5 Presentation Design Services That Save Time: See How They Compare

Published: Sep 02, 2018

Time is valuable, and most knowledge workers spend a great deal of time on PowerPoint Presentations. Some larger firms, such as McKinsey & Company or Goldman Sachs, have set up internal solutions that gives their consultants and bankers access to Presentation Design support. McKinsey alone has hired around 1,000 full-time Presentation Design specialists, or roughly 1 presentation designer per 14 consultants.

Not all companies have the need, scale or competency to set up a similar solution. Fortunately, the internet delivers. Over the last few years, several solutions have sprung up to deliver the same service to anyone on-demand.

In this review we go through the four largest on-demand design services, as well as the world’s largest freelancer marketplace, UpWork (formerly Elance and oDesk, but merged in 2015).

To test the different services, we placed an order on all the websites with a handful of PowerPoint slides with instructions to make the slides look as good as possible. We tested for:

  • Price
  • How easy it was to interact with the service
  • Time to start and to complete the order
  • Quality of the output

Comparison

Overall, the clear winners in this test was Konsus. 24slides was a close second. SlideGenius was the by far most expensive; it took very long to get going and you need to deal with an aggressive sales force that calls relentlessly trying to push their overpriced design team on you. CubicleNinjas had a similar setup, but was slightly cheaper and less aggressive. UpWork, the Goliath of online work, has more than 10M freelancers registered, and with time and effort, it might be possible to find a needle in this haystack. However, in our test, the quality was horrendous compared with the other services and the time and effort to manage the whole process made UpWork an altogether unpleasant experience. Luckily, it was at least the cheapest option.

Figure 1: Comparison of the top 5 Presentation Design Solutions and their performance across key dimensions

Presentation Design Services

Figure 2: Comparison of the top 5 Presentation Design Services and the time it took to get started and to finish the same selection of PowerPoint slides. In all cases, we underscored urgency. 

Presentation Design Services


SlideGenius

Who is this service for?

Large corporations with on-going needs, willing to pay ‘Western’ design agency rates.

Overview

SlideGenius have supported many leading companies, such as AutoDesk and Lyft. SlideGenius is not really an on-demand service and relies heavily on manual processes and phone calls. SlideGenius is a San Diego-based agency and has been around for more than a decade – it’s the most experienced and one of the most expensive service out there.

SlideGenius have about 80 employees and claim that they have completed more than 100,000 presentations.

How to order

Contact is initiated via chat, but it is not possible to place an order using the chat. Instead the chat representative will invariable ask for a number to call, and then a virtual assistant will call 2-3 hours later to do an introductory call and book a session with a ‘presentation consultant’. After the call with the virtual assistant you get an email from her asking if you can send the presentation through to her email. Then it is time for the call with the presentation consultant, which turns out to be a sales person. The sales person pitches you on a large project with at least a $1000 minimum spend, and pushes you to sign a contract for a longer engagement. After this document is signed you can do an onboarding call with your project coordinator and your creative lead. After this you can submit your presentation and get started. Then it takes about 5 days and you get your slides back. You have to pay upfront the entire project amount.

Pros

  • Very good design
  • Responsive on the phone
  • Experienced

Cons

  • Very cumbersome onboarding process
  • Need to do a lot of calls and emails back and forth
  • Very expensive

Home Page

Slidegenius - Presentation Design Services

Pricing

Price per hour: $100-150/hr – the most expensive of all the solutions out there. The time spent per slide was also ridiculous.

Speed

  • Time spent submitting project: 1hr
  • Time until project is started: 48hrs
  • Time until project was delivered: 5 days

Rating

  • Quality of delivery – Overall very good designs, although the price is very high.
  • Price – The most expensive service in the comparison at $1000 for a trial project of 4 slides.
  • Ease of use – Quite annoying process with lots of calls. Not recommended unless you are large client with on-going needs.
  • Speed – 24 hours to start, 5 days to complete.

About SlideGenius

  • HQ Location: San Diego
  • Founded in: 2008
  • Website traffic: 104K

Cubicle Ninjas

Who is this service for?

