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More complex widgets, interfaces and template designs


#1

I started out as a big fan of Webflow, but now that I have had time to work with it, it is just not what I thought it was... I do not want to code at all... The concept of Webflow (as i understood it), was to let designers be designers. Well that is the case, if you have a very limited scope of designs you want to implement. The Component Library is SO LACKING... I want to pull up Complete Interfaces. For example I love the Left Side Nav and the Right Side Scolling of the Page (Wordpress does very easily). Click a Menu on Left - and Scroll up that Section without changing the page itself. This is just one example of a popular Ui/UX. I thought I could pick full interafces and then just Populate the content. This is what I thought Webflow was and should be... I about to move to a product called Page Flow or something like that, I have it book marked. Hate to leave, but I need answers quick. The updates (major ones) are just coming way too slow


#2

Hi @jdbrowningjr, thanks for the feedback. Webflow is a visual html and css designer, that allows non-coders to create sites from scratch or starting from a template.

Webflow has an interactions designer, a visual 3D transform builder, a visual flexbox builder, CMS and more.

I am not sure what you mean exactly by "complete interfaces", but it is easy to create a left side nav and scrolling right side layout in Webflow, for example, take a peek here: https://flexbox.webflow.com/#split-screen

It may be true that Webflow does not have widgets for every possible use case, but if you would like to list each of those "complete interfaces" and what each interface should include, it will help to give an idea of what you would like to see implemented.

I hope this helps!


#3

Thank you Dave, you are always so gracious with your responses.

What I am frustrated by and your flex example (unfortunately) was not an exact fit, was how to setup the following interface (http://www.themes.red-sun-design.com/?theme=lemonchili). I simply want the Left Side Menu to Lock - then have the Right (main content) scroll/navigate based on the nav. selection.

You guidance in this area, would be greatly appreciated. Jack


#4

As far as I can understand you need something like Wix, where you can drag and drop ready modules and just populate them with text/ images, and do some minor adjustments.

If this is what you meant, Webflow is not a web site builder in that sense. It is rather a visual code editor.

Webflow does not save coding for pure graphic designers. You would still need to invest some time to learn the basics of html and css.

What it does however, is to make coding unprecedently easy. Moreover, it lets you focus on the logic of code rather than waste time (and yourself lol) into learning dry, technical stuff like code syntax.


#5

Thank you - if WIX is the answer, how can Webflow compete? What advantage does Webflow provide?


#6

As I mentioned above, it is in a different product category. Webflow does not compete in the same category with Wix. Webflow's competitors are Macaw, Webydo, Dreamweaver, etc.

So let me rephrase your question: "what are tha advantages of a visual coding tool over a drag&drop site builder?" Well, a visual coding tools allows:
- nearly complete scope of web site functionality (try making a show/ hide element in Wix for instance...);
- much easier changes in the long-term (again, try making plenty of changes in a system like Wix, where you have no control over css classes...);
- much better quality of ouput code.


#7

Think of Wix like you would the think of the included image editing tool on an iPhone. Editing a quick photo on an iPhone is extremely simple, and it works for a lot of people because it can do quick and basic jobs like removing redeye or adjusting contrast.

Webflow, on the other hand, is like using Photoshop. It can achieve the same things, but its tools are designed for users to harness the full power of HTML and CSS as opposed to dropping in a static set of widgets/presets. This is why most of the Webflow widgets are simply starting points for what you can build out in a full, rich website.

That being said, there's nothing stopping you from dropping in basic widgets in Webflow and running from there. But like any powerful set of tools compared to their more simple counterparts, the learning curve is a bit more steep. In the long run, the flexibility of Webflow empowers you to have a far, far greater range of control over the function of a website without spitting out tons of useless code. :sunglasses:

Edit: Added side by side of Photoshop's tools vs. iOS's built-in image editing:


#8

Thank you again! I really fo appreciate your time! One last question, would be an advantage for me to learn JavaScript in combination with Webflow? I used to be proficient with Flash in the early days and worked with ActionScripting (for example). Just curious - Thank you


#9

Thank you for your time and assistance! Your analogy makes perfect sense to me. Jack


#10

The beauty of Webflow is that it allows you to build interactions in a visual way, as well - that is, it is a visual js editor to a degree. Moreover, Webflow recently announced that they are planning a major rework of the visual interactions editor, so we hope it to make js even easier than it is now.


