Do Not Read This If You Like Google Web Designer

I’m going to indulge in my own speculation about what Google Web Designer will be here: it won’t be Dreamweaver. It will be basically be Edge Animate without the design heritage. It will be hyper-focussed tool that will make creating animated, interactive banner ads simple and easy – much more so than when we had to build them in Flash Pro. As with Flash Pro and Edge Animate, it’ll also be capable of creating visually-led but relatively simple micro sites that can be embedded into other sites (which are very popular with clients currently). It won’t have Edge Animate’s more grown-up design tools – from proper keyframing to reusable symbols – but could quite possibly include many template-driven design tools that aim to open up ad creation to as wide an audience as possible. – Digital Arts Online


The most important thing about Google Web Designer is its design surface, which is, well, Chrome. That means you can test your code without leaving a page, and you can flip between code and design views to see just what works. This approach simplifies development and debugging, and while you can quickly launch any of your currently installed browsers to see pages, it’s good to be able to see what you’ll be getting as you write code and lay out HTML – Cite Word


First of all, let me make it clear that Google Web Designer is not a threat to web developers, despite whatsome reviewers have said. Just like all of the other programs that allow designers to create design templates, from Dreamweaver to Weebly, it will of course have a user base. However, those programs by necessity can never be on the front edge of development, and professional developers will not adopt them. Google Web Designer will be good for tasks like: Designing a quick banner, or integrating conveniently with Google Ads. These will be welcome additions to many a designer’s toolbox – it might even be good for developers who struggle with design, as much as for designers who struggle with coding – but it’s not as if this product is going to change the game in any serious way – From GraemeBoy


Google today launched a new advertising application in beta called Google Web Designer. The company says the tool is for creating “professional-quality design” HTML5 ads and campaigns accessible to everyone from the designer to the dabbler – The Next Web


Google Web Designer is a downloadable app for Windows and Mac that offers a complete stage for building ads, with visual editing tools but also a code view that technical users can access. Google will either build the HTML5 and CSS that drives your animated ad for you, or allow you to build it yourself. Or, any option in between. The software offers a quick animation mode that essentially allows you to build two scenes so that it can then tween the images to create a quick-and-dirty animation. It also offers a more in-depth approach that lets designers animate individual layers and elements independently of each other. Using the 3-D authoring tools, ad designers can rotate objects along any axis and add dimensionality to their creations. Clearly, Google believes that if you create great ads using its tool, you’ll be more likely to publish them on platforms that result in Google revenue – Venture Beat


What we can be sure of is that whatever its origins, Web Designer is a natural step for Google, it makes absolute sense that having cornered the market in advertising, Google should produce a tool for building those adverts. Already tied into DoubleClick and AdMob, the option to publish for other networks is included, but is unlikely to be widely used – WebDesigner Depot

There are several benefits to replacing Flash with HTML5, but one of the biggest is that Flash doesn’t, and probably won’t ever, run on iOS. Even though most Android devices can handle Flash at this point, Google wants to make it as easy as possible for designers to make their ads, and that means coding them for the most universal platform available – CNET



Screen Shots

googles new website designer

google web designer publish-screen

google web designer screen

google web designer screen


Positive Reviews


Bstnfeeparty – And who says they have to be ads, in the traditional sense? I could benefit from having some nice animated content on my pages with the added benefit of the ad tracking metrics google provides?


Will – “Google has beaten Microsoft office into submission by delivering basic rivals free of charge” Well…


HemanthMalli – It seems great and its free source too!! I’m really excited to work on this !!


Andreas Olsson – I think this is a really good alternative. Mainly because it is free. Tried it out earlier today, and it seems pretty nice to work with. “Probably the biggest blow to Adobe, and to all rival applications is that Adobe Web Designer is free, at least for now.” It should be “Google Web Designer” instead of “Adobe Web Designer”, right?


Clarice – Wow! Way to go Google! You’ve outdone yourself yet again. Wondering if people without “designer” knowledge would be able to work on this? Is this the point of releasing a free awesome product like this?


Michael Musgrove – The use of these tools is the responsibility of the designer/developer, and their personal standards. I intentionally never learned Dreamweaver because I wanted to know how everything works and be able to do it myself. I’ll always hand code my sites and apps and work in an IDE like Sublime Text.
But, for animations and complex coding, I can easily see how these tools would be a HUGE timesaver. I’ve been playing with Google Web Designer for a while, and if you create some advanced animations, then have a look at the source code, you’ll see there’s no WAY you could code all that any better or faster. But I’m not reliant on anything or anyone to integrate that code with my own. I still know what that code is and does, and that way I can maintain high coding standards.



Negative Reviews


Ivan Lee – Clunky interface as one review has already mentioned. Needs alot of work in the UX department. Creating ads in minutes is just not so.


