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Webflow is not a codesign tool


#1

I have had a terrible experience with Webflow. No I don't know, nor do I have the time to learn code, which is why I've been wrongly baited into this.

Using a completely intuitive approach, I first started to create a banner, which I didn't find but quickly guessed I had to create a div block. Then the first thing I do of course, is to want to resize it: there's no way to drag resize a bloc, nor did I find how.

I tried many other things and options, and overall I'd say, Webflow is a completely useless, false promising, web design with code gimmicks restrictions, that is certainly not worth the subscription I almost paid...


#2

I knew nothing about web design before finding webflow. No coding knowledge whatsoever. I had no idea what html meant. I watched the video tutorials twice then built my first site, and two more since. I think webflow is awesome!!!!


#3

Hi @augurae, sorry to hear you had a difficult experience using Webflow. We go to great lengths to try to make the process of creating responsive web sites and using responsive web design easier and faster than having to hand code your entire site by hand, or using HTML editors which can be confusing and expensive...

There is a learning curve with Webflow also, although just not as big a learning curve as with other web design tools, and we have prepared a series of training videos, that if watched and applied to one's own web design, can really help the user to feel comfortable and confident in their web design abilities and capabilities.

http://tutorials.webflow.com

I hope that you would take some time to go visit the tutorials and learn more how to use the Webflow designer for your purposes.

I think you will find, that Webflow is a very powerful, but relatively simple tool to use. Of course, it helps for one to have a basic understanding of DIV structure, the DOM model, CSS Styling and positioning and other basic HTML topics, but we realize that not everyone is on the same level of experience, so that is why our beginner videos are really targeted at beginners, with NO experience at all with Web Design. You do not even need to pay anything or sign up with Webflow to watch those tutorials, they are a free resource.

We try our best however to bridge that gap and give each individual user the power to create whatever kind of site they want, whether by using pre-made widgets like sliders, or by giving the user advanced access to using custom javascript or jQuery code.

Thanks for giving Webflow a try, and we hope you try to stick with it, and go through the tutorials. We on the forum also are a big source of help and guidance, and we also have support for our free and paid plans through our support desk.

Have a nice day, and hope that you continue well in your efforts. Cheers, Dave


#4

Hahaha. Wow. How did they mislead you? They say you can create a website without code, and you definitely can. In fact you can create a better website in Webflow than any other code free web editor on the market.

Don't blame Webflow because they don't have a 'Press here to create everything for you button' because that is not how it works.

When on earth did the whole aspect of learning something just up and leave along with common sense?

Seriously. What were you expecting? To just hop into a new piece of software and just 'get it'.

I frequent many different design forums and there is this sick trend of lazy fools looking for anything to try and get out of a little work.

Web design and development is a skill, it is not a right just because you can turn on a computer. Learn it or do something else. Easy.

I bet you also yell at your toolbox when you can't repair your car huh? Sad.


#6

Thanks, I'll try out some tutorials to see if the curve is fast enough.

But I still am surprised to this is so far of from the intuitive interface and approach promised by codesign tools. I mean you literally can't drag resize, or drag'n'drop and place elements as a designer would!


#7

Hi @augurae, you are correct in a way, that Webflow at the moment is not like Photoshop or Sketch for example, but we do have built in to our Design mode, the capability to drag and drop html elements that can manage your images, text, videos etc, with a style panel that you can set and view CSS changes very easily.

Now, I can also understand your frustration, and Webflow is always improving our toolset for web designers and web developers, but we have a high priority is to make fantastic web design possible for the non-developers amongst as well, and make what was previously difficult for non-geeks, easy to use and powerful at same time.

I have seen people who have ZERO experience make some wonderful sites, and really, those are the kinds of things we love to see, because it shows us, we are on the right track of making great web design accessible to everyone smile

Have you seen our gallery ? We add new sites to the gallery on a regular basis, and sometimes, it is really great to go there and get a little inspiration what others have achieved, and what you too, can do smile

https://webflow.com/gallery

Cheers, Dave


#8

Sounds like you're looking for a different type of tool. Webflow gives amazing control over designing a site but it does it on the box model. You need to watch the tutorials to understand this.

If you're looking for something that you can just draw and place elements to create a website then something like Adobe Muse or Macaw might be more your speed. Both have their drawbacks though and Webflow is vastly superior to both of them and produces production ready code.


#9

Stick with it @augurae. Watch this video
http://tutorials.webflow.com/fast-track-helix

This is what convinced me Webflow is a breakthrough product.

Then watch the quick training videos @cyberdave mentioned here:
http://tutorials.webflow.com/

I looked at and tried the other solutions that @jwburkhard mentions. They don't compare to Webflow.

