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Lucidchart vs Lucidspark


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Anyone else think Lucidspark and Lucidchart are essentially the same - i.e. Both can do process mapping and whiteboarding equally well.

Furthermore by arguably splitting some functionality - e.g. remove container short cut bar from one, this has arguably made them less flexible. .. i.e. to get jump lines I have to switch from spark to chart, but why?

I just can’t see real concrete reasons to use one over the other for either of the above use cases?

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Best answer by Ria S 29 May 2024, 12:24

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Userlevel 6
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@Paul.l @patrickpereira1988 Thanks for your additional insight - Paul, that makes sense, and I understand how that workflow between products can be confusing, especially when dealing with features at a very specific level (like line jumping). I think this is excellent feedback, and we certainly want to keep making improvements in this vein. I’ve escalated this with our internal product teams for their review. We commit to keeping you in the loop where we can, and in turn we ask for understanding that we see and hear you, even if we’re not able to implement every request because of strategic or technical constraints. 

 

We look forward to hearing more from you in our community!

Userlevel 1
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If you merge the two apps the price would go up?

Userlevel 1
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If there is a universal canvas between both apps what if there was a universal toolbar?

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Thanks everyone,

People are giving nice examples of the differences, but these are:

(1) not fundamental reasons - because you can do each example in either Spark or Chart, without really noticing a difference, or they’re

(2) only noticeable because Creators choose to split the functionality into two applications, and I can’t see the logic behind the need to do that, e.g. interactive stickies or Patrick’s example.

In other words, I believe I can go into any meeting for any reason and use either version to do what I want how I want, I would hardly know whether I was in Spark or Chart. Except -

The only reason I started this thread was because I had to switch to Chart to get “line jumping” and then I lost the container “shortcut bar”, so every time I wanted to change something I had to go all the way up to the main menu. These are cosmetic functions that should be in both.

Why make things difficult for users by making them have to think about what features are in what application and which one to use, then have to switch, and when you switch you lose other features you wanted in the other application.

There should be one application with common functionality and if creators still feel the need to isolate parts of Spark, then add as a new menu item.

 

I have used Miro and the beauty of it is that everything is in one place and you can do your own thing. You start with mind map, brainstorming and collaborating with a group, then later you can refine and polish. Miro also allows importing of whiteboard process map photos and converts them to stickies. Also you don’t have to learn where different menu items are in two different places

 

Please think about merging them, surely it would save you development time in maintaining two applications.

 

On the positive side this discussion argues for just how good Lucid is!

 

It is similar to Miro and works way better than Visio - which I’m constantly reminded of when people share Visio maps . .

PS - I love the Lucid export to Visio, but it gets some (not many) of the arrows wrong, especially with swimlane maps, just enough that I have to check the whole map - but it is still a lifesaver….

 

Thanks for a great forum and some great members!

Userlevel 6
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Hi @patrickpereira1988, thank you - I definitely understand your point with the differences between Lucidspark and Lucidchart. So far as the Lucidchart behavior goes with that fourth line not following the behavior of the others - I see what you mean. This is a result of shapes in Lucidchart having “smart lines” by default, which means lines will automatically seek the most efficient pathway between shapes. However, in this case, I see how it causes more difficulty than it helps. I’ve reported this to our development team so they can take a closer look at this experience!

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The first image is from Mural using their sticky notes. The second image is from FigJam using their square shape. 
This is what I am trying to achieve in Lucidspark but the feature is available in Lucidchart but doesn’t work as well as Mural and FigJam. 

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I created the diagram in the first image in Lucidspark. But I want to create it using the tool in the second image exclusively from Lucidchart. But it results in the branch moving to the bottom and overlapping the sticky note after creating the third one.
So the tool is available in Lucidchart but it doesn’t work the way I want. The same tool is available in Mural and FigJam and works perfectly. 
So I have to forego the speed of creating the diagram using the tool in the second image because it doesn’t work properly for the manual organization of the diagram available in Lucidspark. 

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@patrickpereira1988 Thank you for taking the time to share this specific example!

