There are a few different things. The main one, obviously, is creating business workflows.
I've been using its web-based version.
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There are a few different things. The main one, obviously, is creating business workflows.
I've been using its web-based version.
It is excellent for documenting things such as processes, systems, etc. We have a guy who is a salaried commission salesperson who was doing very dry due diligence work on real estate deals. I took what he was doing and mapped it out so that a $12 an hour temp person can do it. It is very good for that. It is also good for mapping out things like marketing campaigns to explain to clients. I also run an agency on the side, so having here's what we're going to do and let me visualize it for you has been extremely useful as well.
It is important for us that Lucidchart accommodates both MAC and PC users. We have a mix at our current company, and I have guys who work from an iPad. We're currently in the process of transitioning everyone to MAC. It has been a headache because some of the software products that we can get on a Windows computer are not available for MAC. We're a construction company first and foremost, and a lot of construction software is designed around Windows. Lucid is a huge part of my day-to-day work. I use it almost every day. It is very helpful that it is web-based, and it accommodates both MAC and PC users.
The ability for people to look at the diagram rather than reading through written documents has absolutely saved so much time, and as a result, money. For our due diligence process, I can't give a written manual to the kind of employee I have for this work and expect that employee to follow it. There's no way. Without Lucidchart, the whole project of having that employee do due diligence kind of dies because I don't have a way to show them that this is how to follow this workflow. If I'm paying somebody $12 an hour, I'm not going to expect them to be proficient at reading a technical manual. That would be a huge learning curve, but almost anyone can read a flow chart. I worked at fast food when I was 16, and I had flow charts on how to do stuff. You can give that to somebody who's very low-skilled and have them working above their skill level. It is a tool for employee growth in a way because you're able to give somebody a task that might be out of their pay grade and grow them into that role because you're able to explain it more simply.
It has definitely helped us in realizing efficiencies in our projects. Just yesterday, I was working on this due diligence project. We buy land, and when we get any land under contract, we have a period of time where we have to go and assess the land and decide if we want to buy it. It seems like you have to be an expert to do it, but it's really following a mental checklist. I got with my guy who does that, and I said, "I need you to tell me every question that you need to be answered in order to tell me if we can buy this land." He was like, "Well, this one, no." I was like, "No, you need to tell me every single question, and we'll get it on the chart." Doing that, I realized that sometimes, he's sending people out to look at stuff that he knows we can't build on. I was like, "They shouldn't be going out to look at that if you know that we can't build on it." That's an employee who is more highly paid than the person is who is going out to look at the land. That person is wasting two to three hours of their time to drive out and look at a lot that may not be buildable. That was just yesterday, and that's going to save us thousands of dollars. That's a huge time saving, which is time and money.
The ease of creating some of the maps and diagrams is most valuable. Lucidchart is just simpler and works more intuitively than other solutions that I have used in the past, such as Microsoft Visio. I am not in a creative role, but I know how to use Adobe Illustrator and other solutions like that. If I need to map out something that I've never mapped out before, and it is going to need a totally custom graphic, eight times out of 10, I'm going to go to Lucidchart rather than trying to build it in Illustrator. Its intuition and flexibility are really big features for me.
It is very flexible. I use it for creating flow charts, processes, checklists, and if this/that or decision trees kind of things. I also use it for creating social media posts such as how to have a sales conversation with a prospective client. I like tools where you start from scratch. I know there are some great templates, but I don't really use those. I'm mostly using the start from the scratch feature, but I have used templates for things like customer journeys or to get inspiration for how complicated my campaigns should be. They have been useful situationally.
I would really like to be able to set default appearance settings for new documents because I have a set of appearance settings that I always use. I end up setting that manually every time. There may be a way to do that, and maybe I am not able to find it. This is my only major point of feedback for improvement. There are other little nitpicky things, such as being able to lock layers without them looking like a big red line around them would be nice, but every graphic design software does that, so I understand why they have that. All my concerns are nitpicks. They're not big.
Overall, I have been using this solution for two or three years. My user account is only three or four months old because I started with a new company.
I've never had an issue with it being down or unavailable. I've never had an issue where somebody was on a device and couldn't access it.
Performance-wise, I've never really had a problem. I can't even think of a time that it had slowed down, or I've had to refresh.
Extendability-wise, I don't know how many third-party plugins or additional integrations are there, so I can't speak about that too much.
Scalability-wise, I could easily see a future where every one of our employees has a license and is using it. It would actually make our lives easier as opposed to more complicated. In that sense, I would say that it is super scalable.
Currently, I'm the only one using it as a creator or editor. Our land acquisition guy is also using it. He is just looking at it; he is not editing. Our two co-founders, our VP of operations, and our VP of construction are using it as viewers. All four people at the executive or VP level are using it. I'm a director, so I'm not quite at the VP level, and everyone else above me is using it, which is cool. We'll very soon be at a place where there are people under me who are using it. That's definitely going to happen soon, so I would say across all levels of our company, it will be used. We have maybe six people right now, but in the next couple of months, we'll be at a point where we have 10 to 15 more people using it. As we get up to that point, we would probably have more editors too.
I don't think I've ever used their tech support. I haven't had a problem where I've needed it.
I have used Visio very recently. I basically told my boss, "We either have to buy a Visio subscription or a Lucid subscription. I'm buying a Lucid subscription because I don't want to work in Visio." We're on the 365 stack, and they like us to use as much of that as possible, but I was like, "No, I'm using Lucid." I didn't have to migrate anything over.
The ease of use is the main reason for using Lucidchart. I know that Visio and Lucidchart can do similar things. For my purposes, I wouldn't even touch some of the more advanced stuff that can be done in Visio, so it doesn't make sense to me to use something that's clunkier.
One of my complaints with Visio is that it gives you a thousand different tools, but most people need just five tools. Lucidchart is designed in a way that it gives you what need for a task, and if you need more, it tells you where to find it. It's very well organized and user-friendly, so that's great. With Visio, you have a box with no organizers, shelves, or anything in it, and everything is just thrown in there. You have to know where your stuff is to know how to use it. Lucidchart provides you a little shelf for workflows if you're doing a workflow.
Another thing that I do for people is CRM object mapping, where I define the custom objects that we're going to have in a CRM and all the attributes of those objects, including other objects that an object can have in it. This would even be useful for object-oriented programmers, such as Java or C# programmers. They can also use it for such things. That's how flexible it is. I use the same tool that I use to do my workflows and process maps. It is intuitive to map out what an object has in it because it can have other objects. With Visio, I'd be spinning my wheels a lot more and looking for the right tools for that end product. Capability-wise, they are the same or very similar, but in terms of getting to that end product, it is going to be faster if I use Lucidchart.
Its initial setup is very straightforward. It is just a matter of you basically going to the website, and it is right there. You don't even need to have used any graphic design software such as Visio. If you've used any document management tool, such as Microsoft Word, you can go into Lucid and set it up and use it very easily. It is so simple.
Pricing-wise, it is pretty fair. I don't really know what group pricing looks like, but right now, I pay $10 a month for my Lucid subscription. One thing I would say is that I do worry about my bosses being okay with paying $10 a month for every single employee because we would have around 20 people. It makes me a little nervous about whether they are going to pay $200 a month for people to be able to use this software. At the same time, from where I'm sitting, it's totally worth it. We save a thousand dollars from using this software. It's still a no-brainer.
