Google Web Designer – What is it for and What’s the future?
Whenever one looks for a Web Design tool, a potential name that strikes is – Google Web Designer.
As there was a lot of buzz in the market about this freeware launched by Google. Undoubtedly, Google Web Designer is a good design tool to work visually without messing with the code. But, can you really rely on it for designing a website? Can it produce a full-fledged web application? If you also have the same questions, you need to know about this tool.
You might have heard of it. If not, you will get a basic idea of Google Web Designer here. We will also try to figure out what’s its future as being released almost four years ago.
First, have a look at what is it and how does it work?
What is Google Web Designer?
Google Web Designer tool is a program for creating interactive HTML5 websites and ad banners. It is a standalone software for Windows, Mac, and Linux. It is a WYSIWYG (“What You See Is What You Get”) editor for non-technical people who are unfamiliar with coding. It is also called GWD. So, GWD can be seen as a simple tool to easily develop content, fit for today’s cross-screen experiences. This GUI based Google tool is simple to use even for beginners while enabling the experienced developers to dig deeper. The automation features of GWD gives you the freedom to design without worrying about displays as the GWD designs and motion graphics can run on any device. Let’s see its features that makes it great for creating HTML5 and animation ads.
Features of Google Web Designer
Google Web Designer software was first released in 2013 by Google. It is continually developing from that time. The statistics show that over 7500 websites have used GWD and 3,162 live websites are still using it with an addition of 4,364 that used it historically. So, let’s briefly talk about the features that make it a popular choice among users:
The fluid layout allows users to use percentages when setting top, left, width and height styles. When the size and position of elements are set in percentage, they can shrink and grow with the container. It keeps the overall structure unchanged while this was a problem with fixed layouts. As in fixed layout, small changes in the container tends to reposition all the elements manually. So with the fluid layout, users can maintain the layout while resizing the container.
3D Authoring Environment
GWD provides a 3D Stage Rotate tool to see the effect of an element on every side. You can simply click and drag the object to rotate it. So GWD anticipates a full-3D authoring environment.
HTML with Pages
Google Web Designer Software has a fantastic feature to convert a page into HTML file. You can include any Google drive page into GWD for automatic conversion to the HTML.
Publish Directly to DoubleClick Studios
DoubleClick Studios gives cross-screen capabilities. So, you can create ads for both mobile and desktop screens conveniently. Google Web Designer is integrated with the DoubleClick Studio workflow. It enables you to add image galleries, videos, maps, and other interactive features to your creatives. GWD associates the ad with the appropriate account, advertiser, and campaign. Once your creation is ready, you can publish it directly into the studios.
Integration With Google Drive
Google drive is majorly seen as a backup or a platform to share documents. But GWD utilizes it in a very innovative way to publish the documents. This feature facilitates a preview of your creative on any browser, desktop or mobile. This is a unique feature that you might have never seen before in editors.
Google Web Designer tool provides a set of built-in components. Build Your Own Component (BYOC) feature supports for building the new components and improve the existing ones. These tailored components will be packaged in a ZIP file. Once imported to GWD, these will behave as native components only.
Google Web Designer Software provides many animation options like animation scrubbing, timeline events, auto keyframing with animation modes. It has basically two animation modes: Quick and Advanced. In Quick Animation Mode, you can create an animation scene by scene by adding a new view of the entire page. You can change the elements, modify the transition timelines, easings and much more. But in Advanced Mode, you have more control over individual frames. It will display the layers to modify each element from a stack of elements.
Google Web Designer tool provides you a rich color panel to pick the default colors and you can create the new custom colors or complex gradients. You can save these as a custom swatch.
GWD groups allow you to create reusable objects. Any change you make to the group will reflect all its instances. No need of copy-paste. If there are no instances of a group, it will save as a companion file. It will not add up to your total file size. Groups can encapsulate animations and can be used for creating dynamic galleries.
Revamped Web Components
Google Web Designer tool offers many revamped web components. Like Canvas shapes, 360 Gallery, Carousel Gallery, Swipeable Gallery, iFrame, Map, Tap Area, Video, and YouTube etc. It also includes the Gesture Components to facilitate use touch and mouse tracking, taps, clicks and other touch gestures. It gives you a TaptoCall feature to initiate a phone call to your specified contact number.
As you have an idea about major features of the Google Web Designer software, let’s explore its components:
Google Web Designer Components
Google Web Designer tool includes various web components. Out of which, some of the main components are as follows:
It is a transparent element that can be placed at any part of the screen to trigger an action with a touch or mouse-click.
