Is Paste by WeTransfer the new presentation tool of the startups? 

Recently, WeTransfer, the file-sharing service with 42 million monthly users across the world, has acquired FiftyThree, one of the best app development studios in the world. FiftyThree is behind the popular creative apps Paper and Paste, and the Pencil.

WeTransfer is a company that always showed compassion for the creative industry. Now the company is growing into its next act to become a service that facilitates the entire creative process–by applying its UX philosophy of “to not have any unnecessary steps to the user’s goal”. “What we would like more than anything is to keep people in their workflow,” Damian Bradfield, president and chief marketing officer of WeTransfer, says for the FastCompany. “Those who produce work know what it’s like to be in that moment of flow, when work is pouring out of you. There’s nothing worse than being pulled out of it or being disrupted. That’s what we wanted from a service. There’s no sign up, it’s a lean data policy, no intrusive advertising, no banners, no pop-ups, no irritation.” The same ideology has been behind the new online presentation tool called Paste.

Its goal is for the users to be able to paste whatever they need and it to work seamlessly with a drop of an effort on the user’s end.

Which is achieved by a long list of integrations and embedding possibilities like: Unsplash (our favorite tool for royalty-free photos), Giphy (the most famous gif sharing network), Figma (one of the most popular free web-based prototype tool) and shamelessly some of Google’s products like MapsDocs and Drive and many, many more.  


Copyright courtesy of Paste by WeTransfer

“Paste makes slides simple so you can focus on what’s important.” Is what the tool claims to convince you to register. I agree in 100% that the design possibilities that the tool provides you are so few, that even if you want to, you cannot dedicate lots of time to that part of the presentation creation process. That leaves you with lots of time for thinking about the storyline and the delivery of the presentation.

However, for me, there are some major things that are missing in terms of creating a better presentation design without having to use softwares like Adobe Illustrator or Adobe Photoshop.

For example, there aren’t any options of controlling how a photo appears, no cropping or color/contrast adjustment functions. Also, it doesn’t read the vector format .svg, that makes possible never having a blurry icon on your presentation. Speaking of icons, there is no way that you can put a picture on top of another picture or anywhere else outside of the layout that Paste provides you. So, no naked icons placed in the presentation. We’ve talked a thousand times about that icons make a presentation faster and easier for understanding by the audience. However, I found a solution, the tool supports Emojis, so I’ve copy and pasted some from GetEmoji. This leads me back to the core idea of the tool: it’s all about copy and paste, not about creation.  

Let me get back a couple of steps and introduce you to the firsts of the work process in Paste. What made a strong impression in me is that the user starts its deck with a Storyboard view, not with the first empty slide.

That is different than any other presentation tool or service out there and it makes SO MUCH SENSE.

For me, the reminder that you need to start with the story first and design second is a major one for the industry and it seems like none of the presentation tools acknowledges itHaving a grid with soon-to-be-slides boxes in front of your eyes, makes you imagine how your thoughts would lay in a storyline. Then, when you get to the first slide, you are, again, first facing a text “Write, paste a link or drop a file…”, which tells you that maybe you need to first know what you want to tell with that slide, not show. 

A white tablet on pink background showing a screenshot of the Paste interface.

Copyright courtesy of Paste by WeTransfer

The tool works with only three main layouts that have their options: Intro, Show and Tell. The layouts have limitations on the allowed text. Automatically fixes the pictures and other media files, the text color and size, and it is a responsive web-only presentation. That’s an end to stretched and smashed photos, low contrast text and missing fonts. It is lacking animations and transitions, as well.

Generally, there is a low chance of you messing up the design.

This makes it great for non-designers that need to prepare a presentation for their team. I would describe it as a bit informal and unprofessional, so I wouldn’t recommend it for big companies and corporations. I think it’s perfect for small companies, teams and startups with a more digital oriented chill culture.  

The tool has a fun collaboration feature:

Reactions. Just like a Facebook post, you can like, dislike, clap, flag or approve a slide from the deck. Also, you can add comments or assign to someone from your team. Collaboration is made easy. You can fix team colors, that would be hard to not take in mind since in the tool you can work only with a set pallet. 

Being a web, non-designer friendly and collaboration-oriented tool makes it a major competitor of Google SlidesIts main advantage is the easier design process and embedding possibilities and the main disadvantage is that there are no Track changes functions and cannot be network independent. However, it can be downloaded as a PDF, but some of the embeddings are not supported. I’m sure these will be fixed pretty soon. 

 I’ve played around with the tool and made a presentation using most of Paper’s functions.

Check out this lovely presentation about how our great HQ city Sofia is! 

 

 

Let us know if you’d like us to write more about Paste and share some useful tips and tricks into using the app. 

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