Tuesday, 8 October 2013

We Review: Google Web Designer

A week has passed since the unveiling of Google's Web Designer beta release, the easy tool HTML5 aficionados and marketers can use across multiple platforms to create enhanced campaigns. So what have we learned?

With HTML5 predicted to outstrip Flash - particularly in online adverts - within two years, Google has sought to hand power over to the everyman marketer, removing the crutch for high-end coding skills. The option to customise the CSS and JavaScript is still intact for techies, but new default layouts (and a "Quick mode") for DoubleClick and AdMob advertising platforms are designed to make the tool the primary resource for search and online marketers, whose clicks are worth billions in revenue to Google.

High in usability for non-coders, users can drag-and-drop their images and animations into a friendly build view, making quick designs and striking visuals an easy process. Crucially, its also free - saving $15 per month compared to Adobe's Muse alternative.

Sean Kranzberg, a Lead Engineer behind the project wrote on the Google blog: "We think that Google Web Designer will be the key to making HTML5 accessible to people throughout the industry, getting us closer to the goal of 'build once, run anywhere.'"

But can it "run anywhere"?

Critics have suggested that the major flaw with this new tool is the lack of cross-browser .The code generated is, predictably, designed for Chrome, Google's flagship browser. But despite Chrome's popularity, the majority of desktops primarily use Microsoft's Internet Explorer, whilst Mozilla's Firefox is also a common choice. The new adverts created may not translate over too well to other browsers, limiting and alienating the experience for a major demographic. 

While this is all part of Google's larger data strategy - their own-brand add-tracking alternative to cookies is rumoured to be in development - marketers enjoying this simplified tool may find their campaigns perhaps limited. Check out this review for a more detailed analysis.

Monopoly criticism aside; this is a fantastic and potentially revolutionary tool which both hardened coders and novice marketers can quickly adopt. New projects can be published within the hour, it carries Google's product-wide compatibility measures with the inclusion of DoubleClick and best of all, its free software.

CreativesRus rating: 8/10