.

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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JP
CEO at a renewables & environment company with 1-10 employees
Real User
Top 20
Everyone can easily see the same thing at the same time in real-time

Pros and Cons

  • "The time is no longer spent trying to get everybody to be in one document or sending documents back and forth so that everybody is on the same page. Those things add up, especially as a team gets larger. Also, there are errors that come with that, e.g., sending the wrong version of a document. If the document is held somewhere, then it is easy to determine who made the last correction. Everybody is a part of the team so I can remove people as an administrator who need to be removed or add them to a specific thing. It is very straightforward and worth it in that manner."
  • "Depending on how much Lucidspark wants to emulate a true whiteboard experience, there could be other ways to do things. For instance, we have to create the container when we do it. In a typical sort of whiteboard situation, it could be helpful if there were templated containers, like a parking lot, where someone could just click, then it would show up. Most people with a whiteboard process have something like this, but we do it ourselves."

What is our primary use case?

I have a startup. Other members of the leadership team are located across the country in two other places. We do ideation using Lucidspark to have a central repository for our notes, so we have a place to come back and take a look as we move on.

How has it helped my organization?

We are a startup. The main thing that we used it for was to develop our go-to-market plan. We used it to talk about and draw our specific customer segment applications, business models, etc. We also used a very low level timeline feature based on where the boxes are held on the chart. We finalized that in Lucidchart and used Lucidspark for go-to-market strategy planning.

Lucidspark makes it easy for all of us to see the same thing at the same time in real-time. It is very easy to move something to the side, then everybody can see it and agree upon it, saying, "Okay, we are not going to deal with this right now." We sort of use containers, putting it in a parking lot for now, then move other things to what we are going to deal with now.

It allows anybody who is active in it to make whatever changes they need to make right then. It doesn't fall on the shoulders of the person who is "taking notes". So, the conversation is able to proceed while people are moving things with containers, adding notes, etc. Everybody can do this at the same time.

Lucidspark has probably changed the way that we conduct meetings. Previously, there were a lot of documents being sent, people having to review them, and sending them back and forth. With Lucidspark, we have been able to just have a very simple outline or a few containers setup in a location, and people know where that location is. When it's time for the meeting, we can just jump into it with the same level of understanding, then proceed to have a conversation with everybody, who have the same knowledge and understanding immediately.

It is pretty easy to move our ideas from the idea stage to execution, using the vendor’s suite of products. Right now, we use Lucidspark. We keep things in it for a while. As those things sort of solidify, they are moved into Lucidchart when it becomes more of a process and less of an ideation or high level idea. We then use Lucidchart for as long as possible. For now, because we are just a startup, there is not much that needs to happen after Lucidchart because we are still developing high-level processes, etc. It works very well for us because there are really just a few steps: a brainstorm of the thought, then putting it into Lucidspark, and ultimately moving that into Lucidchart. 

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the real-time aspect, being able to know when a particular person is collaborating. It has colors and associations within it, which make it easily visible. So, if I go to something that we created, I can very quickly tell when and who made changes or added notes, at a quick glance. That has probably been the biggest help so far.

The solution’s user interface and intuitiveness are great. I signed in and didn't need to use any tools. I didn't have any questions. Understanding-wise, the interface has the same feel as Google Docs; it is very easy to move in.

Lucidspark's virtual whiteboard for brainstorming high-level ideas and concepts is my favorite part. I was excited when I found out the solution would have this capability. Our company tried other sorts of things to create a similar sort of tool, so it is good that this is within Lucid. You can kind of flip back and forth with the charts that are already created if you have a Lucid account, which we do. Therefore, it is good that it is all held in the same place and things can be transferred, if needed. It has worked out really well for us.

The solution’s Collaborator Colors feature makes it very easy to quickly look to see when and who has made changes since the last time the whiteboard has been updated. The feature is very helpful. This is one of the most important features because of its ease of use. If your team has had a meeting and you have a mental image of what the whiteboard looked like before, and you come back and someone has gone to it in the interim, then you can very quickly identify what has changed and who has made the change. If there are things that need to happen based upon that, it's a very short jump, as opposed to needing separate notes. It is intuitive, making it a lot easier.

