Along with spreadsheets, presentations are one of the main “attractions” of the corporate-style workplace (warning: sarcasm). These multimedia productions should be engaging, but sadly, few of us have the presence of delivery, nor the content, to provide something truly compelling for the audience.
And then there’s the start-to-end in-computer construction and delivery of a presentation, which can often be a struggle — magnified, if you need to collaborate with colleagues. Within a team, the collection and organization of the required media can be a stilted process if you are working remotely, and getting the finished product to function properly anywhere outside of your chosen native software is often the cause of much frustration.
Bunkr is a new web-based platform which is hoping to ease most of these presentation-related pains. The French startup aims to provide all the tools needed to create your slideshow, from the cherry-picking of content, right through to the publication of your masterpiece in browser-friendly HTML5. But can one cloud-based service really offer the all-round game to make presentations easy?
Arriving in your workspace, you’ll first need to unlock it. As you enter for the first time, you’ll encounter Bunkr’s pop-up forms, which refuse you entry to the toolkit behind them until you quench their thirst for details. Thankfully, filling in the required info isn’t a terribly long task, and with the workspace unlocked, you’ll find a sleek, strikingly designed interface.
The simplicity of Bunkr’s underlying structure is visually evident, particularly in the blue-grey sidebar menu. Access to the list of your fellow collaborators is placed at the top, with sections for your content, presentations and your shared folders (more on that later), below.
The main screen compartment is where most of the action happens. Depending on which section you’ve selected, you’re presented here with previews, either of your media, or of your presentations. Previews of both types are spread out in a somewhat messy Masonry-grid formation, but they can be dragged into whatever order suits.
Clicking on previews produces a lightbox-style pop-up, which offers both info on the file, and a larger view.
It’s a simple, efficient layout, and although there are several help videos provided, it doesn’t feel like a system that needs any documentation or explanation.
Collection and Organization
Any presentation needs media content, and Bunkr makes the collecting and organizing of it fairly straightforward.
Along with the obvious input method of uploading, Bunkr also provides a bookmarklet, so content you spot on your travels around the web can be utilized in your presentation too, although, as a keen defender of copyright, I’m not sure whether I approve of this — here’s hoping Bunkr users will feel moved to include credits in their presentations (unlikely).
Without some filing at this point, things could get messy, but organization seems to be an area in which this platform is ably equipped.
As you upload or clip media into Bunkr, you can provide items with a name, a description and, critically, some tags. All three of these are indexed by Bunkr’s sidebar-mounted search, but it’s a shame that a list of tags, as seen in the likes of Evernote, isn’t available to provide a slightly less specific sorting method.
Overall, though, Bunkr’s filing system strikes a pretty good balance between speed of use and proper indexing.
Bunkr’s main event, of course, is its presentation creation. It’s not a setup you’re easily going to confuse with Keynote — don’t expect to find any flashy animations here — but the key parts of presentation building are all in place, and highly usable.
The process starts from the media browsing area. At the top of the main screen compartment is a tray — dropping your media in here turns each file into a slide; you can add multiple files to each slide later.
Hit New Presentation, and you’re ready to get started. By default, images are displayed beneath their titles, videos fill the slide in which they are contained, and article excerpts are accompanied by source, and PDF download links. There are, however, numerous options to improvise.
To start with, each slide can be assigned a background. This can be a colour of your choosing, or an image. In the centre of each slide is the box containing any content you wish to add, demarcated in the editing suite by a slight shadow (this disappears when a presentation is published).
The most basic form of content on offer is text, which can be placed anywhere within the content box and composed, in situ, with an array of MCE-type formatting options. Any file you’ve imported into your Bunkr library can also be placed within the content area, and as you do this, the automatic inclusion of the file’s name, description and link (in the case of web-sourced media) is offered.
Finally, there’s the opportunity to add a shape of any colour. As long as it’s square or rectangular. Hopefully, more options will be added here soon.
Once added, your content additions can be arranged as layers by sending sending them forwards or backwards, and the opacity of visual elements can be adjusted.
This is a package which is unremarkable, but perfectly functional, and once again, the simplicity of Bunkr is sufficiently notable to be regarded as a genuine feature.
It should be noted that everything above is offered on a free Bunkr account, with the restrictions being a maximum of two presentations and 100 media files.
Upgrade to Pro – $3/month for one user, spiralling up to $3250/year for a 100-user account – and these restrictions are lifted, but in addition, a key feature of Bunkr’s feature-set is unlocked: collaboration.
Simply an invitation, by email, is all that is required for your co-worker(s) to sign up with Bunkr, and the ability to share media and presentations, Google Docs-style, is immediately available.
The End Results…
…are pretty good. The easiest way to share a completed presentation is by sending its unique URL to your chosen recipient. They will be able to view your masterpiece in window-filling HTML5, meaning any modern browser can cope. The code to embed your work is also provided, as is PDF export (minus videos, of course).
Bunkr-created presentations are somewhat reminiscent of ReadyMag publications, with the difference being that Bunkr’s content positioning seems to be slightly less precise. As you flip through the slides, however, there is no noticeable slowdown, and presentations have the look of business class professionalism.
It is obviously the case that Bunkr‘s remit is fairly narrow. The likelihood is that prospective users will only appreciate this service, never mind pay for a Pro upgrade, if presentation preparation is a near-daily occurrence in their line of work.
For this niche audience, however, Bunkr ticks most of the required boxes. It is extremely simple to operate, provides a neat, efficient storage system, and it offers the ease of access that only a cloud-based platform can. Of course, should you need the animations and graphics in your presentations, then you’re probably going to have to look elsewhere, perhaps in the direction of native apps.
But Bunkr is a seriously solid workhorse, and if all you need is an efficient way of putting together presentations, I highly recommend you give it a try.