It is definitely for most businesses. I've worked in a couple of different industries in my professional career. I've been a teacher. I've been in construction. This is my second time in construction. I've also been in marketing for a marketing company. I've been a business owner, and it has always been useful, so I can't really think of an industry where you wouldn't benefit from using it.
I used to use it with Slack. We have Teams now, which I hate. I like Slack much better than Teams, and when I use Slack, I integrate it. I don't know if I ever used the direct integration, but we definitely used to bounce stuff back and forth in Lucid when we were using Slack as our communication platform. These two tools are pretty complementary. They're both SaaS products. I tend to prefer the SaaS experience to having to download something.
I am currently not using Lucidchart for real-time collaboration among users because generally, I'm the document owner. I have done that in the past with my business partner for agency work, but never with a team or with more than one other person. This is something that I would like to do in the future. I see that as a huge plus. I just haven't used it yet. When I used it with my business partner, the development process was much faster because he didn't have to tell me first what needs to be changed and then I would change. It was so much easier. That's what I'm dealing with now. I'm going to slowly roll it out and start giving some of my co-workers access to Lucidchart because if they have feedback on a document, they have to be over my shoulder telling me what to change, whereas I could be sending them the link, and they could be changing it themselves if they have the feedback. That's obviously more preferable to what we're doing now.
I have very briefly touched Lucidspark. I don't think I've created a complete document in Lucidspark. It's something that I would like to use more, especially as we get into using more of these tools for strategic planning as opposed to mapping existing processes or improving processes. Right now, Lucidchart does pretty much everything we need, and I'm even using Lucidchart for things where I might use Lucidspark. For example, for the object mapping solution, I should be using Lucidspark, but Lucidchart does what I need, and so I don't have to use Lucidspark. That's why I haven't felt the need to move over to Lucidspark.
I would rate Lucidchart a 10 out of 10.
As a product manager, I often use these infinite canvases for coming up with ideas and for brainstorming. I also use it for defining workflows of new products or features that we are brainstorming on.
Now that remote working has become so prominent, these types of tools come in handy when you are collaborating with a lot of folks and you need their input quickly, in a manner that is manageable. That is where I have used Lucidchart.
It's a SaaS-based service, through the browser. Things are automatically saved over the cloud.
We are a very visual organization. We are an Agile team and we practice XP (extreme programming). When we were on the floor in the office, we used to use whiteboards to create and visualize flows. The whiteboard was always stuck in front of the team's table so that we would know where we were up to as a team and the decisions that had been taken on that flow. When we all started working from home, in March 2020, those meetings became extensive and intense. That resulted in a little bit of Zoom fatigue. Being on a call for so long ends up with people tuning out. That is when we started looking at products with infinite canvases, and Lucidchart came in handy. It enabled us, once again, to work as a team. We could sketch out ideas and brainstorm on things collaboratively and comment on things in real time. We could see where and how things are moving in real time. It almost emulates the in-person meetings. Of course, it cannot replace the feeling of being on the same board, writing with felt markers. But it's a good enough replacement.
The team could not operate without it. We were actually collaborating on Google Slides, which sort of worked. You can obviously edit a Google document in real-time, but it did not give us the same feeling of an infinite canvas, where the team could contribute and people could express their opinions on every step. I wouldn't say it improved the processes that we already had in place, pre-lockdown, but once we started working from home, it certainly aided us in doing something that we used to do.
The solution also helped us be more efficient because we were using Google Slides. It's efficient in the sense that the information is percolated to everyone better. Everybody is on the same page and that is the most important thing when you are in the development stage of a project. Having everybody rowing in the same direction is very important. With Lucidchart, there is a document that everybody is able to look at and contribute to at the same time. It maintains the document well and in a very lucid manner so that the decisions are very clearly chalked out. That improves efficiency. Every member spends less time figuring out in which document decisions were taken or where that email is where they can get a sense of what the outcome was of a certain meeting. Instead of that, they can just look at Lucidchart and get the answers.
It saves time and money, at the end of the day.
The basic valuable feature is the infinite canvas, because that gives you the space to come up with anything.
There are a few templates as well, for things like brainstorming or coming up with a mind map, although I haven't explored them much. I usually opt for a free-form canvas where I can build my flows from scratch and the team can collaborate at the same time.
Lucidchart is very visual in nature, and it is something that we do use extensively for stakeholder mapping, for example. If you want to build graphs for things like who the decision-makers are in a particular organization, Lucidchart can be used for that. It's a use case for which you might use a Google Doc or a Google Slide, but if you want to get everything on a single canvas, Lucidchart does come in handy.
We design flows and wireframes and models and we put in where the data would flow. I have used Lucidchart to create the diagrams and flows of system architecture, and how the data would flow downstream and upstream. One thing that I really appreciate about Lucidchart, a standout feature, is that whenever you attach a Google Sheet link, to signify the data flows in a particular sheet, it actually captures a particular DB or Google Sheet with its link. If you double-tap on it, it redirects you to that particular sheet. I don't know if that feature is available in other products. I really like that in Lucidchart. It comes in handy if you don't want to have to bookmark that sheet separately. You can get it from within Lucidchart itself, which helps you to keep everything neatly in one place.
I've been using Lucidchart for about two months.
I have had no issues with the stability. Everything is saved in real time and whenever I access it, what I have worked on is there. I have no complaints. It almost works with the reliability of Google Sheets and Google Docs. Google is the gold standard for real-time saving of edits. Lucidchart is pretty much the same in that respect.
I haven't really thought of Lucidchart in terms of scalability. From an enterprise perspective, if 1,000 or 2,000 people were collaborating on a particular canvas in Lucidchart, it would probably become a mess. It works well for smaller teams, perhaps a maximum of eight to 10 people. Beyond that, it's not really practically possible. Even in physical settings, we do not do whiteboarding with more than 10 people. If there are 20 or 30 people in a meeting, on a whiteboard, it becomes very messy. A small, nimble team, like an XP team or a scrum team, can use Lucidchart.
Whether we will expand our usage depends on how Lucidchart evolves as a product. If the product gains enough momentum and enough industry adoption, where more and more people end up using it, then everybody ends up using it. So it is dependent on the adoption of the product itself and is not necessarily something related to the product's features. If it provides better value through its pricing, people will start adopting it. That is the same curve that we saw with Google Suite. They provided immense value to organizations and now everybody is using Google Suite. There might be better products than Google Suite, but the adoption of Google Suite has spread. In the three organizations I have worked at during my career, I haven't seen any using Microsoft Outlook.
I haven't used their technical support.
We tried using draw.io as a stop-gap solution, but that didn't work that well. While draw.io looks very similar to Lucidchart in terms of its UI, I don't think it has evolved much.
The initial setup was done by our client's organization, so I wasn't involved. But because it is a cloud-based solution, I don't think there was any kind of deployment needed. I expect it is a plug-and-play solution that they paid for and we started using.
It doesn't really require any day-to-day maintenance because everything is stored in the cloud. It doesn't require any kind of configuration.
We have six or seven folks right who are using it. There are developers, people on the QA team, the product manager, and the engineering manager.