I like the Sticky Notes and texts.

What needs improvement?

Depending on how much Lucidspark wants to emulate a true whiteboard experience, there could be other ways to do things. For instance, we have to create the container when we do it. In a typical sort of whiteboard situation, it could be helpful if there were templated containers, like a parking lot, where someone could just click, then it would show up. Most people with a whiteboard process have something like this, but we do it ourselves. However, this is not something that would keep me from choosing the product.

I would like an integration where if I am looking at a chart and immediately recognize that there needs to be a meeting to discuss something, then there should be a way to just click something and say, "Under team tools set up a meeting based on this chart," and it puts a link to the charts that I am reviewing. Then, it integrates with Outlook (or whatever mail service) and sends it to the appropriate people. The less clicks, the better; if it takes me one click to do that, then I won't forget. I won't have to write it down someplace. It will just be done.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using it for about two months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I haven't had any trouble. It works the way it should, and it is up when I need it to be up.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We haven't been in a place where we needed to scale. From previous uses of Lucidchart, not Lucidspark, it was easily scalable.

We are really small. For now, I manage the unified administrator console and that is easy to do. As we expand, I can see that it still seems pretty user-friendly and easy to manage. At previous companies, most of the project managers and product developers had access to Lucid. I could see for us moving forward we could have a similar strategy, where people would have access to these tools and that would be important.

Right now, there are just three of us using it. I am the CEO, then the other two are consultants/technical advisors.

As our company matures, I have had good experiences with Lucid at previous companies. As our company grows, it would be one of the baseline software applications that new hires would receive. It just makes day-to-day work, and the transferring of that work across departments and functions, just so much easier. So, as we grow, people will get it.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have never had any issues where I have needed to use it.

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

I have used Visio and all kinds of Google Docs. In my experience with Lucidchart and Lucidspark, they make the process painless. It makes it easy for people to become a part of it so there is not a lot of upfront work that needs to be done, instead of making it difficult for people to join into conversations. People can immediately help and are instantly recognizable. It's just seamless moving things through Lucidchart and Lucidspark, even exporting things for people that don't necessarily have it into a PDF. It is very user-friendly and seamless, so we don't have to worry so much about the formatting of things. We can focus more on the actual action of creating.

Box had similar capabilities, at least in the way that we used it. It had a shared document and people could all be a part of the document, but it was very rudimentary, where everybody was able to see a document being edited. It had its own issues with that, but we also used Box.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was very easy. I got an email, then 10 or 15 minutes later, the entire team was set up and ready to use it.

What was our ROI?

The time is no longer spent trying to get everybody to be in one document or sending documents back and forth so that everybody is on the same page. Those things add up, especially as a team gets larger. Also, there are errors that come with that, e.g., sending the wrong version of a document. If the document is held somewhere, then it is easy to determine who made the last correction. Everybody is a part of the team so I can remove people as an administrator who need to be removed or add them to a specific thing. It is very straightforward and worth it in that manner.

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

It is not cost-prohibitive. It is well worth it, but we are also a small team. We are definitely planning on having it as part of our onboarding for everyone, but I haven't looked at the pricing for an enterprise level or large set of employees. For right now, it's worth the cost and there are no issues with it, but I'm not sure what that would look like with scaling.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I used Lucidchart previously, which is why I believe that I was invited to use Lucidspark.

Every solution has their own framework. We have used all sorts of collaboration/project management software: Visio, Asana, Lucid, and Google Docs. Because I worked in IT, we tested them out. We picked Lucid because of its ease of use and breadth of capability.

Visio is the old standard for people, and it will do a certain thing. However, sometimes it is not the most user-friendly, and there are sort of capabilities that it doesn't have. Google Docs is sort of on the other end of that, where it has this sort of pervasiveness where everybody uses Google Docs, but it is not as user-friendly in getting people to share documents or being part of a document with shared across a team, seeing that in real-time, and having all of those markers. There is a lot more upfront work that needs to happen, as opposed to Lucid where I just send out the emails. People are a part of it, either the team or page. It is very, very simple and straightforward. 

