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

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

  • Jaron SaturninoJaron Saturnino, almost 6 years ago

    I love Webflow - my firm relies solely on it, so we're exceptionally grateful. However, I've been worrying about the consequences of our over-reliance on Webflow, because our team (I and two other graphic design based individuals) don't feel the need to learn how to code, especially now that Webflow CMS covers 99% of what our clients want from us. (But I must say, they really enjoy it!)

    I have two questions: 1. What is our team missing if our web design knowledge is solely based in Webflow? 2. What should I encourage my team to learn beyond Webflow?

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

      Thanks for the kind words, Jaron!

      What is our team missing if our web design knowledge is solely based in Webflow?

      There are a few things that Webflow still doesn’t have that are widely available if you’re writing code by hand in web design, but we’re actively working on adding them soon. For example, flexbox is a great new way to build layouts, but it’s hard to learn even for seasoned developers (I’ve been writing code for 15 years, and I still have to go look up CSS flex syntax all the time) - so we’ll be introducing a visual flexbox layout builder soon to get to parity with what’s available in CSS.

      Also, we haven’t yet released a way to create responsive websites in a mobile-first approach (where you create the phone design/content first, then work your way up progressively enhancing along the way), but we’ll be adding that option as well.

      There’s also a lot of flexibility you have if you’re using raw code or something like Wordpress plugins to extend beyond standard functionality and components, but rest assured that we’ll have a plugin ecosystem as well :)

      In short, if we do our job right, then the web design industry will undergo a similar transformation as the desktop publishing industry. People used to feel like they were missing out on “bleeding edge” publishing if they were using QuarkXPress because Quark didn’t support certain things that you could do manually on paper (or via custom PostScript code), but once the software matured enough - the entire industry switched over. These days, you won’t find many people doing print layouts manually (which used to be the norm) - everyone uses software like inDesign to get the job done.

      The other thing about Webflow is that we don’t reinvent the wheel - it’s just a layer above HTML/CSS/JavaScript that helps you work with those technologies. Adding a class in Webflow is directly equivalent to adding a “class” attribute in an HTML and adding a selector in a CSS file, so it’s not like we’re creating a proprietary output medium (ala Flash). It’s just a glorified DevTools or Web Inspector, with lots of sugar on top. And you’re learning the concepts behind how the web works (e.g. relative layout, the box model, etc) just by using Webflow.

      So if you’re already at 99% of what your clients need, you’re in a great spot. We’ll get to that other 1% soon enough!

      What should I encourage my team to learn beyond Webflow?

      Oh, so many things! E.g. I’m learning Spanish right now ;) Though I assume you mean in the sphere of web design, in which case I would say the most important thing is solving a problem for your clients - which might mean that you might have to learn some really bleeding edge CSS features (e.g. CSS filters) so that you can offer your clients a unique/fresh website experience. There are so many things to learn in web development though, that even I’m overwhelmed at where to start :\

      3 points