#11

Dear @jdbrowningjr... I would like to let you know that I'm totally designer and i don't know anything about the coding at all, and im enjoying webflow as i built website from scratch... but guess what i learnt from webflow when i do inspect for a website i was surprised by seeing common languages that webflow gave me in the designer like (div, container, etc...) so i understand how the website is structured at least. and im still discovering webflow and i solve problems by discovering i know it will take time to get it but at last you will be happy about the result you achieve as you are the coder of your webiste.... :slight_smile:


#12

My honest opinion is very close to yours. Webflow is a great "developer" tool. If you don't have an understanding of how code works, you will be quite limited. I don't understand why they don't market it that way. Instead they put down developers and just want to go directly to designers with no coding experience. It still baffles me.

Why not call it what it is, a development time saver.


#13

Webflow is something really brand new, we have not seen a tool like this before. Therefore, it is still not clear exactly
how to define it. I think the following descriptions could be useful:

- for developers: a visual coding tool/ development time saver (what you suggested)/ visual script building tool/ the ultimate Wordpress replacement for simple, static web sites;

- for (pure) graphic designers: an incredibly easy tool for non-coders to learn and build html5/ css3 web sites or web themes;

- for UI/ UX experts: an incredibly powerful tool to produce, test and rework fully functional html5/ css3 prototypes/ the ultimate Axure replacement for hi-fi mockups;

- for projects managers: the ultimate tool to communicate assignments by means of fully functional html5/ css3 prototypes (e.g. build static html mockups to explain e-commerce dev-s what to reproduce in the given e-commerce CMS);

- for final users: a powerful replacement of the popular, yet limited WYSIWUG web site builders.

An earlier post of mine in this regard: http://forum.webflow.com/t/visual-coding-as-a-newly-coined-term/17833


#14

I agree wholeheartedly, I just don't understand why your marketing department wants to base their platform on attacking/putting down developers. I would think they would want to appeal to us, not disparage us. I personally love the product. As a marketing person, it's awesome. SEO features, creative text placement, it's a great tool. As a developer, it's a great time saver and nice effects possibilities and features.

Eugene Grant-Sinclair B.S., HHeX Int. Trade, PSEM
Web Developer, Programmer & Marketing Developer
eugene@l-mc2.com


#15

I would just like to make clear that I am not a member of Webflow's team. :slight_smile: Moreover, I find their marketing strategy quite lacking in some respects:

forum.webflow.com/t/product-development-is-all-the-marketing-webflow-needs/28778

forum.webflow.com/t/improvements-to-the-asset-manager/31733


#16

Hi,

I would like to suggest that before moving away from Webflow - you might post any projects that you need help with in the Freelance category of Webflow's forum. You can integrate the cost of outsourcing into your pricing strategy's for clients. I know that there are some really good and affordable people proficient in Webflow here. :wink:

It just would give you the best of both worlds. Complete flexibility for custom designs and just a small amount of outsourcing for some of the more complex parts of a job. Also, you can ask specifically that the freelancer show you how to duplicate the work for specific projects (like left side nav and right side scrolling), so effectively you can build your own re-usable component library.

Teresa


#17

I don't understand what that has to do with this thread?


#18

I don't have a clue about coding in HTML/CSS and I love Webflow - switched from Wix a year ago and have done over 60 sites using the system.
I have been chatting to a number of web designers who sell their services using Wix and it is an eye-opener! It is an easy system to use but Webflow walks all over it in every area.


#19