Interview with Ludus Co-founder and CTO, Vincent Battaglia
Vincent shares his insights on Ludus, a newer entrant in the presentation tool game — betting on collaboration and designer-first features.
Tell us about Ludus, what is the elevator pitch and how did it get started?
Ludus is a presentation tool for creative professionals. It allows you to create beautiful and interactive presentations in no time and make designers and non-designers collaborate much more easily. Its interface is strongly inspired by design tools (like Sketch and Figma), so we always define Ludus by saying it’s what would have happened if Sketch and Keynote had a baby in the cloud. We come from creative backgrounds, having worked at digital agencies for a big part of our careers, and we started to grow more and more frustrated with existing presentation tools that make it very difficult to create something that doesn’t look too bad and to collaborate with your colleagues, so we decided to build our own tool. In May 2017, after a few months of development, we published Ludus on Product Hunt to see if we could get some interest with a product like that and the answer was a big yes as we ended up the product of the month and in the top 10 of the most upvoted products in 2017. We realized that we could turn this MVP into a real company and that’s how it all started
What made you want to redefine the presentation industry?
As I said earlier, most presentation tools have been built for a large consumer base, but nothing has ever been done for designers yet, which is very surprising because in most cases it’s designers that end up doing all the presentations. Before, creating a presentation was punishment for every designer — with little love for the job. With Ludus, it’s become a joy.
If you could give people one piece of advice to improve their presentations, what would it be?
In my opinion, the most important thing to make a presentation great is to tell a story, something that will captivate your audience and make them want to listen to what you have to say until the very end. Creating something that looks extremely beautiful but has nothing exciting to say is useless and a waste of everyone’s time.
In November, you released presentation templates. Can you tell us a bit about how you designed them?
We wanted to do something flexible, so it’s effortless to use existing templates, but also very easy to create your own. What is pretty unique in our case is that you can use templates from different themes in the same presentation. That could sound odd, but there are a lot of use cases where it can be beneficial. Also, we have a system of references on objects (inspired by Keynote) which allows switching from one template to another on a slide while preserving the content. We are delighted with the reception templates had so far, and we’ll try very hard to release new ones regularly.
What, if anything, can you share about the future of Ludus?
2019 will be a very different year, that’s for sure. We’ll now focus on professional features, especially those geared towards the teams. Our editing tool is where we spent most of our time until now, but this is going to change. In the coming months, you can expect features like versioning, advanced publishing and sharing settings (including the possibility to invite external collaborators to edit your presentations), advanced metrics, and more integrations with existing workflows (Google Drive, Dropbox, or Slack for example).
What’s one unique thing about Ludus, the company?
I could say we are a fully distributed remote team but this is not unique anymore, and I’m thrilled that it’s not. No, what is pretty unique in our case is the fact that Ludus has been built by a team of only five people. People are always surprised when they learn that our team is so small.
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