Unfortunately, when asked to select a hero block, I'm greeted with a series of images. Would you consider adding alt attributes to these? If I knew roughly what they looked like, I could probably pick and choose something semi-appropriate for a given project. I don't know what other issues I'm likely to hit, but I'd be interested in providing additional feedback if this at all seems like a viable direction.
Also, just noticed I can't select a hero block via the keyboard. Items aren't tab-focusable and keyboard-selectable. Maybe this won't work at all for me, but I'd really like something between "Here's a fully-formed theme" and "Here's a completely inaccessible website builder that gives you a blank canvas and assumes you don't want to touch the final HTML." :) If anyone knows of anything like that, please do share.
So when i saw this, my initial thoughts were, hmmm another one of 'those' sites. However i'm pleasanlty surprised, sure the elements aren't perfect, and the colours could be more varied, but it's an almost complete site. Replace the graphics, the fonts and text, i'm good to go! I just need to focus on the content and not the boiler plate crap.
I agree. The simplest designs are the most visually appealing ones. I can honestly say that using a website that has better accessibility is nicer than one that is "pretty". Is there a way for you to print out your designs on a 3D medium so you can feel them? The spacing is way more important to the appeal than color.
>I don't even know where to begin with that
There are color swatches you can use and the correct colorization can be determined mathematically. Check out some of Google's guideliness at https://material.google.com/style/color.html#color-color-pal...
I skipped past a big swatch list because I think it could be annoying in a screen reader.
I implore you to keep designing websites. The fact is that designers focus way too much on the benign aspects of design and not enough on the ease of use and the mathematics that make them look good. If you focus on those aspects, you can make a great design.
But do take a close look at the text and background section. It's extremely useful for almost anything you design.
Totally! Your comment gelled a few things that always bothered me about material design. It's like they toss many of the colour conventions we've spent a lifetime building.
But if you stick to more neutral colours, the design guidelines are probably fine.
The basic stuff, like adding alt tags to images that have meaning and "skipnav", so readers can choose to skip directly to the content of a page without re-reading the navigation, are actually pretty straight forward to implement.
After you retrofit a site once, you'll find these things don't add much time as you incorporate them into the process the next time.
It's actually more about not disabling the accessibility features which so many web designers do. They're all built in and meant to work almost seamlessly alongside your design process, but people disable them because they are so self-centered they can't conceive of how someone with a disability might feel using their website.
Accessibility has been built in to the web for a very long time. The design process is "If I were blind, would I still be able to use this website? If I had mobility issues, would I be able to use this website?" Then you address those uses cases.
- What happens if I can't see this image?
- What happens when I disable focus hints and keyboard shortcuts?
- What happens if someone needs larger or smaller text on the page?
It's not a "kind of" design. It's just being considerate to other people's situations.
But really, the magic word you're looking for is "accessibility" (or "a11y" (eleven, not LL)) - spend an afternoon with that word and your favourite web search site.
It's a light set of styles that are applied over top of standard Bootstrap. If you buy a full "Theme" from Envato or where ever, even it's "Bootstrap Based" it is generally so stuffed full of random js libs and heavily customized that it's hard to work with.
1. It should "just work" to load via NPM and then later include the bootswatch theme afterwards.
2. If you use the LESS/SASS file compilation it will work as well, the Bootswatch variables will just replace the base Bootstrap ones.
While Bootstrap isn't a silver bullet in general, it's surely great if you don't want to write CSS, or only where necessary. And you can always build on top of that.
And needless to say, tastes vary wildly: I once started a side project with someone who was virtually my taste counterpart - he liked everything I found ugly and vice versa. So maybe you should get a second opinion on your designs... :P
I have no idea how big that market is, but I suspect a lot of developers are like myself - not opposed to making a site more accessible but clueless about where to start.
I'm thinking user groups like colorblind users and blind users. I'm sure I am missing more groups, so sorry for my ignorance upfront.
- Partially sighted users that are not technically literate enough to use assistive technologies.
- People with physical impairments that affect their ability to use input devices and may also dictate the types of device they can use.
- People with low levels of technical literacy.
- People with poor literacy in the language of the site.
- People with dyslexia, not forgetting those with poor working memory or slow processing speed.
- People with dementia.
- People with a host of other mental and cognitive disorders.
I've been through various audits with System Concepts in the UK, Annanpura in Finland, and opendoorsnfp in the USA.
Have you considered collaborating with a sighted person who is making the website for your project?
There are quite some api's that guess tags and descriptions for images. This doesn't look very complicated and might make inaccessible websites a bit more usable for you.
I tried using it now and there are a few suggestions I have:
1) clicking "Let's do it" does nothing, if you are already on the "Build a website" page and the content is empty - it would be better if top <div> hid itself at least partially, or if bottom content animated itself into existance (replayed animation or sth. like that).