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Example: the dynamic table feature in Lucidspark has horizontal swimlanes/rows where the text at the front reads sideways. But in Lucidchart you can manually connect horizontal and vertical swimlanes to achieve the same look but not functionality with the added benefit of being change the text orientation so it reads horizontally. 
In Lucidspark everything you add to the dynamic table reads in the same direction just like this reply except when you add a custom title at the front of the horizontal swimlane. That missing feature is exclusively in Lucidchart. So to improve readability you have to trade off functionality. 

Userlevel 6
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@Ria S Thank you for such an excellent description of the purposes of each product!

 

@patrickpereira1988 At this time, there are not plans to merge Lucidchart and Lucidspark into a single product, but we are incredibly interested in your thoughts on your workflow within both or either product. I would definitely encourage you to submit any requests for features that you’d like to see regardless of its presence in the other product, and to let us know if your current experience with Universal Canvas or other features is confusing.

As an example of this type of feedback, mind maps were originally only in Lucidchart, but are now in both Lucidchart and Lucidspark, as our product teams have determined that this tool falls within the scope of both products as Ria described above. 

I hope this helps! Please let me know any other questions you have. 

Userlevel 1
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I was wondering the same thing. Since they share a universal canvas and you can switch from Lucidspark to Lucidchart, add an object there, then switch back to Lucidspark and continue to use that object it made we wonder if the plan was to merge the two apps. 
Why have users switch back and forth to double check if the other app has the missing feature they are looking for when they could be merged into one. 
The downside is if you request a feature for Lucidspark for example it probably won’t be added because it might already be in Lucidchart?

Userlevel 6
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Hi @Paul.l 

Lucidspark and Lucidchart serve complementary but distinct purposes within the Lucid suite of products. While there is some overlap in their capabilities, particularly around process mapping and whiteboarding, they are designed to excel in different areas.

Here are the key differences: 

Lucidspark:

  • Main focus - Brainstorming, ideation, and collaborative whiteboarding.
  • Most suitable for early-stage project planning, real-time collaboration, and freeform brainstorming sessions.
  • Key features - Interactive sticky notes, freehand drawing, voting sessions, and dynamic brainstorming tools. It’s designed to be a more flexible, informal environment for generating and organizing ideas.

Lucidchart:

  • Main focus - Detailed diagramming, process mapping, and creating structured diagrams.
  • Most suitable for formalizing plans, process flows, organizational charts, technical diagrams, and other detailed visual representations.
  • Key features - Extensive shape libraries, advanced diagramming tools, data linking, and the ability to create more precise and formalized charts. It supports complex diagramming with features like layers, data overlays, and integrations with other software tools.

Integration and Functional Overlap

  • Both tools can handle process mapping, but Lucidchart offers more advanced and precise diagramming features suitable for complex process maps. Lucidspark is great for initial brainstorming and sketching out ideas that can later be formalized in Lucidchart.
  • Lucidspark is explicitly designed for a whiteboarding experience with interactive and collaborative features tailored to brainstorming sessions. Lucidchart can be used for whiteboarding but is more structured and less flexible for freeform brainstorming.

The division of functionality between Lucidspark and Lucidchart is intentional to cater to different stages of the project lifecycle and different user needs:

Lucidspark aims to provide a fluid, intuitive environment for idea generation and team collaboration.

Lucidchart focuses on creating detailed, precise diagrams that are often required in later stages of project development or for documentation purposes.

While this split can sometimes mean switching between tools to access certain features (like jump lines in Lucidchart for more detailed process mapping), it ensures that each tool is optimized for its primary use case.

Concrete Reasons to Use One Over the Other:

  • Use Lucidspark when you need to brainstorm ideas, collaborate in real-time with your team, and engage in freeform, creative thinking.
  • Use Lucidchart when you need to create detailed, formalized diagrams, process maps, and other structured visuals that require precision and advanced features.

The split in functionality is designed to keep each tool focused on its strengths, though it may require users to switch tools depending on their specific needs at different stages of a project. Understanding these distinctions can help you leverage the strengths of both tools effectively.

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