Right after the lockdown started, meetings were really long. That is when we felt the need to select something like Lucidchart. As a result, on average we have saved one and half hours per day in meeting time. That translates to value.
I wasn't involved in the purchase of Lucidchart, but Lucidchart does the same things that other products do, like Miro and MURAL. The way I would make the decision is that if Lucidchart is cheaper than those products I would pick it. Maybe the UI is not the most modern, but it helps you achieve the same goals. If there is a major difference in price, I would definitely go with Lucidchart. Otherwise, I would take Miro or MURAL, because they are more modern looking and have better UIs.
I do really appreciate that Lucidchart is actually on par with draw.io. That is a tool that I have been using for a very long time, and it is a free tool as well. Lucidchart can pretty much do what draw.io can do. It has been structured in a very similar manner. draw.io doesn't give you as many ready-made templates. Lucidchart can pretty much do what you ask of it, in terms of building workflows. draw.io is primarily used for creating architectural diagrams, to show how systems interact in a software program, for example.
But I feel that there is a premium for the use of certain elements in Lucidchart, like a drop-down. These features come at a premium and are only accessible in the premium plan. Most of draw.io's icons and clip art are free. It becomes very annoying, especially if you are a first-time user of Lucidchart and you don't have a premium plan. It feels a little too restrictive, in terms of using very basic shapes and icons. It asks you to sign-up for the premium account, which I think shouldn't be the case. I realize that companies need to make money, but first impressions are important. Without completely communicating the value of the product, people might switch to something else. After a while, my organization did take the premium account, so that problem was solved, at least for me. But this was one of my biggest gripes with Lucidchart in the beginning.
With the unpaid version of Lucidchart, where you can get a feel for the user experience, when you try to drag a premium icon into a chart, a pop-up says that you have to buy the premium account. There is a product called Canva. It's an online platform for designing. Something they do, which is really smart, is that they call out premium elements very clearly in the menus. If something is premium, you already know that you can't use it without a premium account, and that saves you time, instead of ending up with a premium element and seeing a pop-up. In Lucidchart, there's no clear demarcation that something is a premium element, unless you try to bring it into your chart. That is annoying at times.
I have been using a couple of other products, such as Miro, which is also an infinite canvas, as well as MURAL. What I have found is that Miro and MURAL certainly have better UIs compared to Lucidchart. Lucidchart emulates draw.io in terms of its UI. It's a little dated. A user will be able to find their way through Lucidchart and draw.io, but Miro and MURAL have a much more modern look.
Other than the visual aspects, Lucidchart can be used to achieve the same goals as the others when it comes to functionality. You can collaborate on the same canvas in real time and you can see other peoples' cursors.
Collaboration is the key. For teams to move faster, they need to make decisions in real time and keep everybody in the loop. As a scrum team or an XP team, these are the things that we valued even before Lucidchart. But then, we needed something that would aid our discussions in the absence of a whiteboard.
My advice would be to visit product review sites, like IT Central Station, and see how the products in the category compare to each other. You might unearth certain features which are not very evident from a product website itself. Word of mouth is something that
will give you an unbiased opinion. It's actual users who can articulate the value proposition. If your own use case matches that of somebody who has already used it, read the reviews and evaluate it yourself.
Lucidchart is not seen as a tool that can be used for documentation purposes. It is primarily seen as a tool that can come in handy for things like brainstorming and when sketching out new processes. It is basically a replacement for a whiteboard, and the processes that we used to do at the office around that, such as collaboratively sketching. That is what it has replaced. It has not replaced Google Docs or other things that are primarily used for documentation.
We use Lucidchart's Slack integration, so if you share Lucidchart in Slack, it will automatically pop up if you want to share it with somebody who is on Slack. When you want to integrate Lucidchart with Slack, it asks for certain permissions. After that, if you want to share a particular file, it will start showing it to all the people who are on the Slack channel. Once you share that file for collaboration, it pops up on their Slack channel, and they can open it from there. That is a neat feature I would say. But if I had to use some other product that has better features than Lucidchart, but lacked this particular integration, I would be fine with it.
I would rate Lucidchart a seven out of 10. It achieves what it says in the value prop. But there is a lot of scope for improvement in making it easier and more modern in terms of the look and the experience for new users.
I've used Lucidchart much more on a personal project than at work, just by coincidence. Mainly at work, we've used it to create a very simple diagram chart, some squares, some circles, and arrows connecting them. It's for HR purposes. I work in human resources. We basically map out the process that a candidate goes through when they're hired in the company. We made some squares saying all the steps that need to be done to onboard someone and we connected them with some arrows and made a flow chart.
On the other hand, I've actually used it very extensively for a personal project of mine, which is a video game. Since I'm developing a video game, I'm using Lucidcharts to organize all the different pieces of the game, including the levels, the maps, and how they all interact with each other. That's also basically a giant flow chart and diagram with loads of connecting pieces.
My company uses Lucidchart way more in the product, tech, and other departments that work directly on our product. Being in HR, we only use it for a few things, however, I know that they use it for all sorts of flows and processes in terms of tech development. They do have it integrated with Jira, and I'm sure that they make use of that integration as well.
In general, the usability is great. You have a ton of customization options with different colors, different borders, different thicknesses of lines, different types of arrows, et cetera. There's so much variety. You can really make a chart with all sorts of color-coding, and color charts in different colors, link them together, for example, or use different types of arrows for different types of links between the chart elements. That variety, while not a specific feature, is really useful. If you want to make a chart, you can basically do anything.
I've mainly used it as a chart. What I've appreciated the most is the variety of options. I use the different types of blocks that they offer as well. You can use a normal rectangle, however, you can also use a post-it block note that I use for different purposes, for example. With all that variety, you can really organize yourself however you want. That's the most powerful part of this tool for sure.
Lucidchart's capabilities for visualizing and understanding those flows and processes are absolutely excellent. I'm very happy with it. Even in a work setting, as soon as we actually used it and put these flows into a visual format, everything was much smoother. We started understanding everything much better. As a visual tool, I would say it is excellent.
There have been many efficiencies achieved using Lucidchart. For example, in the professional project, once we mapped out the flow, it allowed us to identify pain points. Seeing the flow so visually, when we moved from step A to step B we were able to pinpoint the exact pain points and when they happened during the flow.
It's important that Lucidchart accommodates both Mac and PC users as I do really use both, especially for the kinds of projects I'm working on. I usually use the Mac as the side of the screen with Lucidchart, and then I use the Windows big screen to work on the actual project. I don't know if it's common to be in my situation, however, for me, it's absolutely important that I can use the product on either operating system.
I have used Lucidchart to collaborate among users on the same version of a document in real-time. The flow that I have been working on, that we did for each chart, was done in real-time. It was great. Obviously, people need to be a little organized and not start moving things around altogether. We were well organized and it worked great. Everyone could see what everyone else was doing in real-time. It's really good. It works perfectly.
Real-time collaboration has saved us time. We were genuinely stuck until we did that, and it's something that completely unblocked our process. We didn't know how to proceed, due to the fact that pre-Lucidchart, everything was unclear. Nothing was really organized and nothing was visually presented. We were completely stuck. This product really allowed us to move forward.