2) it would be nice to have an option to clean the page and start with new one (by the way, where do you save the data? I tried deleting everything I could think of and you still presented me the same page I entered... :) )
3) once the page is finished, I would like to share it with people from marketing - it would be nice if you offered a way to share the page through a randomized link
4) great work on emojis, though the selection is somewhat limited. You could probably reach a deal with flaticon.com to allow adding their icons. You could even get a referral fee for the subscriptions if someone wanted to get rid of the copyright statement.
5) selecting text with mouse doesn't work, which is a bit annoying (FF)
6) images are scrollable on lower resolutions instead of being downsized (is this on purpose?)
7) editing. I know, probably not doable, just saying...
But feel free to ignore any of the suggestions, I like the site the way it is too. :)
And while I can grab the files and set up my own hosting, being able to hit a button, enter card details and have everything done automatically would be powerful. Every web developer inevitably does quick jobs on the sides for friends and family, and making that process pain-free would be useful.
Depending on your target audience, I'd love to see some tooling to help with a signup form. Maybe offer some integration options (and an affiliate link) for Mailchimp or something else?
I'd also love the ability to easily create multiple pages linked to each other within the app. Sure I can create separate pages, but would be nice to have that done for me and add some basic organization.
Overall this is really awesome. Would love to know more about what technology you used to build this, why you built it, and what your future product/monetization plans are.
Agreed. Really nice touch.
This. Speaking for myself, at a pinch I thought this was just a sign-up page, and that the actual designer/editor was not available.
Perhaps, adding something like 'Just click any element to edit' somewhere in the header would make it immediately apparent that its all working and ready to go.
This UI fails miserably at guiding me through any sort of process.
To be honest, if all product webpages looked like this, I'd be quite alright with it, because this look great.
I think more people notice than we'd like to admit. There just isn't any direct way for them to tell us about it.
Too many have shoddy intros, tiny text, difficult to find details and then their beloved PDF menus.
I'm skeptical. If you're trying to choose a steak restaurant to visit, for example, you're saying that you'd easily be able to differentiate grill_1 with "this" picture of a big bloody steak, and grill_2 with "that" picture of a big bloody steak, both in roughly the same position. Doesn't sound plausible to me.
I agree with the principle though, restaurant sites are often terrible, and PDF menus are super annoying.
I'm curious, will you be adding a hosting option for these? Right now they provide a good starting point, but I would love a one-click hosting option so that I can quickly made a page and push it live. The ability to plug in things like Google Analytics token would also be awesome.
I'm not sure if it is the most effective way to collect emails, but it sure is a good UX. As a reward, I included my email :)
Why not use an off-the-shelf grid system like Bootstrap or Foundation? Would probably make this easier to edit / extend for people already familiar with those layout frameworks.
For SEO... things like Page Title, Meta Description, OG/Sharing Meta Data... those would be good to add somehow. "Click here to add your fav icon / bookmark icon / social share icon / etc." At least adding them as empty fields so people know to add them in manually...
Could you add in semantic elements? Wouldn't take long to add those to the base template... http://www.w3schools.com/html/html5_semantic_elements.asp
Really nice tool, can see a lot of people getting use out of this.
Body Styles break with multiple paragraphs - http://imgur.com/YOjjGkB
Emoji break when you change them - http://imgur.com/FE8VUgH
This hits a sweet spot for me because I am in full control of HTML if I want it, but I can still put together a responsive page in literally a minute.
About missing colors and stuff - yeah, it would be nice if we could select background images, set more colors and similar, but that's secondary. Building a responsive skeleton is what this tool does for me, and first impression is great. Kudos!
> Launchaco website builder is licensed under CC0
Does that mean both the website builder itself and the website you build with it are CC0? And is the source to the builder available anywhere?
Commoditisation of design cannot come soon enough! ( at least the web design part :) )
I just had some issues on airline wifi because they man-in-the-middle the connection to inject their crappy "flight tracker" menubar and it covered some of the builder controls. That wouldn't happen with SSL and your visitors would be more secure.
I gave this to a client of mine to try for one of her personal projects and she was somewhat confused. After I pointed out the steps vs previews, she got the hang of it. But by that time she'd made a bit of a mess with a lot of extra feature blocks/steps.
She wanted a clean slate but it looks like you're storing progress in a cookie. Can we have a reset all?
While I'd love an arbitrary HTML block, the ability to add meta tags, custom fonts, blah blah...don't. If people want that kind of power there's a lot of alternative static site tools/CMS' out there.
Thanks for sharing, will probably come back to this. Happy to sign up for email updates
This is, like, crazy great anyway. I'm freaked.
Quick noob question though: Do you have / are you planning to include templates where I can add video (hosted on Vimeo / Youtube) instead of the computer / browser images?
I know I can edit the HTML / CSS files, but my background is statistics / R, and I am wary of mucking up the code and spoiling the layout.
I signed up with my email. Looking forward to seeing where this goes, and would gladly pay for the service as & when you start accepting payments.
