Learn more about the features from Virtualbadge.io software and how it compares to another credential software (an analysis about design and product features)
Choosing a software to issue your certificates can be a tough choice with the several features and options available to choose from.
Last week we introduced you to our latest software update, and today we want to tell you all about Virtualbadge.io and all the reasons why you should give it a try. We’ll go through the different features of our software, while comparing Virtualbadge.io to another badge creation software, Accredible.
1. Product Features
a) Certificate and Badges Overview (differences between these two)
b) Data Insights feature
c) Participant Management, Email Marketing, and Campaign Set up
2. Design Features
a) Templates & Customization
b) Design possibilities (Drawing Tools, Editing Tools, Text Editing Tools)
Starting with an overview of the designer feature, we can easily spot two differences between the software: Virtualbadge.io has a unique badge set up (for both certificates and badges), while Accredible differentiates between the concept of “badge” and “certificate”.
To create a badge, Accredible’s badge format follows the Open Badge standard. To design a certificate, the format given is one that’s completely different, and that follows a traditional certificate design (this can be seen below).
When it comes to Virtualbadge.io’s options, there’s only one format available, independent of the purpose of your credential. The reason behind this choice, is due to the purpose of Virtual Badges, which is to be completely adapted to fit social media networks.
Let’s have a look at the differences.
1. Customizable background from the start
Comparing all 3 credential creators, Virtualbadge.io stands out for having a completely customizable background. You can upload your own image or set up a full design outside of the software if you prefer.
We created an article dedicated to badge design, where we explain your options when deciding which path to take and all the best tips to create a badge that resonates with your company’s image.
2. Open Badge format
When it comes to following the Open Badge’s standard, between both platforms, Accredible is the only software that has its badge design according to this format.
Open Badges are “a type of digital badge that is verifiable, portable, and packed with information about skills and achievements.” (IMS Global). And although Virtualbadge.io didn’t adapt this standard, all issued certificates and badges can be verified through our Unique Certificate Pages. Essentially, security, verification, and authenticity are always guaranteed when you use Virtual Badges.
Virtualbadge.io opted to follow a single format (for both certificates and badges) that is purposely adapted to social media, aiming to fit new trends and market demands.
3. Templates & Customization
Both platforms offer templates that you can use and adapt to your needs. All of them are completely customizable in terms of colors, elements, and fonts used. In the chapter ahead about badge design, we’ll compare all features for you.
4. Adding new elements
Both platforms give you the freedom to add new elements and formats, mainly lines and shapes. Additionally, Accredible has the option to add some icons to the badge design.
Data insights is a feature that gives you the option to track the response from the participants and students. As the name states, it gives you insights into how your badges are being perceived by tracking their share rate, the number of badges created, and which social media platforms are being used to share the badges.
Accredible gives you the basic insights on the free version: number of credentials issued and opened, the total number of credential views, and total shares by users. Other features such as social media analytics, engagement, referral traffic, events logging, and usage summary, are only available with the premium plan.
When it comes to Virtualbadge.io, you get a detailed report about your Virtual Badges’ success on social media and its overall performance. Moreover, since our badges are sent to participants over email, we also provide you with the full email statistics: the number of emails opened, clicked, and bounced. The advanced statistics are available during the trial period, and then on the pro and expert plans.
Participant management is where you can start creating what we call a badge campaign. Virtualbadge.io gives you a guided walkthrough with all the steps it takes to create the best experience for your participants. You are invited to create a badge campaign and completely personalize the entire participant journey.
Let’s have a look at the journey of issuing Virtual Badges, for both the company and the participants:
The journey for using Accredible’s platform is similar, except for not having the guided steps all in one place/page. Accredible has different pages for the badge designer, email creator, participant management, and data insights. This means that you need to navigate through the different pages to set up your badge or certificate campaign.
On Virtualbadge.io platform, after the badge design is created, the participant management’s journey starts with the company creating the email template. Here you have the option of designing the best template that follows your brand’s colors, design outlines, and tone of voice.
On Accredible’s platform, the features are very similar: you have a list of templates where you can choose the best one that adapts to your brand. There’s still the option of sending other email templates such as credentials expiring, name changes, and credentials renewed.
Using Virtualbadge.io’s platform, after the email design is done, we move on to the sharing settings where you can add the post text and hashtags to make your participants’ lives even easier.
As Virtual Badges are meant to be shared on social media as a post (LinkedIn and Facebook), we created a feature that lets you plan ahead and set up the text and hashtags you want to see included in your participants’ posts.
The hashtags help you track any social media campaign you have going on, while still making your brand visible for future participants. These cannot be edited by participants, ensuring that they won’t forget to add the hashtags when posting their badges.
The text is also available for you to set up as a suggestion for your participants. Instead of having to think about what to write on their post for social media, you can help them by writing a sample text that they can edit later when sharing their badge.
Accredible doesn’t have this option available due to the nature of their badges and certificates. Alternately, the participant will receive a button in the email with the option to share their badge on LinkedIn.
The participants’ landing page on Virtualbadge.io will be available when the participant receives the email. Once they click on it, they will be taken to a specific page where they can personalize their badge by adding their photo, name, and add any text input (if the issuer allows this option).
