Likelihood to Recommend
If you want to choose a quick start template and fill in the fields with your content, Ion will be fantastic for you. We've done this with whitepapers and quizzes and it's been great and extremely easy to use. If you have an exact idea of what you want, and a background in web development, you may get frustrated. Ion has some quirks that make it tricky to fully customize - everyone once in a while I really just want to go into the HTML and make some changes, but can't. If you are looking to reuse a piece of content for specific targeting (industry or account-specific), Ion is great. The dynamic substitutions are great and very helpful.
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Shorthand is ideally suited to visual stories where you have a good number of images and/or embeds or video to include. It is well-suited to long-form stories, where you wish to keep the readers' attention longer than usual. It can help to differentiate particularly important or intriguing stories from others on your website - and for this reason, it could be used as a premium content tool, perhaps for subscribers. It can also be used to showcase stories about awards you've organised, giving them special treatment. It is less suited to breaking news, or very time-sensitive news stories, as it can take some time to prepare, post or update shorthand stories. And it doesn't work well for stories with strong accompanying imagery
Read full review Pros Quick Starts make it so easy to get started. Real-time updates are awesome and save a ton of wasteful process. The combination of user friendliness for simple things and the flexibility to do more complex things is great. Chat support is excellent and deeper-dive support has been super helpful. The ability to use these tools in the cloud or embedded has given us tactic flexibility. Read full review Enabling visual storytelling with multiple pictures Embedding rich media within a story, including video Engaging readers for longer than average dwell times Making it easy to create striking article design without coding experience Read full review Cons Ion University, while stacked with a wealth of information, is difficult to navigate from a troubleshooting perspective. The tutorial videos are all very helpful, but they are also very long. Sometimes I would want to search for how to address a particular issue I was struggling with and it would be a two-minute segment buried in a 45-minute video. Again, getting back the self-guidance side of things. I think a lot of the tutorials are set up in a way that makes sense to Ion, but not as much to the end user. I think the controls admins use when creating new users could be a bit more straightforward. Read full review Additional flexibility in how text is overlaid on pictures would be welcome so that there are more choices on what images to use with particular layouts Enabling users to control the path of text - for example, enabling runaround - could enable some excellent designs Adding additional section templates could speed up design More flexibility in caption placement would be helpful Read full review Likelihood to Renew
We use it for every landing page and we plan on only doing more dynamic content creation. We dont see that option coming in-house any time ever in the future. ION has a very robust platform for us to work with that really allows us to do more for our customers in regards to having the one-to-one conversation.
Read full review Usability
Usability is straightforward, with extensive documentation and tutorials provided to ensure landing pages are built to specifications and can be optimized for performance. Built-in platform funnels give insight into customer dropoff, success/failures, and conversions (at a glance). Setting up a landing page can be done quickly and easily, with numerous integrations (CRMs like SalesForce, for instance) supported
Read full review Reliability and Availability
I have never known it to be down during my use of it. All you require is an internet connection to log in and you can use it on multiple devices. Adding ease of accessibility, there are simple ways to log in. I've also never known a Shorthand story to go down once live on our site.
Read full review Performance
Sometimes the editor can be a little slow.
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Due to the integration with our content management software, there is a short delay on our site while it loads, which may cause some readers to drift away. However, I've seen other sites where it instantly loads articles, so I believe this to be down to the content management software behind our site more than Shorthand itself. Once that brief initial period is over, it doesn't require additional loading time.
Read full review Support Rating
The ION support team is amazing. There has not been a single issue they they could not solve for me. If there is a feature or request that they do not have, they have even, on occasion, created custom scripts for our team. *Update 6/5/17 - ION has continued to delight on multiple occasions. I appreciate their attention to detail and ability to solve whatever issue I have. After 3+ years of use and support, ION still has my full endorsement.
Read full review Online Training
They offer a great amount of online training, videos, articles, etc. There is usually an answer available if you run into an issue. I would recommend taking advantage of the online training they offer. I wish I would have done it sooner.
Read full review Implementation Rating
There were a lot of things we learned about the tool once we really got in and got our hands dirty. Being hands-on was essential for our team to be able to utilize ION in the most effective manner.
Read full review Alternatives Considered
I was not the decision maker to choose this over
, but the UI is much more appealing to me. It's incredibly easy to use, clean, and from a backend standpoint, it requires little to no tech savvy'ness. Our team has really enjoyed using it and has required no training what-so-ever.
Read full review Scalability
Separate client portfolios enable scalability, however, some elements are still grouped for all accounts so it's difficult to scale for an ad agency with multiple clients. Would prefer totally separate sections of the platform for all clients with each element housed separately.
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As a web-based service, it is easy for users to log into from anywhere. Content can easily be shared, as you can set up teams that enable access to each other's work as required. And content can be reviewed by others before publication using the sharing function. You can also view how an article will look on different devices.
Read full review Return on Investment Though we have not had the service long enough to see any measurable outcomes, we've been able to create interactive web content faster than ever before The speed with which we can build interactive pages and re-use assets has been critical as projects we've done with Ion have made their way around and more and more internal clients have said "me too" for their own projects It is very pricey at $28K for the base annual subscription (dropping to $24k after the first year), so depending on your budgetary situation, that may make no sense for your team--but we had contract money set aside for a company to build us a microsite for around the amount, so we just used it for Ion instead and will now be building the microsite ourselves using it Read full review Helped us create one of our top 10 most-read and most-shared stories in the last year Enabled us to elevate key pieces of content, boosting dwell time on our site But can also be time-consuming to adopt for some stories, meaning you need to choose well what stories really deserve the investment in time Boosted collaboration between teams via its ability to share, including offering the chance for others to preview content prior to publication Read full review