Thank you! :)
Am I seeing a different website than everyone is talking about? All I see is a bunch of different boxes with links, where most links just shove me to some external service (GoDaddy, Twitter, Google Fonts, etc.)
Where's the "website builder"?
Love that you didn't force me with any annoying pop-ups or interfering spaces to ask for email. I gave you anyway, with my 100% will.
Looking forward to your finished product. My girlfriend wants to build a Yoga website to put in all her stuff and promote her private lessons. I was going to build it myself, but your product is so intuitive that I might give her this and ask her to build it herself!
I think it's nice not to have to enter an email at the end, but you'll miss out on a lot of emails. Maybe provide the prompt to enter an email first, but let them skip it.
I agree about the donation buttons as well - even keep it to micro-donating - you would be surprised at how many people would use it!
Actually, I'll also consider to pay something to this wonderful service. I think producer should consider about adding premium staff for small prices.
I was baffled getting a file without extension, and Windows 10 didn't see it as a zip, but just a binary blob.
Only problem is when I hit the download button the .txt file is blank.
Seriously, though. This is an interesting idea, but what's the endgame?
(Disclaimer: I am a "web developer")
First, attempting to set up a domain name sends me to some site named shareasale.com. The site is blocked on my system because I'm using the winhelp2002.mvps.org HOSTS file to block shady web sites.
Next, I follow the 4 steps to select the Hero, Feature, Social and Footer templates. How I'm supposed to make an intelligent choice based on the shadowy outlines is beyond me.
Finally, I'm apparently supposed to click the Download... link. This gets me a little "success" message - but the end result is a file called "download" with no extension. Renaming the download to download.zip gives me something to extract which is... a single HTML file plus css and image folders. Clicking on the HTML gives me a local copy of the launchaco main page with no sort of customizations or anything.
I see now that you're supposed to "play" with the website and put it into some sort of personally pleasing configuration and download the result. (The download feature still doesn't work properly for me, SORRY.)
People won't be surprised to learn that I'm an older programmer. I found it interesting to see how apparently out of step I am. People seem to like this and I think it cries for more structure and a tiny bit of DOCUMENTATION.
And those CSS/JS files. (f7e531b07478dedf9916.js??) There's no way I'd want to maintain something like this unless it used Bootstrap or some other established system.
So, downvote away. I personally remain unimpressed.
#1 - can you provide an example of where buying/setting up a domain takes you to somewhere called "shareasale.com"? At worst, it seems like the links to the registrars (which are all legit, as far as I can tell) go through some sort of analytics/tracking service.
#2 - have you considered rephrasing your download issue as "Hey, this seems broken, and here's why: ..."?
#3 - what customizations did you expect there to be in the downloaded archive? are you not seeing the selected hero/feature/social/footer templates you selected?
#4 - while others have brought up the idea of using Bootstrap/Foundation/etc as a more familiar and tweakable base, the point is around easily making a website WITHOUT having to know or understand the underlying technologies. if you're already deadset of needing/wanting to do things yourself, the tool clearly isn't for you.
you may be unimpressed, but you could be a little more positive/helpful with explaining issues rather than writing about them in such a dismissive tone that sreams "i don't care about your thing, but let me tell you everything i think is wrong with it"
#1 At the top of the first page, where it says "Name Your Business", click on "Let's Do It." The next page is full of link for various TLDs with prices - the links go to shareasale.com. ##UPDATE## The domain purchase links are now dead and there are no prices/links. Someone must have decided to remove them (maybe someone read my comment -- or something else -- who knows).
#2 In my first message I described exactly what went wrong. In my second message I said "the download feature still doesn't work properly for me" Different wording, but pretty much what you suggested. We must think alike (smile).
#3 When I wrote the first message, I clearly didn't get how the customization was supposed to work. My second message explains and clarifies. As I said, just a bit of documentation would be nice.
#4 I think of HN as a programmer's venue. When I saw all the glowing comments, I thought there might be a nice web development tool to check out. If HN has a lot of readers who are interested in "making a website WITHOUT having to know or understand the underlying technologies" - then I apologize for my misunderstanding. If we agree that this is not a tool for technical web developers, then your comments are spot on.
As to the last paragraph, the first thing I said was "sorry to be negative." Criticism, by it's nature, is often negative. I hate knee-jerk negativity as much as you do (I'll bet). But heaps of sugary praise is also bad in it's own "awesome" way.
In/re being more helpful -- well, pointing out problems is helpful, right? I'm wondering if my comments didn't result in the shareasale.com links being removed (see #1 above). Maybe OP could comment.
In/re dismissive -- That's what you say but who cares what you think? (smile again - please note as joke)
To the author of "Launchaco" I would certainly offer a "well done!" To me, the most impressive thing that you have done is offer your work up for us to review and discuss. I hope and suspect you were looking for more than praise.