A Quick Look At Google Web Designer
Google Web Designer is a HTML5 development application released in October 2013 for both Mac OS X and Windows. It is primarily a tool for creating CSS3 animations on HTML5 based ads.
As I stated before Google Web Designer is available for both Mac OS X and Windows, it is an installable application so it’s no “browser-based” as many people expected to be coming from Google. Another thing is that it’s still in its beta stages so there are a few quirks here and there and you will encounter them a lot. The best thing about the application is that is free, and we all love free stuff don’t we? You can download it here.
As soon as you see the interface, Creative Suite will probably come to your mind, it has that dark themed interface that we would expect from Adobe (There are rumors that it’s being developed by ex-Adobe programmers, I would have never guessed!). The interface is quite clean so you wont feel intimidated when you first open the app, it also does looks nice and works good, even though I find the right panels (which are full of options) a little bit cluttered and need to collapse and expand a lot the panels but that’s maybe it’s a non issue on a bigger monitor.
Here we get to probably the best feature in Google Web Designer, and that is creating animations. Animations are intuitive enough and quite easy to do, even more if you use the “Quick” animation mode. In Quick mode the animations are done with simple keyframes, the timeline looks like a storyboard. There’s also an “Advanced” mode which will make the timeline look really familiar to video editors, there you animate with the usual keyframes like the ones used in After Effects. It also has a “Code view” which, as the name states, let’s you see the CSS3 animation code and a “Design view” which acts more like a design software.
The application is easy enough to use, even more if you’re used to Adobe’s softwares since it is similar in a few things. Like it has been said before in other reviews, a more fitting name would be “Google Ad Designer” since it’s really not that good to make websites, and works better to make animated or non animated ads. One thing for sure, there is a lot of room for improvement and there a lot of quirks to be solved (like why the heck can’t I select multiple keyframes on different layers??), it is still a beta version so it is to be expected.
Let’s see what Google brings with the full version in the future!