It captures user interactions with your ad or HTML content.
This image button component is used to create a button with three visual states. Including an unpressed image, a hover image, and a pressed image.
Tap to Call
It is another transparent element to initiate a call/SMS to a specified contact number.
Google Web Designer enables you to create a simple gallery to move freely backward or forward through images or groups.
It helps you to add a positionable navigation pane to a Swipeable Gallery.
A Carousel gallery component aids you to create a swipeable carousel-like gallery for multiple images to give a 3D look.
It shows an object on all sides, swiping back and forth to turn the object around.
Google Web Designer tool enables you to place a video, YouTube video, audio or map in your ad.
You can add a Google Street View imagery to your project. You can specify the location, panning, and rotation for better user- interaction.
Add to Calendar Component
You can position it over any part of the screen to create an event reminder that users can add to their calendars.
You can load external URL elements in your project through iFrame.
This component is used in sprite-style animations and to place several images within one sprite sheet.
Google Web Designer Templates
Google Web Designer software offers you a number of rich media templates. You can create beautiful fully functional ads based on these templates to cater your needs. You can also modify any asset of these templates according to your requirements. You can view and download any of the Google Web Designer Templates depending on the feature, size, format etc. from its official page. Recently in 2018, 30 new banner templates have been added which support both AdWords and DoubleClick. Even, you can train yourself to design ads with Google Web Designer certification. It will nourish your skills and take you to a next level.
Google Web Designer Tutorials
Many users who are interested to give it a try usually ask “ Is Google Web Designer free?” Yes, it is totally free, just go and download the Google Web Designer. Once you have downloaded, you will see a setup file of Google Web Designer offline installer. Simply run it to install GWD. The next thing that will come to a user’s mind is – how to use Google Web Designer? There are many tutorials available to see how to create a website with Google Web Designer and design the ad banners. You can refer to its official page for some really good video Google Web Designer tutorial for beginners. You will find many Google Web Designer examples such as The Jungle Book, Minority Report, Nuovo SUV Peugeot 2008 etc. For a step-by-step guide to see how to use Google Web Designer to make a website, you can see these help support articles on Google Web Designer.
Google Web Designer Review
Google Web Designer Interface is reasonable to create animations. It is really good for prototyping. It’s interface is also clear and attractive. But too many controls in the panel, tend to look it heavier. Basically, it is responsible for creating CSS3 animations on HTML5-based adverts.
In spite of its benefits, it is not justifying its name. It can’t open the HTML files created by other web design tools. It lacks in text content creation features. To get the desired results with GWD, it is mandatory to have knowledge about the source code. If one is aware of CSS3 concepts, what is the purpose left behind to use Google Web Designer? Lastly, though it is free; it is still in Beta version.
In short, it’s worth creating popup ads, sidebars but certainly not the full-fledged websites. So, you can consider it as Google Ad designer. This term can exactly relate the need and development of GWD.
Best Google Web Designer Alternative
As you can see, Google Web Designer creates fantastic advertisements that are both dynamic and responsive. You can include animations, can make 2D or 3D designs as per your needs. There is no match for this free tool as an ad designer but not efficient as a web designer. If you want to design a full-fledged website, you need a reliable and sophisticated web design tool like TemplateToaster.
It is a web design software that gives you the full control over your design. It incorporates all the advanced web designing options, beautifully assembled in a user-friendly environment. A well-structured drag and drop interface will sort all your problems with a single mouse- click. No coding, no complications are there. You can add header video backgrounds, slideshows, stock photos and anything you can think of. You can have dazzling designs with easy menu builders to design any type of menu like hamburger, magazine, horizontal, vertical etc. it facilitates you hundreds of color schemes and fonts. You can get benefit from in-built logo & image gallery and icon library. It supports all the major CMSs and all the designs you make with it, will have cross-browser compatibility. If you want to have a great web designing experience, you can trust TemplateToaster.
Future of Google Web Designer
Google Web Designer works better as an ad designer. It has some options for web designing though not suitable for quality web designs. It is good for the users who know some HTML & CSS but not for beginners. After taking more than four years, it is still in beta stage. But I think, we can wait for some more time before abandoning it as most of the people are doing. Maybe they are not getting, what they have expected. But, it’s a Google product and updations are being made. So, we can expect a good application after addition of some new design features and fix existing bugs. On the whole, it’s a great ad designer and we can hope to see a quality web designer in the near future by Google!