22 comments

  • Vlad Magdalin, over 4 years ago

    Thanks for posting this Taylor!

    I was inspired to write this after reading Modern Design Tools: Using Real Data and watching Bret Victor's amazing Inventing on Principle talk.

    I hope the web designers out there who absolutely love hand-crafting code aren't offended by my words. My point is not that we need to replace coding altogether (90% of my day is spent writing code), but that we need to empower a lot more people to create the same type of things that code allows us to create.

    We've done it before with most other creative disciplines, and we can do it with web design as well :)

    10 points
  • Dirk HCM van BoxtelDirk HCM van Boxtel, over 4 years ago

    Nearly every practitioner and thought leader seems to agree: “web designers should learn to code.”

    God damn sigh. Here we go the f$%# again. I'm so done with this.

    6 points
    • Andrew McWattersAndrew McWatters, over 4 years ago

      I can't take this article seriously. Yeah, the future of web development is WYSIWYG!

      4 points
      • Laurens SpangenbergLaurens Spangenberg, over 4 years ago

        If you scroll to the bottom it does say

        Vlad Magdalin

        Co-founder of https://webflow.com

        I like Webflow, but this does slightly read like an ad for Webflow.

        5 points
        • Andrew McWattersAndrew McWatters, over 4 years ago

          But that's the thing: I love Webflow, but it's not the future. It's just here and along for the ever-changing ride we're all a part of. It's not a destination coming up along the way.

          And yeah, there's the ad part, too.

          4 points
        • Jim SilvermanJim Silverman, over 4 years ago

          this does slightly read like an ad for Webflow.

          slightly? the article is entirely an ad for webflow. it's a walkthrough of the app and the rationale behind it.

          0 points
  • Duncan RussellDuncan Russell, over 4 years ago

    So, the core difference between this approach and using something like Dreamweaver or Macaw is CMS integration?

    4 points
  • Tyson KingsburyTyson Kingsbury, over 4 years ago

    Can't thank you enough for posting this. Couldn't agree more.

    I'm the creative director at a software company, and have been using Photoshop for the past 20 years. While I've grown accustomed to it's shortcomings for web design, I have no real alternatives for most of my daily work. It would take far to long to code what I can generally do in photoshop in mere moments. But since the dawn of responsive workflows etc, it's been weighing on me more and more. While i now have some very simple coding skills, what I've been (and I imagine most of my peers) looking for is something that allows us the design flexibility and speed of photoshop, but with responsive views...I'm happy to see I'm not alone.. What I've seen from the latest upcoming adobe product (comet i think) gives me some hope...as well as amazing apps like Webflow and Blocs....I think the future looks pretty bright :)

    4 points
  • Olivier FOlivier F, over 4 years ago (edited over 4 years ago )

    100% agree with the idea of breaking a site down into logical building blocks and working at that level with real data. Makes so much more sense than thinking of a website as a giant tree of divs. That would be like designing a 16 story building by drawing each brick one by one.

    However, I'm not sure I like managing CSS in a giant GUI panel of ever-expanding CSS props. :/

    4 points
    • Vlad Magdalin, over 4 years ago

      I completely agree on your last point - however, it's something that we can fix with better software over time as well. For example, a lot of the complexity around CSS management currently deals with CSS specificity, nesting, inheritance, variables, etc. If we move towards a more sane CSS component model (e.g. similar to BEM), a lot of that management can be done completely visually.

      For example, 100% of magazines today are designed with very intricate style systems, and many of them are managed completely outside of code (e.g. with InDesign) - but it takes time to create an elegant solution here :\

      2 points
    • Rick LanceeRick Lancee, over 4 years ago (edited over 4 years ago )

      Makes so much more sense than thinking of a website as a giant tree of divs.

      If you're still using or thinking about only divs to create a site, you've been doing it wrong these past few years.

      0 points
  • Rick LanceeRick Lancee, over 4 years ago

    Web design is so much more than just converting a static design to a working site.

    1 point
  • A Paul, over 4 years ago

    Can we ban links to Medium articles?

    0 points
  • Robert Williams, over 4 years ago

    The problem with stuff like this is that it's so complicated that just learning a little bit of CSS/HTML is waaaaay easier.

    The fact that they taught me Weebly in design school should say something. It's buggy, (which is fine, it's software), and it's almost as complicated and hard to do as HTML/CSS.

    When my wife had to learn how to make a website for school I showed her HTML/CSS in a couple of days and her response was "wow that's easy, why don't they always teach that to everyone?"

    Not to ruin like your mission in life or anything but i think this is true.

    0 points
  • Diego LafuenteDiego Lafuente, over 4 years ago

    I welcome diversity. Those who want to use these tools are welcome. They will not take other jobs. There will be people doing coding by hand and not a single kittie will be harmed by that too.

    0 points
  • David BlumDavid Blum, over 4 years ago

    Nice webflow ad. It would be a nightmare to design in this UI (which is too much like a graphical css / html editor than a design tool). I hope Adobes Project Comet will solve this better.

    0 points
  • Felix MeadowFelix Meadow, over 4 years ago

    I think tools of this nature will indeed be the future of webdesign. A lot of the "I use Sublime-text" stuff is to do with snobbery to be frank, just like the CLI purists of yesteryear.

    I love Webflow and have a paid account. I hate the subscription model though, and the pricing. I'm hoping to jump over to Pinegrow if it gets good enough. That also has the advantage of being able to take benefit from the Wordpress ecosystem, which is a huge plus.

    0 points
  • Alastair TaylorAlastair Taylor, over 4 years ago (edited over 4 years ago )

    My biggest problem with this, and all systems similar is that unless you're setting up a simple marketing led site, you're just creating an artefact, not building the product. I'd love to hear how many designers who can code are crying out for this solution? It feels like a shortcut for learning your craft.

    By the way, all of the screen captures above are from Webflow. (Full disclosure: I work at Webflow. But it’s the only web design tool currently available that implements these principles, so it presented a convenient way to illustrate my points.)

    Also, by not stating this up front, I feel like you duped me into reading a sales pitch for Webflow.

    0 points
    • Nathan HueningNathan Huening, over 4 years ago

      C'mon. Every single article on Medium is an ad for somebody's product, you should know better. Either Webflow works the way he describes or it doesn't; you found it interesting or you didn't. Nobody duped here.

      1 point
      • Alastair TaylorAlastair Taylor, over 4 years ago

        Meh, don't really agree. I read a lot of stuff on Medium are just a good opinion pieces. I'm not going to loose sleep over it but just felt a little devious. In other news I have no idea why it took me a week to notice this reply.

        0 points