Design Wizard Review
The Design Wizard’s platform was launched in 2016 and is in its late development staged. Though relatively new to the world of graphic design tools, it is an endeavor of ‘Wave Break Media’ which is a media company with in-house designers already providing visuals design and video solutions to its clients.
- Minimal efforts are required (if you are a regular user it is helpful): One can go about the business of making and editing the graphics without any hurdles as the web application is simple and not too overcrowded in its layout.
- A vast library of perpetually licensed resources: The platform offers 15,000+ templates in various sizes for multiple uses both in print and digital media. It currently houses 1.2 million images in its database.
- Final content can be shared directly to various platforms,e., your social media or your inbound sales and marketing software. Integrations with some marketing tools and social media managers like HubSpot, Marketo, Buffer, Intercom are notable.
- It lets you save colors to your color palette: In case you like the color in one of the templates you have selected for your design, you can pick-and-choose and keep it in your palette and use it your other designs.
- Customer Support is available as an online chat facility with website representatives, and one may also opt for email support.
- The option of customizing your content by uploading your in-house fonts and graphics is available to the users. For example, a company or a firm may upload their logo and fonts and colors for portraying a general theme across their designs.
- The service is only web-based and does not provide the user with a dedicated desktop or mobile client which is very unlike many other peers who have dedicated clients across platforms.
- Currently, the service has no provisions for publishing print media. One needs to download the edited content and get it printed on his/her own which might be an issue for some users as it would’ve saved them the time and effort.
- Most of Graphic images and designs are available on pay-per-item or an equal value of the credit. Free designs are far-fetched and of questionable use.
- Sorting options are not available to choose for paid and free options although it provides the searching feature and well-categorized templates. It is a disadvantage for someone looking for affordable service, which is a significant drawback considering one of the major selling points of the product is its affordability.
- One cannot access the web application on the browser using mobile devices: (We tried logging in on google chrome using an android device and were unable to access the services.) Most major graphic design services offer mobile applications available across platforms. Let alone a dedicated app; one can’t even access the web application on mobile devices.
- There are no team collaboration features except for the higher paid plans: The absence of a collaborative element in base plans make it a dull affair for small businesses and design teams.
With the growing influence of digital as well as social media in our lives, there is an increasing need for software tools to create, edit, share and manage all of the data in various formats be it text, image, audio-visual, etc.
Every day billions of images are posted online be it for personal or business reasons. It has become indispensable for companies big or small to shy away from the digital media for its marketing and promotional needs.
Not only businesses but also individuals involved with the content creation on digital and social platforms, students and researchers need at their disposal simple tools to create, edit and publish their content in the form of charts, graphs, pictures, icons, audio, and video.
Not everybody can afford to pay or possesses the technical understanding to avail the services of proprietary designing, editing and publishing tools for all their benign requirements nor does everybody needs them.
All this has led to numerous services providing content creation, editing and publishing across various platforms and providing graphics solutions to user ranging from essential functions of resizing, crop, rotate, stretch to enhanced features like one-touch auto-fix and advanced image rendering.
Here we shall discuss a relatively new web-based graphic design, editing and publishing service called Design Wizard.
Design Wizard is one of many web-based graphic design services (like Canva, Inkscape, and many more) which aim at individuals and small businesses. It has a multitude of templates for images and videos alike to choose across a wide range of categories for a spectrum of applications like birthday cards, shopping gift cards, sales posters, social media posts, invitations, book cover designs, business logos, etc.
It has on offer a web-based graphic design solution, currently available in four options varying in extent of service.
Design Wizard has integrations with some marketing, sales, and social-media managing software providers such as HubSpot, Buffer, Intercom, and Marketo which helps you schedule the post of your graphic on these platforms.
Although the next section delves into the details of using it on a Windows-based system and Chrome browser one can rest assured of near similar experience across other systems and browsers on your Desktop or Laptop.
Introduction to the web application/portal
A web application is a web-based portal of the user whereby he/she can access the concerned web pages specific to them. The user can access his dashboard or portal on the application by entering the username and password credentials on the appropriate login page.
Once logged into the ‘Design Wizard’ web application, the user will see on screen the home page or the dashboard. The user will find the designs created by him/her (if any) and can access them to edit, download or delete them. The dashboard is very user-accessible, an underlying feature of the entire product.
It has well-placed links to the main editor window, Tutorials, account settings, and other options, and serves as the work base or the administrative center to track, view, edit and save your old designs or create new ones.
The image below shows the home page of the user’s web application.
In the top right corner, one can find the main menu options namely Upgrade, Tutorials, My Designs, and your profile icon.
There are video tutorials available in the Tutorials section. The tutorials are categorized according to template-type with short video lectures about Image, Video, Shape or Text. The very first category of tutorials is getting started videos.
The two folder tabs are also provided on the home page namely My Designs and Purchased which store the designs you create and purchase respectively. The Upgrade tab in the main menu helps you upgrade your plan as the name suggests.
One can easily access the designs saved in My Designs and Purchased sections, clicking these tabs will show the designs in respective folders. Your designs can be viewed under the My Designs section in the window on the home page in grid form (you can alternatively choose to opt for a lists view). This way they can be easily accessed to share or to edit to create new designs.
Under Purchases tab, you can see your purchased graphics in table form listed as thumbnails alongside its properties like size & type, quality, purchase date, price and an option to download or directly share the image.
Graphic design templates are a set of pre-designed graphics that any software or online service provides to its users. These serve as a base to create your unique design by either modifying, changing or in some cases deleting the already present elements or adding new ones.
Now to start designing the graphics, you can choose from one of the many design templates, free or paid, or a blank template.