It's a bit hard to assess how much time was saved. That said, considering we had about one meeting per week to work on this specific project and the first three or four weeks, we basically made zero progress. Then, on the week we started using Lucidchart, we made a lot of progress, and two weeks went by, and we already made way more progress than in the first four weeks. You could say it doubled our efficiency.
Mostly, for what I use it for, it has absolutely everything I need. I use it for 99% visual presentation, as I'm working on a project that has 70 moving pieces. If I didn't put that into a visual format, I would be completely lost. That's really all I use it for and that functionality to me is absolutely perfect. In all the time I've used it, I've never been in a situation where I thought, "Oh, damn, I wish they had this feature." I really can't think of any time it's happened. That's why, for me, really, it has everything I need.
There is a tiny detail, however, that is a minor feature. Possibly the only time ever I've had an issue is when you create a rectangle box, for example, you can write some text in it and give it a name, and depending on how you shape the size of the box, the text will rearrange itself to fit. Except if your box is very, very narrow like a long, narrow rectangle in a vertical position. In this case, the text will always go out of the rectangle. It could be nice to just have the option to rotate the text, for example, 90 degrees so that the text fits perfectly in the vertical rectangle. That said, it's really a minimal feature and I wouldn't call it a pain point at all. It's really just a small detail.
I've been using the solution for two months.
The product runs great. Even though my personal project with the charts is really big, it still loads very fast, and there's no lag. There are no delays. It never fails in saving or any of that.
I have to admit I've hit the maximum, however, for my personal project, it might be due to the fact that I'm using the free version. I did get a warning that told me that I reached the limit, the maximum number. Honestly, it is a decent number. It's around 300, and my chart is definitely very, very big. There is a limitation, however, for the free version.
At my company, there are different teams using the product, and I don't have visibility on everyone. The product team definitely uses it. The team that uses it the most is product owners and product designers, and anyone who's really working directly in how the product flow works would use it. For example, they would be mapping customer journeys through our products - how they enter into our platform and what they do, which steps could they follow for conversion, et cetera. All of that is very much done on Lucidchart, and that's the product team mostly. There are also some engineers, probably the more senior ones that intervene more in the actual product development steps.
The big users and the ones who installed and set up Lucidchart and promoted it through the whole company are our agile coaches. We have a whole team of agile coaches due to the fact that our engineering team is 600 people. We are a very large organization with a very complex structure, and we have an entire team of 10 agile coaches whose role is to really help the engineering department run smoothly. They're really the biggest fans of Lucidchart and the first advocates of the product.
In the case of HR, we really only used it for that one very specific project, and we will never use it again. I really wouldn't say it's due to the product at all. It's simply due to the fact that we haven't really had any project that requires that as of now. That said, I would definitely be recommending it if we start a project that would really need some good visual representation. That would be my first recommendation to the team.
I haven't contacted technical support, however, I'd tell them it's great. I would tell them how useful it was for me. Honestly, I'm a big fan. I would just tell them they've done a pretty good job, as it's a great product.
I'm really not familiar with any proper charting tools. I used PowerPoint and Microsoft Word until now. I've definitely not used specialized tools. Anything else would be considered very inconvenient to use for something like the tasks I've worked on compared to Lucidchart. It's not even comparable.
On my personal project, the initial setup was super easy. I just logged in and I started using it. I have to say we had a little bit of difficulty when we used it with my company because for some people, when the person who created the chart started inviting us to the chart, we had a few difficulties in getting the permission and access we needed. That's probably related to the fact that we are using the company's Lucidchart account. Therefore, we had to get some special admin permissions. That said, it took us a little while to get everyone on it and authorized to start working on it.
To set everything up took a couple of days due to the fact that there were six of us working on a specific project. It was created by one person, and out of the six of us, three of us had some issues, as in, we received the invitation, we accepted it, and it redirected us, and yet we were sent to a blank board instead of the board we needed. What happened is the admin of our Lucidchart account either triggered permission or sent us a link, and we accessed it directly and we ended up being fine. It was nothing very problematic.
I'm not the most expert or knowledgeable in terms of product prices and what companies usually consider expensive or not. If I base it, for example, on my knowledge of typical HR tools that charge you for user licenses, the team package for Lucidspark to get users collaborating together, I wouldn't say it's exactly cheap, however, it's within a reasonable amount. I've seen much more unreasonable products that really weren't worth their price. In comparison, it's relatively fair. I wouldn't say it's a great deal, however, it's definitely worth it if you make use of it.
There's the individual license, which is seven euros per month. That one is really targeted to non-professional users, or at least to people who use it individually. In my case, I wouldn't be willing to pay that, as I can do everything I want with the free version. Also, my buying power is slightly limited to be paying a monthly subscription for this.
That said, for example, if I was working as a freelancer, working on projects like these every day, every week, I would definitely pay the monthly cost. Considering how much easier it can make your life, seven euros a month also seems quite acceptable.
Considering how much I like Lucidchart, I'm really curious to look into the other products that are part of the Lucid suite.
I'm using the web-based version of the product.
I have not used Lucidchart's integrations with third-party solutions like Atlassian, Salesforce, Microsoft, or any others, however, I am aware this is a possibility.
In our case, we haven't used the solution with Slack, however, I'm sure they do on the tech side, as we use Slack and it's integrated with everything we can integrate it with.
I would advise potential users to really make the most of it. For me, for example, being a very visual person, I really made the most of it in terms of using the color code. I have six different shapes of blocks to indicate different types of events. I have four different types of arrow connections to describe different types of connections. I have different types of post-its to use to leave notes. Make the most of it and don't be shy. Really go for it. Explore all the features and really make the most of it. That's the best advice I have.
For me, I'd rate the product at a ten out of ten. I've been super happy with it since I started.
We primarily use it for process improvement in a factory setting. What I am primarily using it for is making process flow diagrams—with the rectangles, circles, diamonds, arrows, and whatever else you would build into a process flow.
We've had discussions about using it to build engineering-type stuff, as well. For example, "Here's the room, here are the dimensions. Here's what it would look like if we moved this piece of equipment, what space it would open up. Here are other constraints or barriers that it might create." We've had discussions on that, but we haven't really delved into that yet.
I have the web-based for my laptop, and I have the app downloaded on my iPad Air. I've been using it on both of them.
We're primarily using it for process mapping and it's much quicker than trying to do it in Excel.
Doing things digitally means that if I'm on a Teams or a Zoom meeting, I can get input from people and they can see it as we go. I'm a pretty big user of whiteboards. I have two in my office and those are great. But what I hate sometimes is when it comes to, "All right, let's take this away. Let's run with it," I have to take a picture and send it out. Then, at nine o'clock at night, someone on the team will say, "Oh, I just thought of this step that we completely overlooked..." I can't do anything about it because it's on my whiteboard. But using Lucidchart, I've been able to say, "Okay, I've got my iPad, let me add that in really quickly." I like the convenience and the user interface.
It is so great for understanding process flows or workflows. With the prior training that I had, doing things on whiteboards and in Excel or Word to manually build stuff was clunky. Because it was clunky, it was slow. When it's slow and you have a meeting, you lose people's attention. Because this is fast and not clunky, people are able to say, "Oh, okay. This is the next step and the next step." I get better engagement and I get through mapping the processes quicker. Because it has the different shapes and the explanations of what things mean, I'm able to get more out of it. Visually it is the best application that I've used.