This option is connected to the social platform that the participant chooses to connect to (in the image below the chosen platform was LinkedIn). If the participant prefers, they can upload their name and photo manually.
On Accredible’s platform, there’s also a landing page that takes place after the participant clicks on the email. This page is in the form of an “account” that Accredible creates for the participant, where they can access other badges previously issued, change privacy settings, request a name change, and contact the issuer.
After the email and landing page are designed, we move on to adding the participants’ list. This is the last step in the campaign setup.
This feature is very similar on Accredible and Virtualbadge.io’s platforms: there’s an option to upload a CSV file or add the participants’ emails manually. Both allow you to see if the participant has received the email, but only Accredible shows if which participants’ badges were shared on social media or not.
Virtualbadge.io gives you anonymized data insights, but you can’t see which participants have specifically shared the badge, due to Data Protection laws in Europe (Accredible is following the laws by the United States of America). Nonetheless, all share rates and most used platforms are available for you to see.
As mentioned in the first part of our review, Virtualbadge.io and Accredible both come with templates that you can use to design your credentials. However, each have a different level of customization.
The templates option from Virtualbadge.io follow our social media format, where you still have the option of adding the company’s logo (which we recommend), add text fields for your participants to personalize their badge, and you can also upload an image as a template (we created a separate article giving you all the tips you need to create a successful badge here).
On Accredible’s side, you can still personalize the badge, but the level of customization is lower: the format and background cannot be changed due to the Open Badges format.
As for design, and due to the Open Badges format, each software differ from each other. While Virtualbadge.io allows you to add the participants’ photos, personalized names, and add text inputs, Accredible provides attributes (such as course name, issued date, credential ID, etc.).
Let’s have a look at the main differences between the two platforms:
With Virtualbadge.io, as we have seen above, you have the option to add images and the company’s logo.
These images can be added from the badge creator and directly uploaded to your badge. There are also options to align the image to the center and middle of the badge, resize it, fit the image to the screen or return it to its original size, and changing its position (to the front and back).
When we go to Accredible’s badge creator, all these options are available, except for fitting the image to the screen or returning it to its original size.
Both platforms have an option to add shapes to your badge. Virtualbadge.io lets you add a circle or a square and resize it from there. On Accredible’s side, these shapes are not available, but the option to add icons is present.
This is when the biggest difference between the two platforms begins.
Virtualbadge.io has the option to add a profile picture (you will see an example when creating the badge), which the participant will later use to add its own photo. This photo is connected with their LinkedIn or Facebook profiles (or it can be manually uploaded). There’s the option to adjust the photo too: adding shadow and color. The same goes for the participants’ names.
Accredible doesn’t include the option to add a photo, as with the Open Badges standard, this cannot be done. However, the software reserves a field where you can add participants’ names.
The only difference is that with Virtualbadge.io, the participants’ names will be uploaded according to the name of the social network they are connecting to, but they will be able to change it if they prefer.
This is a feature that’s only available when using Virtualbadge.io, and that is used to allow your participants to personalize their experience to the next level.
Essentially, when creating your Virtual Badge, you are given the option to add two inputs that your participants will later interact with once they have their badges: a dropdown menu, and text input.
The dropdown menu can be used as a selection of the course level, industry the participant works in, and any other options you want to include. The text input gives your participants the freedom to add their own text, giving additional information to the badge, such as the participant’s city, contact information, the company’s name, or their favorite quote.
Considering the analysis from above, we can now highlight the best features of Virtualbadge.io when compared to Accredible:
Despite not having the standard Open Badge format, Virtual Badges follow a social media format that is meant to be shared online. This not only increases the sharing rate but purposely fits the concept of a social media post too.
Essentially, Virtualbadge.io gives you more freedom to create a design to your liking while still being compliant with your brand’s colors, outlines, and concept. You can fully create a badge’s background outside of the app and simply upload that as an image and work the rest from there.
If you are looking for a traditional certificate design, the software has multiple templates that can help you achieve that. Although Virtual Badges follow a social media format, its design can take whatever format you prefer.
If your course or event is looking for a more serious tone of voice, you can use one of our classic templates and still get the benefits of having your Virtual Badge shared on social media.
Even though Virtual Badges don’t follow the Open Badges format, we have created Unique Certificate Pages, where your participants (or anyone seeing the badge) is able to verify the credibility of the issued credential. The badge is still adapted to social media networks, while still holding the authenticity it deserves.
Moreover, we allow the Virtual Badge to be added to the participants’ LinkedIn profile, contributing to their personal branding and brand awareness towards the company.
Although both software offer a great branding experience, Virtualbadge.io goes the extra mile by giving the company issuing the certificates the option to host the Verification Feature on their own website. This will drive even more traffic to the company’s website and increase exposure, so when someone opens the Virtual Badge to verify it, they will be taken to the company’s website. We are talking about more leads and more brand awareness for everyone!
Choosing Virtualbadge.io means getting a complete walkthrough of the steps to create a badge campaign. We wanted to create a simple and effective platform, where you could build a badge and start sharing it in one go without any hassle and not overcomplicating it. Just easy for you and your participants.
This means that you can start sending badges in no time, and still enjoy our support when needed.
Jul 23, 2021
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