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A web design app1

A subject I’ve been thinking a lot about, and on which Jason Santa Maria published a really good piece yesterday, is a proper web design app. A desktop application specifically made for web designers to mock up their screen designs, before they dive into the code.

My current weapon of choice is still Illustrator – as I once outlined here – but its flaws are plenty. As Jason notes:

Every option out there has its tradeoffs.

He then goes on to specify some feature requests for his ideal tool, and they make a lot of sense: grids, page states, correct font rendering, css-type styling, page flow, form elements, etcetera. I too have often longed for a slim but versatile design app that incorporated all this.

My main concern with this discussion is voiced perfectly by commenter Andrew Ingram:

The key to me is not for it to be a WYSIWYG HTML editor like Dreamweaver or Coda, but rather to be a drawing package . […] I’m not sure if I’d even give it the facility to export to ‘real’ HTML and CSS, though that might be nice if done well.

So please, future developers of this yet-to-be-made dream app: don’t try to let it output production-ready code. Thank you.

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