I'm also getting productive engagement and productive challenge from my teams. Someone will say, "Well, that step shouldn't really be represented by a diamond. It's more a case that somebody has to go and get things and that causes a delay, but it's not necessarily a decision because it's built into the process."
Per week, I probably do two of these exercises, and each one would take three-plus hours to get through when dealing with some of our more complicated processes. Now, we can get them done in about an hour. That's a huge improvement because of the software itself, but it has also helped us to see, "Wow, we have a lot of excess steps and waste in our process." For example, we were working on it with a team over the last two days and we got two new maps up in the span of an hour and a half or two hours. We're getting much quicker at process mapping and understanding what we need to address.
Lucidchart has also helped with training and developing standard operating procedures. Before, we would just use a piece of paper, and maybe it would have a picture of what is going on. And on that piece of paper would be a list of sequential steps. We still have to do that for FDA regulations of having and maintaining SOPs. But having printed out flowcharts benefits us because you can just flip over the piece of paper and see, "All right, here are the four or five little steps I take before I get to a decision, and here are the two branches from that decision." That extra context helps us in building a development tool. And we can post the process flow map for, say, operating a hopper, right on the equipment. That way, people can see things. And if they need more context or deeper instruction, they can bring up the actual SOP with all the words. But a quick little chart that shows the flow: "This is what I do. This is what I do if this fails, et cetera," is something that we're getting a lot of immediate benefit from.
It is important that Lucidchart accommodates both Mac and PC users because if you support Mac, that means you also support the mobile applications on the iPad. Because of the kind of factory setting we're in, all of the office personnel and management have laptops, but they also have iPads. Some of the other employees have access to an iPad, but not all of them do. When we're trying to talk through a process with them on-the-fly, or at the point of occurrence, it's so much nicer if we can both have it up on the iPad. That's why I would say the Mac support is essential.
It's easy to click and drag and automatically insert shapes. And once you have selected an arrow to move to a new location, it auto-associates the shape with it and you can right-click and change. There's no copy, paste, make next steps, start typing. It's all seamlessly integrated.
Integrations with third-party software are pretty important. I do a lot of work out of Tableau for data analysis. One of the things that I find frustrating is that all of our Tableau information is on a server, so when I send that out people can't open it and use it. I then have to go back and do extra work to convert everything into an Excel format that everybody can use. It would be really important to me, if I send something out to somebody who doesn't have a Lucid account, that they can just click and see it, instead of having to log in and create an account. I can understand if they can't edit it; that makes sense, to restrict that behind the paywall. But in terms of actually being able to open up the data, it would help. With Tableau, for our data management systems, it's a big constraint. The user interface across other software is very important to me.
Something that would also be nice—and maybe it's just a feature I haven't explored yet—would be to be able to link the data from other sources, whether Tableau, Microsoft Power BI, or even straight from Excel. That way, if we build processes we could immediately assign data, whether its defective units, operational uptime or operational downtime, changeover time, et cetera. It would help to be able to put it in there so that we can have the data collected and then somehow integrate it to each step of the process. For example, if this step of the process fails, it causes X minutes of operational downtime and Y number of defective units coming out of the machine. I understand that it might be a little advanced, but right now I'm taking the charts and correlating them to existing data from Tableau and from Excel. If there were a way to make it seamless, so I could click on my flow chart and show, "This decision point, this diamond, is potentially responsible for X number of minutes operational downtime, and Y number of defective bottles," that would be the continuous improvement dream.
I have been using Lucidchart for close to a year.
I've only had one or two issues where the performance of it was delayed. I don't know if the cause was the internet connection or if it was because I was trying to fill out the charts on the iPad. But using the Apple Pencil, there were time delays between drawing lines between different process steps and getting things entered in. It was a little awkward on the timing. When you build something on the iPad, its performance might just not be as effective as building it on the computer.
Other than that, every time I build something there's no buffering or issues with it deleting my work or not saving things. It seems to be doing all the things that it needs to be doing. The iPad issue is the only little snafu I've had.
I can't speak too much abou its scalability. We could probably expand it and get multiple supervisors at my plant using it. But in terms of getting the information made and sharing it out, it's pretty quick and pretty easy. If we were to add a company server for it and 18 people working on it at the plant, I don't know if there would be scaling or server issues.
I hope we have plans to increase usage of Lucidchart. Our business is split up into four plants across the country. In the Continuous Improvement department there are four of us. We each have a license. There are plans to bring one more person onto the team. I'm hopeful that we would then be looking at getting it at least for our operations and production managers, which would potentially be an additional two licenses per site.
I have not needed to use the technical support yet. I've not had any major issues.
Before Lucidchart, we were building process diagrams in Excel.
The initial setup of Lucidchart is a pretty straightforward process. There is still stuff I'm learning as I go, when it comes to knowing what to look for with different templates. But if the most basic function you need is to make process maps, and to do it quickly, and then figure out what you've got to improve, it's very effective at that.
While it's not directly saving money, because it is a paid-for service, it saves us money in the sense that we have a better understanding of our processes, what can be changed, and what we need to attack. We then go out and attack it, do it, update the maps, and then we get the return on the investment.
I used Visio here and there when I worked for another company, but I was not the main user of that application. Still, between it and Lucidchart, I prefer Lucidchart. It is a lot simpler and a lot more accessible.
In my current company, we have not evaluated any other solutions. I think our engineers do have CAD for facility layout, but in terms of competitors to this, we have not looked at any directly.
Watch some of the tutorials, check the reviews, and definitely talk to folks who are using it. Figure out what they like, what they don't like, and what they would want changed. There's a lot that I like about it. I find it to be a pretty good service. Get involved and play around with it, especially if you're working on facility layouts. I have printouts for some of the areas where we're implementing 5S and changing processes in. It's nice having something that the engineers have printed out, like a schematic or a blueprint for us.
Also, if you're going to try it out, try to make a simple process that you already know all the steps for; one you've already done it in Excel or in something else. See how much faster you can do it on this. That would be the big selling point. Trying to make some of these process maps in Excel, because it's so clunky and so slow, could take me 35 minutes just to get a 15-step process properly built, connected with the decision points in the lines, and for us to really understand where the pain points are. Taking something as simple as a 15-step process, timing out how long it takes to build it in Excel or PowerPoint, and then comparing it to this may show you, "Wow, with Lucidchart it took, maybe, five minutes."
I've been discussing getting this implemented in other departments at my facility.
In terms of its integrations, we've used it with some of the Microsoft suite for sending things out. I haven't used it for Slack yet, although I do use Slack for a nonprofit that I'm in. That actually might be a good opportunity because then I could just make some process maps for some of the nonprofit stuff that I do. And could then just send it out that way.
I create visuals for executive management, and I use it for business process flows. I have also started integrating it with Google Sheets so that I can pull different records from Google Sheet into a whiteboarding session. I am taking table data and making it prettier by having it integrated into a Lucidchart that reads those records. I've also used it for planners.
It is a cloud solution, so we are using its latest version.