You'll be creating beautiful designs in Webflow in no time.


#10

Although I'm positive Adobe Reflow will work one day and will be tremendous, It's not the case at all today. And Muse doesn't seem to have a bright future. Macaw is an amazing... concept. It's riddle with bugs, so much still in 1.5v that I wonder if they will fix this ground (like I'm wondering if Sketch will ever work...).

So be careful before putting hours of work in these tools and being stuck, like I've been with everyone of them after 10s of hours of work. I really did put them to the real production test and they're far from pro.

A LOT of softwares like these are going to come up in the next months. Some have an approach similar to what @augurae is looking for.


#11

Don't give up so quickly. I first tried Webflow without watching the tutorials and was so frustrated that jumped ship and tried a bunch of other online web builders. But they all had their limits, so I went back to Webflow, actually watched the tutorials and now it's pretty easy. It's got a steeper learning curve than the other drag and drop builders, but you get a superior result. Since I started, they have added a bunch of new features and it just seems to get better and better. I am so thankful that there are people out there trying to tackle this designing without code issue.


#12

You are used to a different paradigm. The age of designing in photoshop is coming to an end, simply because of the responsive era and how clients want to see how their site works responsively before signing off. If you want to be able to just draw shapes and drag them around, you will likely have to hire a developer at some point.

I think one of the strength's of Webflow is that it uses the same paradigm as you would for coding something. If you ever need to hand off your project to a developer, they will thank you for using Webflow.

I tired both Muse and Macaw. I actually built a site in muse for a paying client before being introduced to Webflow. It was a terrible mistake. It's not responsive like Webflow, and I still had to go into the code to change some things and make some tweaks for custom forms and other php apps they had in the older site. After looking at Muse's code and then looking at Webflow's code, I realised why Webflow is so beloved.

I've also tried Macaw. It's great for quickly drawing shapes and resizing them and moving them around with your mouse but it's still nowhere close to Webflow with it's functionality. If you want the same widgets Webflow has, or want to do transitions or interactions like webflow, you would need to code them in. So as a non-coder, it would be perhaps fine for making a mock-up, but then I might as well be mocking up in Photoshop.

The truth is photoshop had that trick back in the 90's even, where you could draw a layout, slice it up and out put functioning HTML (table-based). Webflow, to me, is the closest you can get to making a real, modern, functional responsive website with a WYSIWYG. But you still have to learn the paradigm of how the web is constructed. Why people would use container's and divs and what is margin and padding and the difference between positions: fixed/absolute/relative/auto, what is overflow, display options: block/inline, why you would need columns and a responsive grid, etc...

Understanding these concepts is fundamental to how a page is made. Any program that hides them from you is potentially going to have some serious flaws at some point in the workflow (eg. Muse).

Lastly, I realise you said you don't have the time or inclination to learn to code. But if you are going to be building websites on a regular basis, it would benefit you greatly to know a little about it. I just started learning last week and it's much easier to learn HTML/CSS than you would guess. I took the free trial on Treehouse and did the 'How to Make a Website' course and it took me like two days and now I understand more about the basics of how a website is coded and look at my webflow code and actually understand what is happening and why. Actually I found with the course, I was already familiar with a lot of coding concepts because I had been using webflow and learned the proper paradigm in the first place.

Sorry for the long reply. In the end you have to do your own research and make your own choices. I just think I had to speak up along with all the other people who have found they love Webflow for a reason.


#13

This is an interesting topic.

Mainly opposite to augurae's statement... I am a pure 100% hand-coder. No visual design tools at all.

Tried many... all sucked. "Forgive the French".

My only tool was a basic HTML editor that I've used since 1998. So 16 years with a basic editor.

I can create every webflow does (html, js, and css) from this said editor.

In short... I know code. And coding takes a long time. Sometimes forever.

For me... building the UI and structure is what takes a long time. Some times days to weeks... to end up with a less than satisfactory results.

When I found webflow... I found a tool that didn't require any coding at all. But it provided with the same results... minus the coding time... which means no time to find more customers and do work.

My development methodology has drastically changed from coding to design.

Now... I can visually see what I "saw in my mind".

I can create 10 or 15 different prototypes in the same amount of it used to take me to build 1.

Once I design the look and feel - then I have option of ripping the code apart --- to build full blown applications behind "the beautiful interface".

In fact... it was export tool - that sold me.

(on a side note - I wish webflow could make the code more white-labeled -- ie: remove the webflow name from the code, variables and file names.)

I believe I have clear benefit over most - because I actually know what'a happening under the webflow "hood"...
- but I also believe... you don't have to be a coder to use this tool.

The most important thing to learn with any design tool - 1) how components work... and 2) page layout.


#14