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Webflow is making us higher digital designers

We’d wish to inform you a few software that we (the Design staff at Velocity) have lately began experimenting with to create internet content material. 

Truly, scratch that: we’re kid-needing-to-go-pee bursting to inform you about it.

As a result of though we’re solely simply getting began with Webflow, we already see huge potential in it. 

In good time, we’re assured that Webflow will empower us as designers to do even higher, extra precisely-engineered work for our shoppers. 

And that’s only for starters.

However earlier than we get to what we’re going to do with Webflow, let’s speak about what we’ve already finished with it… 

Oh – and in case you’re questioning what the hell Webflow is…

What the hell Webflow is

Webflow is a “no-code” web site builder that allows you to take management of HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript utilizing a totally visible canvas. 

From a Design POV, that signifies that we (as non-coders) can create an internet web page and both publish the code straight to the online or hand it over to our Dev staff to combine right into a website. 

How we received began with it

As soon as upon a time – okay, about three months in the past – Dave, our Head Dev, got here throughout a video about Webflow and received excited. 

(Full disclosure: he’s just about all the time excited, however he was barely extra excited than regular.) 

Dave despatched us a hyperlink and informed us we should always look into Webflow: it’s a possible recreation changer.

We have been intrigued. We have been hungry. We had lunch. We got here again from lunch. And watched the video. And have been impressed. 

So we determined we should always attempt Webflow out. And it simply so occurred that we had the excellent piece of labor to attempt it out on.

You see, we’d been doing a rebrand for our consumer Look, and as a part of that mission we would have liked to create a model guideline doc.

Ordinarily, we’d have created this doc as a PDF. However the factor about PDFs (and no disrespect to any PDF followers on the market studying this) is that they’re not often our first selection of format. 

Why? Allow us to rely the methods: they’re clunky; they’re previous tech; they’re static; they’re not interactive; they’re unwieldy; there’s no model management… 

In our estimation, all of it provides as much as a Fairly Diabolical Format. (Please: save your groans to the top.)

And, hey: we’re a digital company, aren’t we? We’re presupposed to characterize the chopping fringe of digital content material. So shouldn’t we intention to place these model tips on-line

Sure. Sure, we should always. 

If you happen to want any extra convincing, right here’s: 

5 the explanation why model tips work higher as an internet web page than a PDF

  1. Model management is simpler to take care of with an internet web page
  2. An internet web page showcases your model to the world… (Which makes placing cool stuff akin to animation in it actually worthwhile.)
  3. Is extra shareable… It gained’t get misplaced in your inbox or paper tray. 
  4. And extra interactive. (And, ergo, participating.)
  5. You possibly can measure (and thereby enhance) an internet web page’s efficiency. 

How we labored with it

Webflow has been billed as “design with out dev”. And to some extent, that’s true.

Take the model tips job: usually, as soon as the design was finalized, this is able to be put right into a Figma file and our Dev staff must do a customized construct job to get it on-line. 

Utilizing Webflow, Design put collectively a container template for the model tips – which they’ll have the ability to use once more in future, by the way in which – all by themselves. 

However this doesn’t imply that the devs aren’t concerned. No siree: they’re taking part in a completely important position right here. 

In any case, as designers we’re working on the devs’ house turf: CSS land – a hitherto mysterious place, shrouded in thick layers of code, the place names are totally different, the guidelines are totally different, and novices are liable to slide up.

Let’s clarify:

In Figma, you’re employed with ‘mounted’ or ‘absolute’ positioning of components by default. This implies you may drag components round a web page and place them wherever you need – with out this inflicting structure modifications to different components.  

In Webflow, in contrast, you’re utilizing the foundations of CSS by default. Which means that components are positioned ‘comparatively’, stacking on high of each other. 

To interrupt out of this technique in Webflow, it is advisable go in and alter a selected factor’s place to ‘mounted/absolute’. To interrupt out of the ‘mounted/absolute’ system in Figma, it is advisable arrange and use a system known as ‘auto structure’. 

In different phrases, you’re working straight with the online format moderately than working with a design software that will get translated (both by automation or through the dev staff) into that format.

And with regards to how greatest to design throughout the guidelines of the online, we’re studying – however our devs stay invaluable consultants.  