What other advice do I have?

The biggest lesson is that it doesn't have to be difficult. Part of this is a mid-COVID situation, where having remote or virtual conversations can be just as effective as having in-person conversations, if you have the tools which support that. I know that Lucidspark has definitely supported this. My team has never been in the same location, but we have been able to move our process forward with this tool and other tools, just based on its capabilities. So, it has worked well for us.

The first time that we used it, because it was a new tool, the engagement wasn't high. After that, people (other than myself) who hadn't used it before saw its capabilities, then it was used more often.

I would rate the solution as a 10 (out of 10).

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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DK
Senior Business Analyst at a consultancy with 5,001-10,000 employees
MSP
Top 20
Enables people to feel a sense engagement and collaboration, creating a two-way street

Pros and Cons

  • "The virtual whiteboard is also absolutely fantastic. It has streamlined all of those aspects that we would have done via PowerPoints and other types of on-the-fly screen sharing that were used in the past. Now, everyone can be in the same space. That part of it really helps us to feel confident and allows us to be more engaged with the client and vice-versa, with the client being engaged with us."
  • "I hope that one of the updates will be a zoom-in/zoom-out function that's a little different than what they currently have, just to make it flow better when you're trying to move in and out of the board. I know they're working on it and that would be great, once they get that together."

What is our primary use case?

What we've used it for so far is facilitating a couple of meetings.

We used it in a discovery gathering session with a client and they were all given the link to jump into the board. We gave them the ability to create and edit while we retained the overall power to move things and keep everyone focused. That was good and they enjoyed it. With COVID this year, they said it was a really great, innovative tool to use since everyone was sitting in their individual homes.

How has it helped my organization?

Using it with clients has really helped with the facilitation on our end, as the facilitators, but also for the clients who are using the process for the first time. We were able to get people in who are not super-technical to understand how to work it, and why we're using it. That actually went pretty fast and was an easy process.

People seem more engaged during virtual sessions when compared to in-person sessions. When I talked with the product owner of the product we're working on, in the most recent session we did, she said that all of her people really enjoyed it. She's been with her team for 13 years and they're getting ready to make a lot of changes. And even though everyone's apart she's said, "It was actually really nice to bring everyone together." Everyone was talking and having a good time and listening, and they were finding out things that all of them didn't like about their old system. And from my team's perspective, they said, "Oh, this is a fantastic collaboration tool." It allows for people to really feel a sense of "I'm engaged," and a sense that "the client hears me, and I'm listening to the client." It created a two-way street, more so than a lot of the time when you're in the beginning of a collaboration session in-person. In the latter situation, you're very much talking at the client. This cuts out that 10 minutes. Then you just say, "Okay, let's take a tour, and here's how it works."

Also, often, in an in-person session, you would go in with a predetermined amount of whiteboards to put sticky notes on. With this solution, if something else comes up that we didn't even think of, we can throw a quick new space on the board for that. That, alone, is nice on the virtual side.

Lucidspark also enables you to prioritize ideas. We used a couple of different functionalities that allow for that and we did enjoy that as a team. To be able to put things into various boxes or containers that I had created allowed for a much quicker process than trying to move sticky notes in-person. You're not walking across the floor.

It also has features to tag and automatically group ideas to help organize and synthesize ideas after a brainstorming session. Once we close out a session, my team does an assessment of everything. We go over it with the client first, just to make sure that that is what they were saying. Then we go in and clean it up ourselves afterwards. Those features are good as we do a team debrief meeting. We are able to keep things moving and not take a lot of time trying to decipher things. That ability to tag or move things around really helps us.

In terms of patterns and themes, we were only really looking for pain points and wishlist items. We didn't go too deep into that space, but we did use it for that. We were trying to group things into various buckets within our client's current system, to share how their system is currently interacting, and what their issues are. It really did help us to pinpoint those things with better clarity. We could then go back to the product owner and ask her to validate each thing, and each was in a specific box. She could just look at them all and say, "yes" or "no." It did help very much.

