My first impression of this is that it is done extremely well, and though I agree with some other comments on some of the actions being a bit hidden with various clicks, missing labels, and keystrokes, for a web developer like myself it wouldn't be hard at all to get the hang of. I could see this being a tool I might use for busting out super quick prototypes to show clients, but there are a couple of reasons this could never be used for real projects for someone like myself (I'm a front-end developer and freelance web designer):
- It's built on bootstrap, and before seeing any actual examples of the code it spits out, my guess is that end code is pretty bloated and packed with unnecessary things (like bootstrap itself) that I'd end up taking out
- It looks like it does an extremely efficient job at creating a certain type of site (you know what I mean?), and I don't find myself ever really designing or building those types of sites
That said, I'd love to see some samples of the code it produces.
It also has me thinking that if there were a tool like this that could allow me to upload my own framework and say maybe define patterns for my own "blocs" and "brics" etc, I would absolutely use that! I might be talking about a completely different tool altogether, or I might be talking about a new feature to the app that would probably be a huge undertaking if possible at all.
Do any other developers agree that would be a pretty sick tool?
Hi, Thanks for the feedback.
With regard to your point about hidden features. My concept behind Blocs was to fit the app UI around the design so the design comes first. What you should know is it also has a menu bar with every feature accessible from it, so once you take it for a spin you'll see the hidden features are not as hidden as they first appear.
I get bootstrap is regarded by some as bloated, but it's regularly maintained and built by some very smart people so it made sense to take the app down that route to begin with.
My roadmap for the Blocs is to also support the foundation framework too which I believe is a little lighter.
Just to round up, the reason this app works well and is easy to use is because it has boundaries. I know this will split the vote but my vision is not to create another really complicated pro app. I was inspired to create a tool that would let my young nephew build a web page just like he builds landscapes in minecraft. A tool that has features a pro can use for tasks like you stated above but more so, empowers and encourages a new generation of designers to try building their first layout without the need to know how to code... yet.
Thanks for the reply Norm! Yes, I hope it doesn't seem like I'm just criticizing or anything like that, because that's not my intention. I really think it looks like the best stab at this type of tool that I've seen, and I think it looks really great. I guess my topic of conversation was just that it looks really good at making a specific type of site for a specific type of person, and that person just happens to not be me, but like I said — it's got me thinking about how a tool like this could be useful for someone like me! Thanks for the work you're doing though, really! This is something that a lot of people I know could use and benefit from greatly!
no worries man. I totally get where you are coming from and I'd love the tool you mentioned too. Maybe Blocs will have a big brother one day, if Adobe buy me out :)
I hope it does, but not by means of Adobe! ;)
Hey Norm. This looks really cool. I like how polished it looks and that you are trying to tackle an old unsolved problem: build good sites easily. Keep up the good work!
The "subscribe to get notified" link will subscribe you to UI Parade's newsletter, a site that upon first look seems completely unrelated to this project. Kind of scummy thing to do.
How about a real notification email?
hey Ui Parade is my business I've been building products for my store for a while now, you can view its store here:https://uistore.io/.
Its not scummy at all, I just didn't see the point in setting up a dedicated email list.
Thanks for the clarification. The "scummy" remark was more because I thought you were subscribing us to some unrelated UI website's newsletter that might mention your product when it's released. (Although, what you're describing doesn't sound too far off).
WYSIWYG responsive-HTML editors are becoming a dime a dozen (Macaw, Webflow, SquareSpace, etc.), so I hope you understand that when there's very little information available about the author or company behind a product video, it becomes suspicious.
Your website doesn't help either.
It's a product news mailing list. I've built lot's of tools and issue news about updates and upcoming projects, Blocs is one of those projects/tools so it would obviously be mentioned at some point, not sure why you would regard that as a scummy tactic?
Anyway I've added a dedicated mailing list, so less of referring to my hard work as scummy ;)
I'm not nor wasn't referring to your work as scummy so please stop interpreting it as that.
