Looks pretty good - I'm happy to see more web layout tools coming to market, since I'm responsible for Edit Room , my own vision of a flexible and responsive web design tool. Also curious about the pricing (obviously).
It's a big enough market that the more variety of tools that exist, the better, as designers can find the tool that they like the best, instead of the bad old days where it was Photoshop or Fireworks, and they both were crap for web design.
What's interesting is to compare and contrast the difference between a tool like this on the desktop, and tools like mine that are web-based (see easel, divshot, webflow, probably 1 or 2 more that I'm forgetting, etc...)
Being on the desktop gives them a bit more power and control over the user interface, as well as super-easy importing of external assets.
Being web-based allows me to do neat things like have live-updating preview links, so you can immediately see how the design works or breaks on a bunch of screens at once. Also importing HTML content from any URL, for doing quick responsive redesigns. I still have some work to do on the output CSS being more optimized, but for prototyping and being wildly creative in a flexible web canvas, you can't beat it.
Interesting edit-room tool. How do you see the user base in regards to your tool and competitors? Do you see more people signing up and requesting more features or do you see them coming back to their "old" tools once they tried yours (or others)?
It's a little hyperbolic language for sure, thanks for asking.
I'm referring to the fact that Photoshop was created as a photo/bitmap editor, and has of course grown to be very advanced and full of features. That is in fact sometimes a defect, depending on your task. Of course photoshop doesn't produce HTML and CSS, but that hasn't stopped it from becoming the standard for designing things that are intended to be HTML and CSS in the end.
I've designed Edit Room to be very specific towards designing with words and content for the web. Therefore, the focus is on typography & layout, color & style, and flexible/responsive layout. Using the native formats of the web for your designs ensures you're building with real bricks, so to speak.
This looks great, but it has the same problem I have with every other web based design tool, it aspires to be a WYSIWYG editor.
I agree there is a need, but I think that need is exaggerated, writing html / css is pretty easy, its not fun but its generally nothing compared to the overall work, half the time you still have to do it manually anyway since it has to fit into frameworks etc.
I want something that lets me focus on the design aspect, it should have nice snap to grid features, ability to inspect and edit css, but it should also have a vector drawing tools, image manipulations. The current set of design tools have terrible support for most common web functionality, photoshop doesnt even have rounded borders, illustrator / fireworks / sketch / pixelmator all almost entirely ignore things that are important for designing for the web. However web based editors almost all lack any graphical and vector capabilities whatsoever.
I agree there is a need, but I think that need is exaggerated
Speak for yourself. As a code-savvy designer, who splits everyday designing on paper, in Photoshop/Illustrator and in the browser, I don’t think I can overstate how woefully our professional tools for web design have actually kept up with web design.
photoshop doesnt even have rounded borders
Sure it does—vector shapes + Stroke Layer Styles work great. Do you mean something else?
I feel like I should write a bot to say this on forums across the Internet.
Every time somebody complains how Photoshop doesn't have rounded corners, they mean it doesn't have dynamic rounded corners. You can't change the roundedness in any remotely easy way after you draw the shape, and changing the dimensions of the shape distorts the corners.
They're just a huge pain to work with, when they need to be trivially easy for doing web design.
I hear you Dale - part of my original vision for Edit Room included vector shape editing (SVG) and image manipulation (Canvas) but there's only so much time in a day, and I've focused on getting the basics right first.
Any capabilities along those lines in a web app would probably be a bit more limited than desktop apps, but that doesn't mean that useful tools for vector and bitmap manipulation can't be made at all. However the case could be made to use desktop apps for what they're good for, and web layout apps can then reference files created with the desktop apps.
When tools break away from old ways of "doing things" you can end up with much more exciting stuff. I know that I fall into past behavior when pressed for time (which is every project ever) and if I had an easier way to experiment, I might try something different.
I'm hoping it has some idea of optimization though. He was dragging out individual icons for every social button and logo and whatever. It doesn't seem like sprite sheets are possible here but maybe? I don't imagine sass/less support here but that would be neat.
