AMA: Vlad and Sergie Magdalin, co-founders of Webflow

almost 6 years ago from Vlad Magdalin, Co-founder / CEO @ Webflow

  • Sadok Cervantes, almost 6 years ago

    Hey Vlad, always nice to talk to you. Saw your talk about how every creative in other professions have the advantage of manipulating the medium, except for us web designers. That's a good point, HOWEVER, consider this:

    When you create a 3D or 2D movie/animation, you can manipulate the medium directly because you'll spend time rendering it so every computer/device can see it as you created it. Now, this is important, because NO MATTER the device, the movie will ALWAYS play as you intended it to. The video codecs are universal, standard.

    With webpages is different, because the rendering happens on the viewer's computer, in real time!! That's crazy! And as such, there's always gonna be problems because the browsers are not standard, they are not universal, and thus, requite hand-coding to optimize the results as much as possible.

    I think as web designers, the only way we could manipulate the medium directly is when a brower-homogenization happens... and I don't see that happening soon.

    What do you think? Talk to you later! :)

    -Sadok.

    3 points
    • Vlad Magdalin, almost 6 years ago (edited almost 6 years ago )

      Hey Sadok, you're right - the web has the incredibly hard property of having to respond to a wide range of screens / resolutions / capabilities. That makes creating for this medium much harder (hence why we have to write code now to deal with all the browser differences), but to me that means it's even more important to create good visual tools around it.

      Browser are becoming much more standardized than in the first 20 years of the web (see things like Acid3 compliance), and internally at Webflow we've gone from seeing 10%+ of support requests say things like "this looks different in Browser X" in 2013 to < 1% today. Part of that is because Webflow itself normalizes cross-browser behavior in many cases. For example, one user can report a browser inconsistency, which we fix or polyfill centrally, and everyone else benefits from never having to run into that issue again. Whereas if you were writing code by hand, you would have to know how to research and fix each and every one of those issues yourself.

      Also, websites don't need to look the same on every browser, and I think the concept of progressive enhancement is a powerful one. I think it's wonderful that websites built 25 years ago can still be rendered on today's browsers, and many sites built today can be read by 10+ year old browsers (even if they don't look exactly like the designer intended). That's a powerful advantage of the web that other distribution platforms (e.g. mobile apps) can't quite match.

      But again, you're right - the web has a ton of challenges that still need to be abstracted and solved. But that doesn't mean we should give up and stop trying :)

      1 point