Understand the link chain

Jon Benson

I’m a web and graphic designer here at liquidfish and I've recently been toying with building my own portfolio website, but my development experience goes no deeper than an unresponsive site or two built with basic HTML and CSS. Thus, I needed the help of a “no coding required” service, but I also wanted something that granted a bit more control than the standard WYSIWYG template-based, “baby’s first website” functionality and layout options found in Wix, Adobe Portfolio, Squarespace, etc.  

That’s when Webflow caught my eye. As someone who works daily in Illustrator and Photoshop, I was very impressed by the familiarity and logic of Webflow’s UI but was also intimidated by its robustness. Webflow expects (but also teaches) you to go far beyond the comfort of drag-and-drop template design and understand how to build the actual structure of a responsive website using flex containers and the like. It quickly became apparent that I was in for a lot of tutorial videos and, as I scaled the nearly vertical learning curve, I began to pick up bits and pieces of developers’ conversations and (to my great surprise) I could actually keep up with them.

Now, the point of this blog isn’t to promote Webflow over another CMS/website building service and especially not to devalue developers (quite the opposite!). If anything, Webflow has helped me scratch the tip of the development iceberg and realize how truly immense and dense an undertaking web development is, especially when building larger sites. I now have, for instance, a deeper understanding of the importance of designing a component-based website. I can better foresee challenges with page elements being responsive and how to come up with a solution, all from spending some time in—albeit an elementary version—a development tool.

Webflow has already changed the way I plan on approaching my next site design and improved my ability to design with development in mind. My point is, if you take some time to learn more about the next link in the process, you will see the quality of the chain improve overall.