The tagging means we're able to take everything from the board, the way we aligned it, and then transpose that immediately into a document for the product owner and all of the stakeholders. They can look at it, review it very quickly and validate, while using snapshots from within the Lucidspark board itself. The ability to automatically group ideas helps save time. 

Overall, Lucidspark has brought the productivity of our working and brainstorming sessions up to a new level. All of my team felt confident. They enjoyed it. A lot of them said it was the best session that they've been in, ever. The product owner we were working with, a group that had never used a system like this because their organization is a government entity, was a little scared at first, but once we showed them how easy it is, they were loving it. That helped us and made me feel confident too: "Oh yeah, this is good." People enjoy this and it's something that we're definitely going to continue to use because of its ease, but also because of how it just allowed for everyone to feel, and to know everything was being recorded on the board. Nothing was lost or missed. And in terms of productivity, normally we would be holding about a two-hour meeting. We kept each of these meetings to 90 minutes because of the streamlining of the features.

What is most valuable?

For me, being able to drop things into the board has been the greatest experience. In the middle of conversation, when I'm facilitating, and especially if I don't have a second facilitator, I'm able to just drop things in and keep moving. That allows us, as the company overseeing the whole process for the innovation that's happening, to stay at a good pace. That's the best part. Those drop-in features have been excellent.

We used to use other products in the past to create similar end goals, but now we are able to automatically add in certain things. One of our biggest hindrances with other programs was Swimlanes. While you're in the middle of the meeting and someone says, "Hey, let's add Swimlanes," you can add them on-the-fly. You just click it and do it. That's been a really wonderful experience. It's not just Swimlanes. There are a lot of things where, while we're in the middle of a meeting with either a client or an internal meeting, we're able to collaborate altogether. That has really been a benefit of the product.

I like the Lucidspark user interface and its intuitiveness. One of the things I definitely enjoy about the interface itself is that I switch between a mouse pad and a trackpad. Just that factor, when you're trying to move things quickly and go to another spot on the board— because you're under a time constraint, especially with meetings today—is really helpful.

The virtual whiteboard is also absolutely fantastic. It has streamlined all of those aspects that we would have done via PowerPoints and other types of on-the-fly screen sharing that were used in the past. Now, everyone can be in the same space. That part of it really helps us to feel confident and allows us to be more engaged with the client and vice-versa, with the client being engaged with us.

In addition, the Collaborator Colors feature is important, especially when you have more than three people on a board, because otherwise you get lost. It allows for us to feel a sense that everyone is there. Everyone is not the same color, whereas with other systems they all have the same color, and that limits your ability as a facilitator. When they're all the same color you're having to go click on the actual tab and see who wrote what. So this is a very good functionality.

What needs improvement?

One of the things that was mentioned in the training is that they're working on some updates. I hope that one of the updates will be a zoom-in/zoom-out function that's a little different than what they currently have, just to make it flow better when you're trying to move in and out of the board. I know they're working on it and that would be great, once they get that together.

In terms of the engagement factor, we did get a little bit of feedback that it would be helpful to have some type of a training walk-through board from Lucidspark, a template for people who haven't used the solution.

The biggest lesson learned from using Lucidspark, for me, was getting everybody into the board and getting them comfortable. I looked through the templates and there isn't a "Getting To Know Lucidspark" template for people who are not licensed users. I learned that I needed to actually dedicate 15 or 20 minutes just to get people used to everything. Nobody knew how to use it so I had to get everyone up to speed. Once they were up to speed, they were fine and they were able to flow through it. That's something that I can say I need to do: to make sure I give more time for that, whenever I get another new client onboard with the solution.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using Lucidspark for about two months .

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is great. It responds well when we have 10 or 15 people in the board at one time. Everyone was able to enter stuff in. It wasn't like there was any lag, and people weren't getting frustrated. That's my gauge. If people start getting frustrated with a system or an interface then you know there are issues. But none of that happened here.

How are customer service and technical support?

