Haiku Deck isn't exactly disruptive, but it's trying hard to seem that way

By Carmel DeAmicis , written on November 21, 2013

From The News Desk

Every once in awhile, a tech reporter comes across a story that's just really hard to care about. Perhaps they should, though, because it's a relevant technology or useful or blah-di-blah, but when they're writing about it they fall asleep on their laptops.

Enterprise communication falls into this category. If I never see another "this is a better Yammer" pitch again, it will be too soon. Job recruiting software. Coupon applications. The "Warby Parker" of anything. And presentation startups.

In today's news that's worth discussing even if it's boring, presentation app Haiku Deck announced today that it's moving its mobile-based presentation application on to the browser. You no longer need an iPad to use it, although that option still exists. Yippee. Slide makers of the world rejoice.

For those of you wondering why Haiku Deck matters when Power Point does something similar and Prezi beats both of them at the presentation software game, I have one word for you: easy-peasy. At least I think that's one word.

Creating Prezis or PowerPoints that look great requires time, know-how, and a certain artistic flair. Haiku Deck needs none of that. It's for the technologically illiterate and time-strapped among us.

In addition to its ease of use, its built in features make slides pretty automatically. Text automatically has opaque backgrounds to make it pop. The background images you can choose are gorgeous, stock photos worthy of hanging in your house. The different font themes look attractive, no need to scroll through hundreds of options just to settle on comic sans because you have terrible taste.

Users have limited choices about how to create their slides. As a result, they can finish each slide in a few minutes. There's no fretting over whether to shrink or expand certain text, fiddling over fonts, or adding motion.

Little effort, little input, big output (if "pretty slides" count as big).

The limited choices would not work for more complicated or corporate presentations. But for the average slide-maker, it's more than enough.

At the end of the day though, Haiku Deck isn't that different from PowerPoint Or many of the other competitors -- Flowboard, 9slides, or Keynote. You're still making cue cards with text that runs horizontally. Zzzz.

Prezi on the other hand is a true gem. If you want to talk about innovating in presentations, Prezi has nailed it.

Its visual-spatial presentation style, where you zoom into various clusters of information, is just plain cool. It not only makes presentations more fun to watch, it also makes them easier to understand. By grouping related concepts together and using movement to show their relationships, Prezi mimics the way the human brain thinks.

Unfortunately, the one thing it has not nailed is ease-of-use.

It's unlimited choices make the whole presentation creation much harder. Sizing of text, positioning on a vast empty canvas, the order of slides, the type of motion, the shape of the clusters. You could get lost in an endless abyss of Prezi creation, emerging only to vomit from motion sickness.

If only Haiku Deck and Prezi could have a baby: an easy to use presentation software that had a cool look like Prezi. They could call it Bella -- beautiful in Italian -- or something. Then I'd get excited.

[Image Credit: Haiku Deck]