Bidding Farewell to the Zebra

". . . slicker, cleaner, and easier to use . . ."
As with any company, identity is all important at Prezi. However as something grows, its identity changes. Prezi has been changing ever since it started. Since 2010, we have increased dramatically in size, opened an office on the other side of the world, and completed a design overhaul, to name just a few of the points that can be plotted on the Prezi timeline. The company is growing, to be more exact, it’s growing up. The last working week of 2012 saw a development that is a real milestone in the maturing of our product, it also meant letting go of something that had been a big part of our identity. Many of you will doubtless already know what I’m blogging about, for it is with a lot of pride, and just a hint of sadness, that I announce the departure of the Transformation Zebra. The Zebra hasn’t totally disappeared. It’s still the essence of our logo, the icon on our desktops, and it still appears every time a prezi loads, but its days as a part of our user interface are over. As you might think, there are quite a few people sad to see it go: 
“It’s so cute! It did everything I needed.”

- disappointed@longtimeuser

And while we were very much aware of this point of view, we were also hearing more and more about how the Zebra wasn’t working for everyone.

“How do I use that?”

- confused@firsttimeuser

“Why is it blocking out the objects in my prezi?”

- frustrated@generalpreziuser

A change was needed, and so we turned to our amazing design team for guidance:

Peter Zimon"While this cute widget that we loved so dearly served our user’s needs for so long, the overwhelming feeling was that our users deserved something slicker, cleaner, and (most importantly) easier to use. And so while it wasn’t an easy goodbye, I can reveal the Zebra’s successor: The Transformation Tool.”
- Peter Zimon, Designer at Prezi


We did think of having a more specific name, there were a number that we tried out in the office, but none of them stuck. It seems that not needing a name is another part of growing up. 

Daniel Feles"The block with the three buttons in the middle soon became known as the Monolith among ourselves. We believe, that in a good prezi you have to emphasize your content and the scale and drag buttons make this really easy. We think it’s a really cleaner feature compared to what was there before."
- Daniel Feles, Designer at Prezi


As you can see, ease of use has fast become the most important factor in any decision we make for our user interface. But that doesn’t mean that we haven’t lost anything in terms of beauty and style as we can always rely on our design team for both of those things. You can find more on what inspired this wonderfully talented bunch on the design blog, or alternatively you can go and try out the latest edition to a more grown up Prezi experience.