What we made with it

Our designer Dean, who had (albeit restricted) expertise working with Webflow, put collectively a container template in a matter of days.

This container was then up to date by our designers, who imported new model components (which had already been outlined and authorized) into the web page. 

We’re actually pleased with the outcomes – and so are the Look staff. (By the way in which, we labored carefully on this with Look’s Director of Model Efficiency & Advertising, Nadine – who was an absolute pleasure to work with.)

You possibly can try the model tips Dean and I created utilizing Webflow right here: 


Some upsides of working with Webflow

  1. We will design, construct and publish utilizing one software

Which means that – no less than once we’re engaged on small scale tasks with out the finances for a completely fledged internet software – we are able to make a price saving by publishing on to the online as a substitute of handing backwards and forwards to our Dev staff.

  1. It’s extra highly effective and versatile for prototyping than design software program

If you wish to embrace animation and interactive components in a prototype, Webflow is the way in which to go. 

However extra importantly, what you see in Webflow is what you will notice when the positioning is pushed reside. 

Webflow has responsive design logic constructed into it, so you may see precisely how the content material you’re designing goes to behave on internet and cell – if, for instance, a headline goes to run over or snap awkwardly. 

This could’t assist however productively inform our design choices. In any case, it stands to motive that the extra we perceive the medium of the online, the extra thought-about and acceptable choices we are able to make when designing content material for it. 

  1. It doubtlessly streamlines our processes

At the very least, that’s, for contained items (like model tips). 

As soon as we’ve constructed a template, redesigning that template with one other consumer’s branding needs to be fast and simple. It will save us (and our shoppers) money and time.

The way it impacts our complete company

We needs to be clear: we’re solely simply getting began with Webflow, and we’re not utilizing it commonly.

Below regular circumstances, when one in all our designers receives a quick they gained’t be going into Webflow to create it. 

They’ll proceed to make use of Figma (or one thing like Figma) – though as soon as their (let’s say) Figma wireframe has been authorized, they might presumably go to Webflow to construct it. 

Whereas Webflow helps get our designers right into a Dev mindset – serving to us perceive stuff like native positioning, structure construction and responsive design – it’s nonetheless a brand new and peculiar world for us that it’s going to take us a while (and some extra tutorials) to change into comfy with. 

And apart from, Webflow isn’t only a Design ‘factor’. Removed from it.

We would like the capabilities we now have as an company to be mirrored in no matter we construct with Webflow. 

Subsequently, each a part of our company wants to consider how they’ll work with Webflow. 

For instance:

  • Dev will want to verify the top code is nice code. (In any case, there are proper and mistaken methods of doing issues in Webflow – simply as there are proper and mistaken methods to Dev.) 

They’ll have to test that greatest practices are adhered to and the code is clear. They’ll additionally test stuff like accessibility, code output bundle dimension, efficiency, search engine marketing, interplay optimization… 

  • Writers will have the ability to use Webflow to see how their copy appears to be like in situ – on desk/laptop computer and cell, maximized or minimized – and edit it accordingly. As with our designers, our writers will undoubtedly profit from understanding the medium they’re writing for as they write for it.
  • Efficiency might want to test all the pieces is smart from an search engine marketing and UX perspective. (With model tips, for instance, we have to make it simple for customers to seek out, obtain and use the branded parts.)

What’s in it for our shoppers?

It boils all the way down to simplicity and freedom for the consumer with regards to controlling content material. It’s insanely simple to replace and edit stuff with out having to come back to us or cope with managing the WordPress backend.

Webflow’s ‘Editor’ characteristic is configured to the content material and removes the entire regular complexity you get with dashboards of different content material administration methods – that means the trail to what you need is a brief one.

That sort of intuitive management probably leads to higher content material – which is what it’s all about. Particularly in case you’ve lately rebranded, you need that stuff to sing. Pointers needn’t be mechanical and prescriptive. Positive, you need them to be useful above all – making certain consistency and cohesion inside your model – however they’re additionally a chance to exude a lil’ mojo and get your folks excited.

Talk to us about it

So there you’ve it: that’s been our expertise with utilizing Webflow (thus far).

If you happen to’re a designer – or a digital artistic of any variety – who’s labored with Webflow, we’d like to know what your expertise of it has been, and what potential you see in it. 

Drop us a line or depart a remark beneath.

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