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Createing a UI design that is later wired up by a developer


#1

A rather general question - can Webflow be used for createing a UI design that is later wired up by a developer? I am talking about using Webflow for designing complex web apps working together with we backend developer. Is it a legimate use case for Webflow? What are the main problems with using Webflow for this purpose? What if I wanna make some design changes once the site is up and running?


#2

Hi @Josef

This is my primary use-case with webflow. So absolutely!

We export websites and implement our CMS, and additional functionality as required. Once the site on our server, customers can obv just manage content with the CMS/CRM. If design/structure changes are required I will usually just re-export the site with those changes, and communicate with developers on whats been done.

You might encounter some minor issues with interactions & form blocks, but these can be worked around / rebuild by a developer if required. We haven’t encounter any issues that have been problematic other than minor class naming issues from my own mistakes.

If you’re systematic with your class tags, communicating any changes from zip to zip (exports) you will have absolutely no issues building the most complex of front-ends.

I truly believe a streamlined, repository like system with webflow will be the future of how product front end is built.

Hope this helps man


#3

+1

This is mostly what I use Webflow for. Probably 75% of my projects are for export and further development.


#4

Thomas_92, Cricitem, Thx for your answers. That helps a lot! Could I ask you a few more questions?

Does it mean, that you can’t make any custom changes to the webflow code? Just a whole website re-export? How smooth is this process normally? Does it mean that another designer/front-end developer wont be able to make any changes if required later?
Could it also be used for designing single design elements rather than whole web pages? Can it be used for developing mobile apps?
Do you have any experience in implementing webflow code into a react app? I guess it can be challenging, especially if you need to make some design changes later.
As far as I understand there is no way to completely white-label the code. Are you using anything like https://jinglebell.io/ for this?


#5
  1. Custom changes to Webflow code? Just a whole website re-export?

You can make changes to the Webflow code. In fact, what Webflow outputs is so clean that if you are moderately familiar with HTML/CSS, you can do it pretty easily. I generally will keep the process within Webflow and just re-export. Then I note to the developer what the changes are. CSS/style changes are as simple as just uploading the new CSS file. Structure changes require changing around what’s been done by the developer, but I’ve never received any pushback on that.

  1. Could it also be used for designing single design elements rather than whole web pages?

Yes. You want to be sure you’re fairly explicit with your class names, to avoid conflict with other classes which may already exist on the page, but I do this pretty routinely whether it’s developing a module/menu or something along those lines. You just export the code, pull out the CSS/JS references to include in the already-existing page, then pull out the necessary HTML and copy-paste into the destination. ezpz

  1. Can it be used for developing mobile apps?

If you’re talking about native apps, no; not yet. Although it could be used to DESIGN mobile apps, if I understand the mobile app development process correctly. If you were building an app, you’d want to have a legit developer for each platform, and just ask if they can work with something that’s been designed as a web app to convert it to a native app, and there you go.

  1. Do you have any experience implementing Webflow code into a react app?

Can’t help you there, unfortunately.

  1. As far as I understand there is no way to completely white-label the code. Are you using anything like jinglebell.io for this?

I don’t worry about it, to be honest. I’m upfront with everyone on exactly how I build my frontend code and I’ve received zero negative feedback on the whole process. The code Webflow generates is super clean and easy to use, so the fact that I can create that more quickly than I could if I were doing it by hand is just an added bonus.


#6

Cricitem, thank you so much for your detailed answers! I am almost sold on Webflow. Sounds really awesome. Just would like to learn a bit more about the React integration.