That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet

Every now and again a new web design tool pops up, claiming to be “visual”. Yet, most of the time the fall short of the promise in many ways.

We have recently tweeted about this:

And even not so recently:

And in fact I even wrote a blog post about this, categorizing levels of “visualness”:

The reason there are so many website builders that show an editable canvas and a list of CSS properties next to it is it’s relatively easy to create an app like that. So much so that even many web-based website builders do that.

And yet the consequence of that is you might be clicking on stuff on screen, but you need to have a full mental model of what CSS does. Or, you know, poke around in the dark hoping to achieve what you are thinking about.

I am also surprised by people who will call those website builders “visual” with a straight face. Really?

Maybe I’m totally off base here, and I need to rethink my understanding of the “visual” term. What’s in a name?


Today I have worked my way through the tutorial of a very new visual website builder (beta): actually only out of a weird sense of duty (because of old attachment to the predecessor app).
Everything works as intended, but unfortunately it seems to be without many original ideas and discouraged.
I am now a bit depressed, good that Sparkle exists.

@duncan Did you see my two responses on twitter :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
My twitter handle believe it or not is @rimram


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Love this, Duncan. I tried every program out there that claimed to be visual. And yet I was still stuck editing CSS properties.

Coding can be fun, but most of the time with websites, I JUST WANT IT DONE.

Sparkle gets it done.

There is literally no product that compares.