I'm a consultant and a lot of the work that I do is around building the flows. Lucidchart provides the ease of use for building the flows, and then I am able to showcase them in other environments such as Google Slides.
The ability to produce a cool diagram that looks very pretty in a short period of time is the number one asset. I have built process flows. I have created a couple of diagrams for senior executives, and they have been received pretty well. Obviously, they are not very rich because I only started using it a few weeks ago.
It accommodates both Mac and PC users, but because I'm using it in Chrome, to me, it is seamless whether I'm on a Mac or a PC. It supports all the different shortcuts that I would normally expect.
The ability for people to look at a diagram rather than reading through written documents has saved time, and as a result, money, but it is hard to quantify. A picture tells a thousand words, and a lot of my success so far in promoting this is because I've been able to take very wordy slides and transform them into something that is visual. I am able to tell a better story to senior management with visuals rather than just a bunch of text. It helps to turn information that is very textual into a visual component. People are getting the information in a way that they can understand. The fact that you're able to tell a better story and people like it has immeasurable gains.
I love the fact that you can just integrate a drawing into Google Slides. I build a lot of visuals in Lucidchart, and then, rather than sharing them directly from Lucidchart, I just build Google Slides decks for senior management, and I link the Lucidchart on the cloud version to a slide image. That makes it easy. This way, I can build in one tool and show in another.
I also find it very intuitive in terms of usability. If you have two boxes and you want to just draw a line between two boxes, it isn't finicky. It seems to know what you're trying to do. Without having any knowledge of the tool, within a day or two, I became quite familiar with most of the user settings, and that's what I like most about it.
I find it very effective for documenting things such as processes, systems, new teams, etc. The shape library is pretty rich, and the architectural libraries connecting to AWS, Azure, and Google are all very well laid out.
It integrates well with other solutions. I'm using it with G Suite, and I am also using it with Atlassian Confluence. The company where I'm consulting is 100% invested in Google, so its tight integration with G Suite is useful. All the authentication and the native connectivity really make it stand out, and there is also the ease of use. I am working with Confluence to build out some glossaries, and I will be using Lucidchart to glue those things. I haven't yet landed on the best flow for me for documenting business glossaries and showcasing them. I haven't decided whether it's going to be more on Confluence or Lucidchart.
I'm not a super user, and there might be a way of doing it that I haven't explored, but I was looking for some specific icons that are just standard icons, and I found the icon library to be very focused on architecture icons. It didn't have as many standard or generic icons.
Another thing that somewhat irritated me is the fact that there is a paste function in the menu, but when you right-click and select paste, it tells you that you can't use paste. You must press Command-V or Apple-V to paste. They give you a menu option to paste, but every time you use that, they say, "We don't accept it." On top of that, normally, you'd have an option for paste or paste values, but when you use the paste function, you don't have that capability. So, to copy text from one place, I have to use Command-V to paste it, but if I don't like the format, I've got to go back and do copy style and then paste style on top of that. It is a small detail, but when you're doing diagrams, it is annoying that they don't support paste values. It is a small irk. I'm not penalizing it, and I still think it is a five-star product. In terms of other bigger things, I don't really have any comments or criticism so far.
I have been using this solution for about a month. The company where I'm consulting is using it, but it seems fairly new here. A few people are using it, and it seems to be in its growth phase.
It has never crashed on me, and it seems to work fairly well. I have no complaints about it. That's why I really rave about it, and I told the manager who is employed here and gave me access to it that I really like it as a tool. I must've pumped out at least a dozen different visuals in the past three weeks. These visuals are being read and seen by the CEO of the company. It is a company with 5,000 employees, so it's not a small-scale company.
It is pretty lightweight, and you're using boxes, shapes, and objects on a web app. In the integration settings in my account, it shows the integrations with Salesforce, Box, etc. It also shows the available space of 2 terabytes and the used space of 0%. I'm sure it is much more scalable, but I don't think enough people are using it for me to be able to make a comment about that.
I'm not really using it in a full operational capacity where a team of people are actively using it and building on it. It is probably getting very light usage because there are not that many people who have a license or the time to use it. It is still in its infancy in this organization.
I've been consulting at this company only for five weeks, and it is mostly being used by me to demo to senior management. It is being used extensively by me, and I will continue to use it extensively. It is a great tool for producing visuals for slide decks. I'm using it at least half an hour to an hour a day, so that's a pretty good sign, but I don't think I'm going to increase its usage because I'm not a person who just does process flows all day. I do a bunch of other things. I'm using it a lot more now because we're taking off a project. I'm using it to show statuses and updates and pitch the project that we're doing to senior management. I am showing them the flows that we're going to adopt and the roadmap that we're going to take. I will be using it probably a little bit more when I get into the business glossaries over the two months or so.
I don't know how far its usage will go for other people or employees in the company and whether there'll be a team of people to go further. The tool has potential, and I am hoping that the work that I'm doing will make more people, who are more permanent, adopt it as a tool to do a bunch of things, like a Swiss knife. Once that's done, they might then port some of the capabilities from an operational perspective into some flows where they're documenting these things a little bit more robustly than I am. So, I'm using the tool more in a sales and marketing style for a sales pitch or for pitching ideas. I am not using those capabilities that are more operational where you have flows that are documented. The tool does quite a lot of different opportunities for use cases, and I'm only using one or two facets of it.
I have never called their technical support team.
I have previously used other tools such as Visio and draw.io. I found Lucidchart to be more intuitive than draw.io and way better than Visio.
I was using the free version of draw.io, and that was really because I didn't have a large need for something. Visio is a desktop app, and it is on-premises. The Lucidchart version that we have is a cloud version. So, these are two different worlds. I was a proponent of cloud solutions as well, but usually, due to the entire integration in IT, it's hard to switch from one to the other. Visio is the way to go when you have a complete Microsoft platform. It's tough to go cloud with Lucidchart with all of the other intricacies of security, IT, scalability, and all the operating model and OPEX cost associated with the cloud software.
Ever since I have discovered Lucidchart, I've been kind of an evangelist for it because I've been doing a lot of work in it, and I really enjoy working in it. I have my own consulting company, and I will become a customer of Lucidchart after I leave this client's place.
I am not involved in its setup and maintenance.
There is definitely an ROI if you can do some ideation faster than normal. Having a canvas or a flow to show what we're trying to do is helpful, but it's hard to put a number on it.
I had a quick glimpse of it. It was about 100 Canadian Dollars a year for just me. I don't know if there are any additional costs.
It is a great way to change text into visual ideas. I'm advocating for this tool so that more and more people get licenses, but in my small circle of people, not many people have used it before. I'm probably one of the early adopters. I am not a power user, and I started to use it only because the client chose it. I had heard about it before. I like it, and I use it, and for my consulting company, personally, I will be using and getting Lucidchart. I have got hooked on it, and I will use it. I would also promote it if I went to another client.
I haven't used team hierarchies much. I have also not yet used the solution to create database schemas or modify existing data structures, but I plan to use do that after I have access to the platform on Google to connect Lucidchart to those datasets. After I have access, I'll start exploring that capability to extract all of the data. Similarly, I have not used its ability to compare versions of documents.