Here's the mental breakdown:
- Watched video. Very impressed.
- Saw long URL that subscribes you to release notifications. Clicked it.
- Got a confirmation email for something called "UI Parade." Was expecting an email subscription to "Blocs Releases" or something akin.
- Checked out UI Parade, saw that it was some kind of UI patterns collection site (I have enough of those in my bookmarks).
- Little information about Vimeo's "Norm" or the author/company behind UI Parade led me to believe this was unrelated email subscription and a "scuumy" way to get people into a spam trap from a UI design site.
I have enough spam as it is. For future reference, product notification subscription links should only include information on that product, it's not nice to subscribe people to other things when that's not their intent.
Ok no worries. I wasn't expecting the video to get much traction so it was a bit of a rush job adding the subscribe link in the first place. I actually forgot it was on the vimeo page I thought you were referring to the Blocsapp page. Anyway, point taken and all fixed :)
I had a similar reaction and didn't confirm my email address after signing up.
I'm both familiar with UI Parade and most of it's products...so seeing this was a huge surprise...it kinda reminds me of webzap...except instead of just making photoshop mockups, it's helping build an actual site...which is absolutely perfect for me :)
We're neck deep in using bootstrap for some of our work here, so having this as a tool in our workflow would be hugely beneficial...
if there's a beta version, or something we could join I would be very grateful....
anyhow, I've used or demoed most of the latest round of wysiwyg editors, and for the most part have been unimpressed.... THIS on the other hand, is essentially what we've been looking for...something that can whip up a nice theme or template incredibly quickly, that we can then enhance or tweak ourselves...
seriously...well done dude...this looks like an amazing app to me...
i can certainly understand the thoughts and concerns of the rest of the folks here chiming in with their two cents etc...but for me, i want this and want it now :) i've quite liked the previous apps and plugins etc from UIParade...and this looks like it's going to be another winner to me :)
Wow Tyson, thats awesome and thanks for your kind words about some of my previous tools. Im really proud of Blocs and cant wait to share it.
:) it gets better :)
just showed it to our development team here at the office...they were equally blown away.. well done dude :)
all this goodwill has price, me boyo...
hook us up with some beta!!!!! :)
seriously though...well done...can't wait to try this out..
This is awesome! Do we have a timeframe for release? Would love to try this thing out. This would really help crafting sites for a dude that makes a lot of them ;)
Watched the demo. Well done. Cant wait to see where this goes.
Completely agree about the email subscription comment. If I sign up to get notified about a product, I only want to get notified about that product. Everyone hates email, nobody needs more of it.
This will help you create trendy designs for sure.
wow nice, would love to test this, as a non-coder this feels like its going in the right director for a visual editing tool, kinda how I wish wordpress worked.
Wow, pretty cool implement the Font Awesome in the application root. The interactive mode is very fluid.
I wonder how can a demo of it. Wanted to test it.
For now I'm using the Macaw. It is another great application, but some bugs have bothered me.
Pretty neat ! I like the idea of using common pattern to speed up the design process. I wouldn't use it for production obviously but it seems to be a great tool for prototyping.
It looks beautiful but completely unusable. How am I supposed to learn to use it? On one hand many affordances are not clear, command click to open a side-menu? D for preview mode? Icons without labels? I would 5 minutes after opening it frustrated.
Maybe there is a tutorial at the start? You've just seen him use it once it is all set up.
Try it and see what's happen. The goal is to create a website and I think this tool will definitely help me with my projects.
Hey I built Blocs, just to clarify a few things.
It's cmd+return to open the side menu but you can also use the top left hand icon in the top menu bar.
It's a right click to enter drop mode.
V is to preview as in "toggle view mode", but I can change that to P if you like ;)
Trust me, this is a very simple app to use. My wife (no web or design skills at all) can built websites with it.
How can we follow this project? It kinda deserves an own site or blog I think? A Twitter account maybe?
All the info is here: http://blocsapp.com/