So, Google has thrown its hat in the ring of web design tools with Google Web Designer. There seems to be a new web design tool coming out every other day at the moment, some good, some bad, some trying to be that all encompassing tool that will do everything a web designer needs.
I’m not so sure as web designers that we need one tool that does everything. I like using Photoshop. I like coding in Coda. I like using Hammer for local dev. I like using Ghostlab for testing. I’ve tried Adobe Edge Code but it doesn’t beet Coda. I’ve tried other web design tools that claim to make responsive web design easier but they just don’t suite my workflow and hand coding practices. Web design changes so quickly these days that the ‘one tool’ that works today will be next years Fireworks. Not every web design project is the same and some will require tools that others don’t. I prefer to use a tool that lets me focus on the job in hand; Photoshop for graphics, Coda for coding, Gridstep for responsive grids, etc.
Google Web Designer
When I saw the tweet from Project Meteor about Google Web Designer I instantly took a look at the website and was instantly confused as to what the tool was claiming it could do. As the title of the tool suggests – Google Web Designer – you’d think it would be a tool for creating website designs. After downloading Google Web Designer and having a look around it became apparent that this wasn’t a ‘Web Designer’ tool at all but a way to create interactive HTML5 adverts and animations. There are some preset document types for a range of ad sizes and components that you can drag to the page to create sliders and galleries. The other side to the Google Web Designer tool is creating slick HTML5 animations and the Google Web Designer tool has a raft of 3D and other tools for creating some very good animated elements. No drag and drop components here yet but then Google Web Designer is still in early Beta.
Would I call it a web design tool? No. I’d call it a tool for creating animations and interactive ads. I really wouldn’t like to start creating a website with Google Web Designer, it’s just not the right tool for that kind of job. Maybe as the Beta grows it will become a fully fledged web design tool but at this stage its just not. It might come in handy when I need to work on some interactive (Non-flash) banners on an upcoming project so another review then might reveal its hidden charms.
It probably would have been better to call it ‘Google Web Ad Animator’.