Finally, I'd love to see how they are building the app itself. Is this a Chrome embedded app?
Went through the whole video, looks superbly promising even at it's beta stage. It is obvious the authors get best front-end development practices as well as design principles. Definitely will follow up.
These tools always look like they'd be great, and always completely fail for an actual design workflow for anything outside of wireframing.
For a specific example as to why, look no further than the first 4 minutes where the creator "imports all these assets we made". Made where?!
My design team doesn't work like that. No design team does. They don't "make one thing over and then plug it in over here". They make everything together in one program. Because it's impossible to jump between two different apps when you're exploring a creative concept. You don't think to yourself, "OK, I'll need this icon and this icon and maybe a background image with these precise filters applied and it'll have a sidebar so I'll need a texture for that..."
You open Photoshop, or Illustrator, or Pixelmator and you start trying things until something you've tried looks good.
While it'd be great to see design tools that actually took the intricacies of HTML structure and CSS into account, tools like Macaw (and all the others I've seen) all fall down for real work.
Visually it looks awesome, but what it really comes down to is the quality of the code. Most WYSIWYG editors leave a lot to be desired.
Second, I am always wary of amazing tools with unknown pricepoints. I get that you're still early, but some semblance of cost structure would be great. Frankly, I don't know if you're going to charge $1500 or $5 a month or free. I just don't know, there's too many ways you could choose to market this, and that insecurity, that lack of knowledge makes me uncomfortable.
That being said, great job on the concept and I can't wait to see what it looks like when it goes live.
> Visually it looks awesome, but what it really comes down to is the quality of the code. Most WYSIWYG editors leave a lot to be desired.
Did you see the code output at the end? It looked like pretty solid HTML and CSS to me. What was particularly interesting was the adhereance to OOCSS principles in the styles, but that could just be the result of good practices with the user.
> Second, I am always wary of amazing tools with unknown pricepoints. I get that you're still early, but some semblance of cost structure would be great. Frankly, I don't know if you're going to charge $1500 or $5 a month or free.
If you say it is amazing, he will probably charge $1500.
I guess the idea of a demo is to gauge interest, which will ultimately help in deciding price, among other things.
How do I use Macaw with Bootstrap/Foundation? Would I design the static website, then go in with my text editor and implement my front end framework of choice, or does Macaw have built-in support for front end frameworks?
This is more a css/html replacement tool, and should probably be thought of as such. Framework implementation is about code design and engineering, something you should take up on your own.
Regardless, it'd be nice to not have to write markup and css, to me a boring process; a product like this is long overdue. My question is how it fits in with workflow. Who owns this in a group setting; the designer? The front end dev? Do I have to design a page in photoshop before I try to build it in this (in the presentation, the graphics were all ready to go and layout, but it's never like that in real life). It just seems weird to have to go through the process of designing a page, and then designing it again.
I would think it would be owned by the designer and would be used as a prototype tool (as others mentioned before). I would not use PS for anything else other than to create elements to support the design (crop images, special graphics) but other than that a tool like this would be great to get the project started on the right direction and test the functionality on different browsers without having to involved a dedicated dev into the mix.
I'm personally a little disappointed it doesn't use Bootstrap or Foundation. A lot of developers are already skilled with those frameworks, and as I'm sure modifications will have to be made to the code of any of the new responsive design tools, using a familiar framework would be a big help.
I also hope these new tools allow us to output templated html and css -- there's nothing clunkier than dropping html into a rails project (I know that webflow will be able to output jade templates).
Seems a bit low for the price, but I think you're right about no monthly model. I could be wrong, but I don't believe it's possible to have subscription based software at this point in the Mac App Store, which is where they mentioned they'll be selling it.
I hope not; It should be an easy task for them to port this to Linux and Windows (and even to publish on the various first-party software stores they come with), given that the app is evidently built using web technologies. Perhaps even something common like node-webkit.
quite interested to see if it can really be used in production rather than just mock-ups. For example can you use the stylesheets from one page across a range of screens and still get the same level of clever optimisation.