I have a dilemma that has been bugging me for a while now. I am fairly new to Web Development, I have a handle on HTML and CSS, been practicing on and off for a few months. Along side that I have been also taken a few courses online for Graphic Design for Web (photoshop/color-theory/ Lightroom etc). My primary goal is to freelance part-time and eventually make it full time. I figured, its one thing to code a website up and another thing to design it… hence I have been busy learning code and design.
I heard about Webflow before, ignored it and recently have taken it seriously after noticing how quick it is to code a site on that platform.
The question that has been itching away for a while now… do I continue practicing how to code a website by hand (which will obviously take me longer) or jump into Webflow. The other issue I am having and I may be totally out of line with this ( I am new to tech)… I have this bothering feeling that platforms like Webflow will eventually bypass web-developers. Any thoughts, opinions on this matter would be greatly appreciated!
After going through the reading lists I will say that resource is a gold mine of information and motivation. I come at this with none too few biases of my own going back to the late 90s. This type of platform has been around since then, though I couldn’t name but one, Geocity.
The early days saw an emphasis on standardization. As UX design goes, trace back to the earliest Jared Spool papers, or Neilson-Norman Group. We cannot neglect to mention the Web Standards Group, Web Accessibility Iniative, Cynthia Says, and the host of other organizations dedicated to usability and accessibility. Going back to the very beginning of HTML there have been ideas and reasoning tossed around among the working group(s) that led to well founded recommendations that would be implemented by vendors (eventually).
In order to understand many of these discussions requires hands-on awareness of the subject. That means wherewithal in HTML and CSS.
Perhaps a compromise for me would be to sketch in raw code, then proof of concept with adaptive CSS, then transplant the ideation to the drag and drop. Then view source and see how close it comes to the same structure as the sketch outline. At least this way, there is a hands-on component that lets one explore individual elements and structures in some earnest, purposeful manner that leads to learning and expressive design.
Bottom line, even if none of the above means anything, take the time to read. Given your angle of approach is design, keep that in the picture, and lean heavily on CSS. Your chief concern is the UI (user interface). But from a perspective of structuring a UI, core understanding of HTML is a must. Drag and drop makes for faster and easier workflow, but it doesn’t take into account any of the considerations of either user or designer. Read and learn about standards, guides and best practices. Down the road you will pull all this together and be cranking out some beauties, I’m sure.
In the few months of coding and learning how quick this industry can change with new technologies, I guess the safe bet would to keep an open mind about these things. There is a bit of learning curve in webflow where as the user needs a bit of html/css knowledge in order to navigate the software efficiently. There are no shortcuts, however I will keep coding by hand as well as trying new platforms out. After all, the challenge that coding brings (and learning) in generally is what appealed to me most in this industry.
Thank you again for your response, very much appreciated.