It provides real-time collaboration among users so that everyone is accessing and working on the same version of the document. I've seen this feature available, but I just didn't have a need to use it because I'm a single contributor. I do see its capabilities and I've used Mural and other collaboration tools, so I gather that it would work very well. I wouldn't challenge it. If I have to use it, I'd know how to use it, and it would be effective.
I'd rate it a nine out of 10. I really like it.
I mostly use Lucidchart to describe projects, processes, process descriptions, and project flows. I also use it for mind mapping a little bit. I cannot imagine working on a presentation for my manager without using Lucidchart. It's handy. It enables me to clear my mind in terms of how the process should look, what the necessary steps are, what the flow should be, how the flow should look, and all the beautiful stuff.
Lucidchart definitely helps us to realize efficiencies in the projects we use it for.
There is no alternative to Lucidchart if you want to describe a five-step process with bullet points. I believe every person who ever worked with PowerPoint on any type of documentation and then thought about which tool would actually help to describe what they're trying to do but without the words, would come up with Lucidchart.
I discovered Lucidchart by accident. Someone in my previous company had used it before. I requested access, found it useful, and tried to learn how the tool works. I knew from the beginning, once I learned how to use it, it would be the tool I would want to use forever. It helps every time I need to squeeze a huge amount of information into something short and simple. The flows and diagrams help with exactly that.
Documenting things like processes and systems is pretty simple. I open up the blank diagram and start from scratch. In the beginning, it's more like mind mapping, meaning I just put on the screen what I want to achieve, what I have in mind, and then try to figure out what is missing. I consider what the best way to actually describe what I'm working on is, what the dependencies are so that the person I will be presenting it to later will understand what I'm working on. With words, it's all about the economy and time-saving. Lucidchart is a tool that allows me to squeeze a few slides into one slide.
I've been using Lucidchart for three to two years, at least, and I don't remember when the last time was that I was working on a presentation where there were no slides involved. I remember how difficult it was at the beginning. You have one or two slides reserved for you in a presentation for management, and you're trying to squeeze in as much information as possible. You can then play with the formatting. It's annoying that Google slides or PowerPoint don't simply allow you to do the same thing as Lucidchart does.
Lucidchart is fully integrated with PowerPoint and other documentation tools I'm working with. I know that if I start with Lucidchart and spend some time there, there will be no problem with adding this to Confluence and to PowerPoint presentations.
The integrations are the most valuable features.
I use templates as a reference, but even if I start with a template, I provide many notifications where the purpose of the template is different. I like the template because of the colors of those flows. The way the flow was presented was nice. It just looked better than anything I could do on my own.
It's important to us that Lucidchart accommodates both PC and Mac. In most cases, I work on a Mac, and the whole company works on the same devices, but there was a moment in time where I was on a PC and I was really happy with the fact that I didn't have to find another tool for the PC.
I'm not a designer. Most of the diagrams and flows I create are blank, black, and white. And sometimes I hate it but trying to work with different colors costs me too much time to figure out what color I should use and in what gradient I should use the color. That's the painful part. I would like my matches to do better. I'm trying to learn something from the templates in terms of appearance, but a grading tool, a tool that would allow me to choose between different gradients of the same color is currently unavailable.
For example, on templates, I see a different set of colors being used, and I don't know which colors there are, which is why I use different templates sometimes. They offer better colors and look better. There's an option to ultimately change the color of your shapes using conditional formatting, but it looks very complicated. I would like to know more. I would like to know how to create those rules easily. At the end of the day, in the last step, I need to pick the color myself. I would like this tool to pick the colors for me.
They should make it more user-friendly. The only option is either to use the existing template with already existing colors and gradients. If you want to do custom colors and gradients, then it's too complicated to use and should be simplified.
If I would like to use the color green for any reason, the tool currently offers three gradients of green. There should be two fewer. It's the same for every other color.
I actually provided this feedback once directly in a survey to them some time ago. The current audience, I understand, based on the templates in Lucidchart, is tech people. I'm a marketer. I have slightly different needs. I want the stuff to look better and have better clarity. I don't need to know how to use a template for Amazon services and how to set up a server or whatever. The set of icons look impressive but are absolutely useless for a marketer.
It would be nice to have something role-based. They should target more people like me, mid-management, people who we need to present a lot, create a lot of documentation, pitch products to other people, explain what the necessary steps are. And I believe this tool is perfect for that. It could also be much simpler than it is right now.
I have been using Lucidchart for at least two years but I joined my current company two months ago. I discovered Lucidchart before, in my previous company at least two years ago.
It's absolutely stable. I never had any problems with it. I like the fact that sometimes I close the tab or close the whole window and there would be something I didn't save or forgot to save. I reopen the tool, and my stuff is always there, up to date. I love it.
I tried using Visio but my experience was horrible. I also used a free solution from GitHub, a mind mapping tool from GitHub. I remember the appreciation for Lucidchart really increased the moment I realized how different it is to combine two shapes.
I saved a project but then I couldn't access it for some reason. I lost it and had to start from scratch. The customer support said, "It's a free tool, what do we expect?"
I didn't have any expectations from the tools I was using. I just needed an hour with an online tool for free. But then I didn't know that Lucidchart had a free option, so I didn't turn where I needed to go. I didn't use Lucidchart and it was a mistake.
In my first week, there was a presentation. A manager shared his deck with a Lucidchart diagram in it. I immediately recognized the tool and thought that it was great that my new company uses Lucidchart and I didn't have to request it. I tried to open a new account for myself because it was free, and then I saw the presentation and realized that the company uses a paid version, so my account was upgraded immediately.
The CEO and his team use it. I have no idea who else is using it unless I see a chart in a presentation, and this is also why we're not working on this together. When I see the button "Share" it means to me that I'm sharing this tool with other tools, not a person.
I forgot how much it costs but if the tech team were to ask if we really needed it and they tried to dump the tool, I would definitely refuse, because I really like it.
This is the one tool I want to use. I don't care how much it costs. It's the best tool for the stuff I'm working on. It fulfills my needs, and for this sake, it can cost 10 times more. I don't care.
We have a different tool for collaboration with our colleagues. If I create a business case and I need some feedback from the data team, I present the flow as I imagined it should look, and then I let the data person or the specialist tell me how to improve it, what needs to be different, and what needs to be changed. But I never thought about allowing anyone to have access to Lucidchart, simply because most of the people, especially the marketers, do not know about Lucidchart.
The transition into using it as a collaboration tool will not happen instantly. I remember there was a period of time when I was simply struggling with how to use the tool, and it took a while until I was capable of presenting my thoughts in an efficient way. And it would be hard to imagine that. For the sake of using the tool, I would have to do a workshop with other colleagues to explain how things work.
We do not use Lucidchart to compare versions of documents. We use Spark for that simply by sending the link to the presentation. I can integrate Lucidchart into presentations or another form of documentation, like on Confluence, but we rarely work on Lucidchart itself. It's just a tool for me where I need to accomplish something and then move it forward, copy and paste it somewhere else. It's not very interactive.
We just saw a presentation someone created and it had 30 different slides. I would just say in one sentence that this presentation could say even more with fewer slides if the person would use Lucidchart instead. PowerPoint or Google slides are not perfect tools. They're just carriers. The content you provide to those slides should be created somewhere else in a more professional way, and Lucidchart is the tool everyone should at least consider using because it speeds up the work.