Sotiris Varotsis – Right.. 5ml did that 3,5 years ago (and still does) a lot better, and it’s a web based app. I gave it a thorough try, and I failed to pinpoint how the build once, run anywhere approach really works, unless you dive deep into code. Sorry Google.. close but no cigar


Davie Rockefeller – Shouldn’t they try to be more direct with the name of this product and call it Ad Designer, rather than Web Designer? Or am I missing something here and you’re supposed to build full websites with this tool? I can appreciate their desire to not limit this product for just ads, but Web is a rather wide range of possibilities, I think, and beyond the scope of this tool.


Sotiris Varotsis – I couldn’t agree more with your “so far I have found it to be clunky, and non-intuitive” statement. I gave it a thorough try today and at moments I felt as if I were flossing my gums with barbed wire. It took quite some effort to manage to pinpoint how it works and things didn’t feel natural at all, especially the expandable/contractible properties pane which had me frustrated constantly (btw, the sections in the properties pane can be reordered). This is especially irritating as I am not the average user. I develop the frontend for a competing product (5ml) and if I have difficulties getting around the tool, chances are the average Joe user is going to have a really tough time around it. Of course, GWD is a beta product and I expect it to change a lot as it matures. It has some really good ideas in it, and it’s going to help push the competition for better products and services in this area. Finally, yes.. I totally agree with you that this software (and other software in this line) are not threatening the Web Developer (even if GWD would actually require a web developer tinkering under the hood in order to go the extra mile). There’s a market for these type of tools/services as well, and of course nothing stops a Web Developer from adding them into their arsenal.


Johhnie Grieve – “Nothing in life is perfect and as they say, Rome wasn’t built in day. I personally I’m going to stick with this program and it’s primary focus which is HTML5 animations. All I want to say is don’t give up on GWD there is so much more potential to come.”


Tom Green – The 3D – actually 2.5 D – feature is quite interesting but I frankly don’t see much use for tilting the stage or content unless there is a compelling reason to do so. Still this is a dangerous feature which, if this thing takes off, will be overused and will most likely be right up there with Flash’s “Skip Intro”. For those of you thinking this will “kill” Flash and Animate you might notice a few things missing in GWD which are workflow aids: no symbols, no library, no import menu, no  filters, no property value scrubbing to tweak animations, no code snippets and no clipping.  (For the life of me if it is there I can’t find it.) In many respects this current iteration of GWD reminds me an awful lot of the Alpha phase of Edge Animate that I had the pleasure of being a part of a couple of years ago. Like GWD ,it was rudimentary , unpolished and, like GWD, difficult to use. I suspect this app has a bit of growing up to do and it should be interesting to watch. Until then my advice is to pay attention to the word Beta. Google Web/Ad Designer still isn’t ready for prime time.


Tadeo Thompson – This is not available for ChromeOS?! Really? Am I missing something?


Asa Sherrill – We’ve been inundated with a lot of tools over the years that propose to make the creation of things easier. All along the way, clients who don’t quite understand that design is a process rather than a toolset have always been trying to do it for themselves. Clients who “get” creative will continue to hire graphic designers regardless of tools.
Its not like Photoshop 6 with all its new magical-seeming editing algorithms is all of a sudden making clients say that they don’t need graphic designers.
For that reason, Google adding a tool to the already enormous spectrum of DIY web builders and professional design tools does not feel threatening at all.


Cloudmatt – Well, looks like we got the new mouse. Time for the ad blockers to find the next mousetrap.




Paul van den Dool – I usually try to evade these type of applications. I think it’s good practice to hard code designs and not resort to drag and drop applications. It feels like cheating to me and should not be done. Even if a deadline is looming.


Dan DiGangi – Being a developer, I could go either way on this. It empowers a lot of individuals but at the same time, it creates the perception that we can eliminate the development role.


Responses from the GWD Team:


Hi, please refer to this. The webkit prefixes are only used at author-time. When you publish, you will be prompted to select other prefixes (selected by default) and GWD generates it automatically for you.
Greatly appreciate it if you can update your article to point this out.
Kishore (GWD team).

Thuso (Admin)
Thuso (Admin)
He claims that he's not a compulsive Blogger. Everyone disagrees.
  • Awesome Me

    Most new technologies are not readily accepted by the world – so I am not shocked that the Google Web Designer project has not got the credence that its due yet. Time will tell.

  • Thuso

    I couldn’t agree with you more Awesome Me!

  • click here

    My brother suggested I might like this blog. He used to be totally right. This post actually made my day. You can not believe simply how much time I had spent for this info! Thank you!

  • Thuso

    Click here, thank you for your reply. It would be better if you used your real name next time.

  • wachtel

    Informative article, just what I was looking for.

  • Thuso

    Thank you Watchel!

  • Google

    check below, are some totally unrelated sites to ours, having said that, they may be most trustworthy sources that we use

  • Thuso

    Spill the beans buddy.