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Impressions on first day of using webflow: Onboarding process is wrong

Hi,

My very first day of learning WF and I started by doing the Webflow 101 course - as was suggested by WF. After spending some time on it I was preparing to just abandon WF and move on with my life.

Then I gave a chance to the “Building a business website” course because it had assets. After finishing the course (by the way, with just 2 pages allowed on the free plan, it’s impossible to fully build the site) I’ve decided to give WF another chance and continue learning it for the next days.

What I am trying to say is that onboarding users with a course without assets is a mistake and may be reason that people tap out. You should either add assets to the Webflow 101 course or suggest a course with assets to new users for their very first step.

From what I saw, unfortunately there is just 1 more course that has assets (which I plan to complete tomorrow.) I think most of your courses should have users build websites with assets instead of what’s happening now.

My 2 cents,
Panos

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Those are fair points, and admittedly I’ve been a customer for something like 7 years so it’s nice to see some other users give feedback.

I believe the lack of assets is due to a lot of users coming from a web design background already - and potentially having projects they can build with Webflow right away or readily available assets to use. It’s definitely much more grounded in the roots of traditional web development so it’s no where near as easy to pick up like with platforms like Wix (which allows freely placing and moving elements around the canvas without thought on structure or outputting clean code) or Squarespace (that now has gone in the direction of much more rigid, templeted design with less flexibility).

The bulk of the critique I notice around the forum from new users is that Webflow is difficult and requires lots of setup to do simple things.

I think the best of both worlds is to have a “built in” walk through (think Figma, or Adobe) that automatically loads assets into a special tutorial project that you can play around with. In Webflow’s case, since you can’t have a project with more than 2 static pages, either limit the project to 1-2 pages (single page websites are very common) or give them enough flexibility to complete the project but don’t allow that project to be outward facing (your-site.webflow.io). You could even have separate projects for CMS and E-commerce sites so that new users can walk through the whole process. This would give them a taste of the potential of the platform and lead them towards any of the paid Account plans.

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Exactly!

After finishing that course, I got a sense of how powerful Webflow can be and I appreciate what they’ve created.

But it’s impossible for someone who’s not a web designer to pick it up solely by watching the courses the way they are structured now. Every course, especially the very first ones, should have the new user building something, even if it’s just one static page with a contact form instead of passively watching introductory videos.

Thanks for your input.

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This is really valuable feedback, thank you!

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Thank you, team WF.

Another thing I would add to the courses is this:

I’ve realized that most of the mistakes I made while studying a course were made when the instructor changed something in i.e. the parent element, but the whole process was done so fast that I thought that he still had the child element selected so I made the changes to that child element.

This resulted in a lot of frustration because I didn’t realize that I made a mistake at that moment and continued following the course until many actions later where things on my web page were not looking the same way as the instructor’s, so I had to go back dozens of steps to find out what went wrong.

So, I was wondering if you can add in post production a visual cue every time the instructor selects an element, i.e. the name of the selected element flashing once on the screen. Imagine the screen capturing software that shows a visual cue of the key you pressed at that moment or if you clicked the right mouse button. It would only appear on the screen for a second.

This would help the viewers keep up and prevent them from making mistakes that were clearly made due to miscommunication.

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Summarizing plus one final suggestion regarding courses for newbies without web design experience is this:

  1. Very first courses should have the user build something.

  2. Add a visual cue showing the element that is selected every time.

  3. Even after completing the 2 courses that include downloadable assets, I have a problem understanding the concept of positioning (Relative position etc.) I am going to spend more time figuring it out, but the first building courses should definitely help newbies understand concepts like positioning.

Webflow has the potential of becoming the next Photoshop IF you can get people without web design experience to master it and use it (maybe you’re only interested in targeting web designers) and to do that you need to approach your onboarding differently.

Thanks for listening!

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