One can find various templates in custom sizes according to their use such as video, blog header, large photo portrait, facebook post, etc. under the ‘Your Sizes’ option on the home page of the ‘Design Wizard’ Web app. Click on the ‘More’ button to see more template options and choose the appropriate option.
The ‘choose your sizes’ option just under the ‘Your Sizes’ allows you to select two of your favorite sizes of templates and adds them to your home page ‘Your Sizes’ widget where they can be easily accessible.
Some of the design templates that the web app offers includes Birthday card, Sales posters, Facebook posts, LinkedIn Ads, YouTube channel art, Business cards, Wattpad book covers, SnapChat geo-filters and many more.
To begin with, one must choose the design template to create the needed graphics. There are many pre-customized templates to choose from as you can see in the picture below. One can make a custom-size template by selecting the Custom Size option.
One can also skip the process and directly start with a blank design template of the size of a Facebook post. As you will see, one can later resize the final design to any of the template sizes available including user-defined custom size.
Once you find and select the template design to work on you will be directed to the main editor window.
Editor window and designing graphics using the editorThe editor is the place where all the action takes place. In the editor window, you can add elements to your templates and modify it using various tools available.
Choosing the appropriate size and type of template will lead to the editor window, where you can select your background, foreground images, enter text in various font types and colors. The editing is straightforward drag-and-drop, stretch and rotate style function in the editor.
You can divide the entire background into a grid form to assist in designing. It will help to keep your design symmetric and arranging all the component layers properly by providing reference lines.
Now you can start adding layers of images, shapes, small videos by choosing appropriate options from the panel in the left corner.
You can choose from thousands of paid and free (mostly paid) graphics from the categories like Video Designs, Videos, Image Designs, Images, Shapes, and Text. You can also choose a background or transparent images by toggling on the ‘Transparent’ toggle button when you open ’Images’ options.
Video and Image Designs options are subdivided into popular categories such as Trending, Facebook, YouTube, Holiday greetings, Birthday greetings, Business, Wedding, etc.
These categories are further subdivided into other relevant subcategories. One can take the analogy of a directory hierarchy to understand the categorization here.
If one is unable to find appropriate templates, there is also a search bar to browse through the options. The vast library of graphics templates, meticulously categorized into a tree of categories and subcategories, are the main highlight of the product.
That said, one must acknowledge the fact that a general purpose graphics software has to have both number and variety of options – and most of them do have a vast database to serve the users.
‘Design Wizard’ is on par with the best ones in terms of variety but can see improvement in numbers under each category, for example, there are only two irrelevant search results for image design available for flowcharts. Also, a lot more options can be added for the ‘Shapes’ category.
Other Options in this panel are ‘Upload’ and ‘Favourites’ which help you upload your graphics for editing and designing and choosing from your favorites respectively. (You can set any template or graphic under any category as your favorite by clicking on the small heart symbol on its top right corner).
The chosen graphic will add to your design as an additional layer. You can change its parameters such as height, width, orientation, color, position, etc. by drag-drop and click-and-stretch method. Alternatively, you can change the associated settings by selecting it and choosing appropriate options from a small pop-up window.
You can manipulate the layers of your design by arranging them in the desired order. Click the arrow keys in the ‘Layers panel’ on right side of the editor window after selecting the requisite object/layer. You can alternatively click the Layers icon to open the Layers panel and picking a suitable order for the mentioned object layers.
Downloading and Sharing your designs
The end goal of using a graphics designer is not just to create graphics but to use them in your marketing, public relations or social campaigns by sharing them across print, digital and social media.
Once your design is final, you can save your design by using the Save tab on top right side of the editor window to save the graphic to ‘My Designs’ folder, or you may also download the graphic in the format of your choosing (images are available in jpg and png).
Note that the download option may include payment in case you opt for a higher resolution option or if your design contains any paid graphic.
The third option is to directly share your designs using the share tab provided exactly between the Save and Download tabs to various social media or marketing platforms available in options. You can also schedule your posts using Design Wizard’s Buffer integration.
The (Magical) Resize feature
One of the notable features of the Design Wizard is that you can select from any of your designs from My Designs tab in home screen and resize it into any desirable size options available or even your custom size using the Change Size tab in the middle of the editor’s Menu bar.
It essentially means that you can turn your Facebook post you designed a while ago into a sales poster, flyer, book cover, Tumblr background and so on. It might be particularly helpful for commercial or business users.
This feature is essential because many of the other famous graphic designers don’t provide resize option in their free versions.
We used the free trial version which of course misses some business-class features to review the product. None the less we stand in a reasonably good position to give our views on the essential elements that we got to experience first-hand.
We think as a web-based tool for graphics designing and publishing, ‘Design Wizard’ is a reasonably good choice if you have limited requirements as a business or are an amateur graphic designer or even a professional looking for some fresh air.
Although there are more experienced web services available, some of which also have mobile apps, ‘Design Wizard’ offers excellent value in terms of variety and affordability.
It would work wonders for them if they could come up with easy to use applications for mobile devices as many of their peers provide the same.
The platform may need to add a sorting feature to sort out free and paid graphics templates, add some team features in its low-end plans and add infographics and mind-maps to their arsenal of graphics templates to make them a reliable forerunner in the visual design race.
After so much being said, we can conclude that if you are a professional looking to try an alternative graphics designer, an amateur designer, an avid social media user, or a small enterprise, you can opt for the free version or the trial option of a higher plan to test out the product yourself.
The free plan allows you to only share the link of the graphics designs to your social media and marketing portals although you can always download them by paying for higher quality files and any paid graphics in a case they are included in your design or even download web-quality files for free.
You can decide to discontinue the free trial if you feel like and stick with the basic plan.
So we recommend you give ‘Design Wizard’ a try and test for yourself if the Wizard has got enough tricks up its sleeve!