Larger corporates with ongoing needs.

Overview/summary

Cubicle Ninjas is a full-service creative design agency with a focus on presentation design. They charge high rates and work like a typical agency. Cubicle Ninjas is based in Illinois, and charge typical western agency rates.

Cubicle Ninjas are a team of 30 employees. They claim that they have completed around 5,000 projects.

How to Order

Placing an order with CubicleNinja is not that easy. You need to go to their home page, click on contact and then fill in a form. It then takes a full day or so before someone gets back to you and it is a manual email back and forth process from then on out – zero technology or systems built.

You pay upfront before the project is kicked off.

Pros

  • High quality end product

Cons

  • Bad onboarding process
  • Immature tech / systems / processes
  • Very slow
  • Very expensive

Home Page

Cubicle Ninjas

Pricing

Price per hour: $100-150

Speed

  • Time spent submitting project: 2 minutes
  • Time until project is started: 48 hours
  • Time until project was delivered: 7 days

Rating

  • Quality of delivery – The overall quality was fair, but should be expected with the high price.
  • Price – Very expensive at $750 for our trial run of just a handful of slides.
  • Ease of use – Completely email-based solution like most agencies.
  • Speed – the slowest service in the group. 7 days to turn around a small PowerPoint pack is not great.

About Cubicle Ninjas

  • HQ Location: Illinois, United States
  • Founded in: 2007
  • Website URL: https://www.cubicleninjas.com
  • Website traffic: <100K

24Slides

Who is this service for?

Corporates, SMBs, Agencies, consultancies and anyone else with tighter budget or larger volume requirements.

Overview

24Slides is Danish company with a large team based in Indonesia. The company has been around since 2007 and carved out a nice business that delivers very good quality products, is easy to use and is fairly priced.

How to Order

An order is made by going through a nicely made form on their home page. You upload your files, add your credit card and submit your order in less than five minutes. After the order is submitted a project manager contacts you a few hours later – in our case close to 8 hours later – and kicks off the project. After the project is done, the project manager closes the project and your credit card is invoiced.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Quick to get started
  • Good quality
  • Good tech platform for placing orders and making revisions

Cons

  • Not support in weekends and (Indonesian) holidays, and may have long turn-around times in peak demand periods
  • Does not always have capacity to deliver the most creative designs

Home Page

24slides Screenshot

Pricing

Price per hour: $40-50/hr depending on choice of quality

Speed

  • Time spent submitting project: 5 minutes
  • Time until project is started: 6 hours
  • Time until project was delivered: 48 hours.

Stats

  • Quality of output: Good output at a reasonable price.
  • Price: Cost-effective solution at $100 for our selection of slides.
  • Ease of use: One of the easiest solutions for submitting projects out there.
  • Speed: Took close to 12 hours to get started, and took close to 5 days to deliver.

About 24Slides

  • HQ Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Website URL: https://www.24slides.com
  • Founded in: 2012
  • Website traffic: 260K

UpWork

Conclusion

After having tested Upwork on dozens of different occasions, we have to say it is very surprising that it has become so big. The quality is generally bad, the process is long and cumbersome and there is significant risk of being scammed.

Who is this service for?

UpWork is the largest ‘freelancer marketplace’ in the world, with millions of participants. It is mainly used by SMBs and Consumers.

Overview

UpWork was formed as a merger between oDesk and Elance in 2015. Elance was started all the way back in 1999 and oDesk was started in 2003. The company claims that they have 12 million freelancers and 5 million business using their platform. Annually, around $2B is contracted on the UpWork platform, or around $167 per freelancer per year. This is a quite small number per freelancer, which is likely because a lot of people use UpWork more as a ‘job portal’ and circumvent the platform by paying the freelancers they find on PayPal or some other solution. Upwork has a massive legal team the persecutes people that circumvent their platform or in other ways violates their terms and conditions, and have attracted a lot of criticism over the years.

UpWork freelancers offer every imaginable service, with Design being the largest one.