I haven't used customer support for Lucidspark.

How was the initial setup?

I didn't have any issue with the setup. I thought it was great. It was set up right away and it was not difficult. To get everything set up took an hour or so.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

My company also uses MURAL. At this point, I think the company is going to keep both because some people like one system and some like the other system. I enjoy both. Both have very similar interfaces and each has its own functionalities.

The zoom-in/out feature I mentioned earlier is something that MURAL has. That is the biggest thing that Lucid can work on, and it sounds like they're doing that.

What other advice do I have?

I also use Lucidchart as a business analyst. I create my business process models in there, as well as other types of modeling for other projects that I'm on. The Lucid suite is great because I can draw Lucidchart right into the Lucidspark board and grow it right there, especially if I'm looking for validation from clients. It allows for a much smoother operation for everybody. I can just say, "Hey, is this correct?" and they can validate the process model right there. It enables that process. And the connectedness between the two different programs that I use is great.

It's been very easy for us to move ideas from the idea stage to execution because we're able to visualize everything right there. From that point, we can just draw out the conclusions that we need and put that right into the development team.

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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JM
Software Engineer
Real User
Top 20
Easy to get started and very easy to use

Pros and Cons

  • "The user interface is easy to use. There were other things that I was expected to make work like other people had done and they were expected to make things like I had done. Even though we had a template, there were times when we couldn't access each other's template and it was very easy to just go ahead and make it just like they had it. It's very intuitive. It's very easy to figure out where things are and how to use things."
  • "They have a grid system for snapping too, and they've done a lot to try to line things up so that the lines don't squiggle when you draw a line between one item and another. Everything has to be lined up. Everything has to be 90 degrees exact. But a lot of other people on the team just throw something together really quickly and the lines are not straight. And so it would be nice to have some feature that eliminates that problem."

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case was to put together a presentation for spelling and demonstrating our product and process charts for processes in the insurance industry.

How has it helped my organization?

Everyone was involved in doing a remote brainstorming session. Everyone felt like they needed to be involved. We have a great team. Everyone was involved and had ideas. Instead of everyone drawing everyone said, "Hey, we could do this." And the reason why is because of the nature of who the boss is. She wants to have more control. If we have a different organizational structure, then it would have been easier for everyone to say, "Hey, here's my idea." But you have to throw it out there and see if the boss likes it first. If the boss likes it then we draw it so everybody can see what it is. So it wasn't a true brainstorming session.

Lucidspark has made us very productive. If we didn't have Lucidspark and I had to use Visio, I really wouldn't have used Visio. I would've used another tool like Adobe publisher or something like that. I wouldn't have used process charts. My boss really wasn't asking for that to begin with but once she saw it, she loved it. And so we went that way, but some of the illustrations that we were preparing for the presentation did not lend themselves well at all to process charts. So I used Adobe products to put those together, but once we started using the process charts, that's what she was excited about. And that's what we went with. 

It made us very productive because it was very easy to make the changes once we had our brainstorming session. We were able to scale quickly to make those changes.

We're a startup company and so our goal with Lucidspark is to get more people aware of it. And so the presentation at this point is just for an outside consultant so that they can tell us how we can fine-tune it so that we can actually go to larger people in the insurance industry and get more buy-in. It's too early to tell how successful that will be or how we haven't had the big presentation yet. That will be coming soon. That feedback and input will be coming soon. If it's successful, then Lucidspark will make us look good. It's worth a lot of money to us.

What is most valuable?

Some of the basic process features like the circles and squares for texts and the arrows are the most valuable features. One of the most important features that we used was inserting images and resizing them. I don't think we could have used it if we didn't have the smart snapping system for snapping the lines to objects.

We use basic features like object fill and line color. 

It's very intuitive. There were other features that another team member described as the go-to standard for the industry for making process charts. And so they recommended it. They developed a template with it and shared the template with me. It was very easy for me to just create the same thing. 

The user interface is easy to use. There were other things that I was expected to make work like other people had done and they were expected to make things like I had done. Even though we had a template, there were times when we couldn't access each other's template and it was very easy to just go ahead and make it just like they had it. It's very intuitive. It's very easy to figure out where things are and how to use things.