Sometimes I use Lucidchart just for myself, to mind map everything I have in my mind to see what exactly is there and how to make it simple. With Lucidchart, you just do step one, step two, step three, done.
I would rate it a nine out of ten.
I was previously using whatever was on the web, but we have a plugin for our Atlassian tools, like Confluence, where we can integrate Lucidchart diagrams into our Atlassian tools as well.
Previously, I was using my own personal cloud subscription, but then I stopped doing that. Once we had integrated it into our Atlassian suite, there was a plugin for Lucidchart and we had licensed the plugin. And so we would use the plugin that when we would add that type of graph, it would take us to the external website for configuring our diagrams, and then we could exit back and it would render the diagram in our Atlassian solution.
Lucidchart subset their older components or something like that had happened. I don't entirely know the totality of it, but we were forced to upgrade to a different integration with Lucid than what we had. I've had a lot of frustrations with that because I've lost a lot of diagrams. I can't get them back and I'm getting pop-ups that are showing me that our data will be loading and I can't run four or five years of my engineering diagrams. I'm extremely angry about that. I can say that all the time I've had this thing is making me leery to using the plugin, let alone rather just use the tool independently and copy-paste pictures because when the plugin fails to work and you don't have an image to fall back on, you could lose years of work.
I have that as a real big sore point and I can't figure out what, why, or how, and there's not really a good clear point of context to figure out how I address recovering all the lost work I have or how to migrate it.
I had massive engineering, ERD diagrams, database diagrams, architectural diagrams, you name it for years. And a lot of the documentation I had in Confluence, including system architecture documents for our products. I can't get those assets back.
My primary use case was for data entity-relationship diagrams for UML. It shows the engineering, architecture documents, using UML and the general flowcharts, and swim lanes for process swim lanes. I do tons of processes and swim lanes. I'd say those are really the four things I usually do with it.
It's filling a gap where we can better visualize our engineering processes and architectures within our Atlassian tools.
It provides real-time collaboration among users so that everyone is accessing and working on the same version of a document. Although we rarely use it in that way. Unlike sharing a spreadsheet that is being filled in by multiple people or something like that, usually editing diagrams isn't something we're doing at the same time.
It hasn't affected our project development process. For other tools, having simultaneous collaborative access is great, but for diagramming, it wasn't really a necessity for us. And I think that is mostly because we access Lucidcharts through a plugin, through Confluence, as opposed to logging into Lucid and then using that as a primary tool.
The ability for people to look at a diagram rather than reading through documents has saved time. They can look at a diagram to better understand something as opposed to reading words. That's kind of an abstract idea. I can't put up a price tag on it. There are probably tens of hours saved on managing the ERD diagrams and specifics since the automation is there for that.
It helped us to realize efficiencies in our projects.
I was the one within our company that advocated bringing in Lucidchart five or six years ago, compared to other things like ERD diagramming tools. I found that we were reverse engineering and recreating a lot of database diagrams that were not being maintained with other systems and Lucidcharts. Actually, their import tools for that is what made it a lot easier to bring back some visibility in terms of large data warehouses and things that were going undocumented for far too long.
Its ability to document things such as processes, systems, and new teams is great. It's a very strong diagramming tool. I think it's better than Visio and other tools that I had previously used.
The ability for Lucidchart to create database schemas or modify existing data structures is strong. That's what I initially introduced it for in our organization. The script that Lucidchart provides works with other systems like Oracle, SQL Server, and Postgres that I can copy-paste, and get a quick dump of metadata and import into has saved me a ton of steps that I didn't have to manually create these tables. I had a lot of things where I still had to put in the linkages between tables, but I didn't have to type in every field name, every data type, and everything else that came in. That saved me tons of time.
I like the integration with Atlassian because Atlassian lacked strong modeling and diagramming tools. It didn't really have anything good for that. This solved that problem. That was really it since Atlassian tools are our one-stop-shop for managing our whole software development lifecycle, but it lacked good diagramming tools. This was a good solution for that, short of my frustration recently after the conversion of losing all my content, which I still want to get solved, but otherwise, it is filling that gap.
It's important to us that Lucidchart accommodates both PC and Mac because our company is split.
The improvement we would like has to do with what happens either in a license not being renewed, or if you have an end-of-life scenario where the plugin was used and you're not going to support it, or the customer is going to stop using it. What happens with the data on the diagrams that was there previously? I feel like there should be something in the way that plugins are managed that if other customers have a third-party tool, if there's a cached version of an image or something it should make sure that the content is never lost. Once you've used that you shouldn't have to be bound forever to maintaining that relationship or have that problem that I have where the plugin was a subset, they did something else and now I've lost years' worth of work.
At a bare minimum, there should be some kind of fixed backup image on my server with the use of the plugin that would have been the better thing to do from the customer's perspective. I don't know if that makes sense, because this way it goes away, they don't want to support it. They want to change something. What happens to years of my work? And whatever else that I have. At a bare minimum, they should let me retain a PNG file or something of the diagram that I had. I would even have something to reference if I had to recreate it.
I have been using Lucidchart for six to seven years.
I think it's pretty stable. It's never crashed on me.
I haven't had any scalability issues, even very large diagrams. I've never had any issues with that.
There are between 20 to 30 users that are mostly a mix of the engineering team, architects, and senior engineers.
The maintenance requires less than one part-time person.
It meets our needs. We don't really have a reason to change it. We were forced to update the plugin to a different license type recently. We're still working through that, but it's still our preferred tool for diagramming at the moment.
I never used technical support.
I used Visio before and I switched to Lucidchart. I was not really a fan of Visio, mostly from the perspective that the ERD diagrams were harder and Lucidchart was just easier.
The migration from Visio to Lucidchart was easy.
I think they're both about the same or similar when it comes to intuitiveness and ease of use. I haven't used Visio in around five years. It could be totally different at this point.
I think the setup was done within a sprint or two, they had it working and figured out way back when, but that was a long time ago.
It is very economical for what it is. Nobody had an issue with the pricing of it.
I did not evaluate other solutions. This was just a tool that was used at a previous company that I picked up and we were using it for this and I really liked it. It just kind of happened organically. And then I brought knowledge of that here when I was faced with a similar task in this role when I started here five or six years ago.
The only other tool that I use a little bit is Excalidraw, which is a free online drawing tool. I'm using that more now because I got burned by losing a lot of things with Lucidchart, with the plugin transfer. And so I'm finding now I'm starting to use other tools for a general diagram that I can copy-paste in a diagram of. I got burned with the lack of support and the plugin and losing years of drawing. And so now I'm making a concerted effort to integrate PNGs, as opposed to using the plugin as a container. That's pulling the content from the third-party server that I don't know what's going to happen with that relationship. I'm just going to use it as an external tool, copy-paste, and take screenshots going forward.
My advice would be to be careful with the plugins, as far as if you're using this plugin as a means to bring in diagrams into something else, understand what the long-term implication is. If you decide to change or not, it's a great tool.
Copy-paste your diagrams, copy-paste pictures, or export picture PNGs of your diagrams to paste into other tools so you don't rely on the plugin perpetually working.
I would have rated Lucidchart a ten out of ten but after my recent experience with them, it's now a seven.