How to Order

Getting started on UpWork is not entirely straightforward. First, you need to create an account. Then you need to set up a payment method, and the payment method needs to be verified by UpWork through a small charge to your credit card. After this is completed you can publish a job on UpWork. 12-24 hours later and you’ll have dozens of freelancers that you can start chatting with. Most of these have not bothered to read your job post properly and have just submitted on a range of jobs, so it’s a bit hard to go through all of these. A good idea is to ask specific questions to see who is really interested. After this step, you can decide to hire one freelancer and go on to write a contract with this person and start working.

Depending on the freelancer you can get high quality with quick turnaround, or lower quality and less reliable turnarounds. People that are good at navigating on UpWork will for sure be able to find some talented freelancers to work with, but it certainly is challenging and can take a long time.

UpWork has in recent years tried to launch into the Enterprise segment with a more reliable offering, but have not published any news on how these efforts are progressing.

Pros

  • Huge selection of freelancers in all categories
  • Well-developed tech infrastructure that makes using UpWork quite easy to use
  • Low price

Cons

  • Low quality
  • Many unreliable freelancers

Home Page

Upwork Screenshot

Pricing

Price per hour: $10-$50. Possible to get really cheap solutions, but be mindful of quality.

Speed

  • Time spent submitting project: 1 hour in total time spent setting up account
  • Time until project is started: ~72 hours on average from submitting to starting
  • Time until project was delivered: Depends on the situation

Rating

  • Quality of output: We suspect that most of the talent is snapped up quickly and moved off platform. The remaining freelancers we interacted with delivered subpar quality in every interaction.
  • Price: At just around $60 Upwork was thankfully the cheapest option.
  • Ease of use: The UpWork platform is well-developed after 20 years in business, and is generally quite easy to use.
  • Speed: UpWork took the second longest of all the services in this review, but once you get started with a group of freelancers you can probably get a decent pace going.

About UpWork

  • HQ Location:  Mountain View, California
  • Founded in: 1999
  • Website URL: https://www.upwork.com
  • Website traffic: 37M

Konsus

Conclusion

Konsus is the fastest online outsourcing solution, and delivers on its promise with starting the project in 1 hour and finishing it in less than 12. Konsus is the second cheapest option in the test, after Upwork. Quality of output was also solid, and overall Konsus and 24slides are the clearly preferred options.

Who is this service for?

Konsus is built for corporate teams, but also serves SMBs, consultancies and smaller agencies.

Overview

Konsus is a new service that is run out of Palo Alto, California. The company is funded by Y Combinator and leading Silicon Valley-investors and aims to make online work as easy as ordering a pair of shoes on an e-commerce. Konsus is mainly focused on design services, but also offers content writing, research and data entry.

How to Order

An order is placed using the ‘Project Wizard’ on the home page. The wizard is self-explanatory and very nicely designed. At the end you upload a credit card and hit ‘submit’. A chat representative immediately contacts you to answer any questions you might have or to ask you any clarifying questions. After about one hour a project manager comes back to you with an estimate and plan for how to carry out the work, and if you give the go-ahead the project is then turned around within your deadline of 12-24 hours. When the project is done, the project manager closes the project and your credit card is charged.

Pros

  • Very fast
  • Easy to use
  • Cost-effective
  • Always solid quality

Cons

  • Not always capacity to support the most creative design needs

Home Page

Konsus

Pricing

Price per hour: $35/hr

Speed

  • Time spent submitting project: 5 minutes
  • Time until project is started: 1 hour
  • Time until project was delivered: 12 hours

Rating

  • Quality of output: The delivery from Konsus was solid. Given the low price point the clear winner in terms of price/performance.
  • Price: At $99, Konsus was the second cheapest option in this test after UpWork.
  • Ease of use: Konsus lets companies submit an order through an online order wizard, which is very easy to use and gives a good brief to the designers.
  • Speed: Konsus is the fastest online outsourcing solution. Projects typically start in around 1 hour, and Konsus is able to complete projects in only 12 hours.

About Konsus

  • HQ Location: Palo Alto, California
  • Founded in: 2015
  • Website URL: https://www.konsus.com
  • Website traffic: 262K

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