We used the virtual whiteboard for brainstorming high-level ideas a couple of times. There were a couple of meetings where it was really hard to describe on the phone what we wanted to do. So there are times when we circle things and say, "Okay, we need to move this over, put this over there." 

It's not really better than some of the other things out there, but it worked. It was entertaining for the guy that had to draw with it, but there are several things about whiteboards that I just don't like. But it's really not worse than anything else out there, it's just not better.

What needs improvement?

They have a nice color palette and the color palette is intuitive. What I mean by intuitive is that the colors chosen work really well with the text. If you put text over an object with color behind it, then the text is very visible. So that's very nice. But we worked with the owner of the company to make presentations and she wanted colors that did not make sense but we went ahead and used those anyway. It might be nice to have just a few more default colors set up even if they were the colors that you would have to reverse the text out. Maybe if they were dark and you'd have to use white text on them.

It would be nice to have some of those because everything that we started out with, the boss said, "All of those are pastel colors. So I don't like those. We need something bolder and brighter." That's what we had to go find. If there were some default colors that were bolder and brighter, even though they don't work with texts so well, then we could reverse out the text and make it whiter or something like that. 

They have a grid system for snapping too, and they've done a lot to try to line things up so that the lines don't squiggle when you draw a line between one item and another. Everything has to be lined up. Everything has to be 90 degrees exact. But a lot of other people on the team just throw something together really quickly and the lines are not straight. And so it would be nice to have some feature that eliminates that problem.

I write software, so I know that's probably a very complex issue and they look like they spent a lot of time working on it that still doesn't quite work. That's the only thing that I can think of that might make it better.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Lucidspark for three weeks.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's very available. It's very easy to get started and very easy to use. We didn't have to wait on it to update and didn't have to wait on the server or anything. It was very available and very easy to use. There were no problems at all using it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There were only three of us using it and so I don't know how big it can scale. I'm sure it is scalable.

We don't have plans to increase usage in the future. Since we've used it in the past and it worked well, I'm sure we'll use it again. But I really don't know how much longer or more we will use it.

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

I have used Visio and I like Visio. I know how to use it. When you're asked to do something quickly and you already know a tool that you can use well, the tendency is to use the tool that you already know. Someone else convinced the boss that this was the best tool. I jumped into this which is a plus for the intuitiveness of their user interface. We were able to get going quickly. It's just as easy, if not easier to use than Visio.

Visio is not really software as a service. It's more of something you install on your system. And so if you're getting started and you have to use it, you would have to install it. Compared with Lucidspark and what we were doing, there are more tools and templates. There is more of an opportunity to get confused and lost. It's a little bit less intuitive. What we were doing with Lucidspark was truly easy and fast and it's online. So you really don't have to do anything to get started or get it going. I really liked that it was very frictionless.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was very easy. It was frictionless. Nobody was setting this up for us. And so once the decision was made to go to Lucidspark, we all went out, created accounts, and got started. It was very easy to use.

What was our ROI?

It's too early to see ROI but the boss was very happy with what we produced and I get paid for that. So I have certainly experienced a return on investment from using it. It's $9.99 a month and I get paid well for that. So I've gotten paid for my investment in it.

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

They have a good pricing model. I'm an independent contractor and so I don't mind paying $9.99 a month for that when I'm getting paid well to use it and get results with it. So I think that's a good model. If it was $39.99 a month, I certainly wouldn't have chosen to use it.

There are no additional costs to the standard licensing. 

What other advice do I have?

It's the easiest flowcharting process software out there. I would have chosen Visio but since somebody suggested Lucidspark, I decided to try it and it was in fact much easier than Visio to use if you're making process charts or diagrams. I'm thinking about using it for planning and creating process charts of my own, not just for my work. I would recommend it.

I would rate Lucidspark an eight out of ten. I like to give room for improvement to things. The snap and grid system still needs to be fixed so that people are less careful about how they make things look.

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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