What Is Google Web Designer And How It Can Help You

You can learn and Master coding, but it requires a lot of your time, efforts and patience on your side. But every once in a while there comes a tool that makes the previous obsolete and makes everything look pretty easy. That is one of the tool we are now talking about, launched by Google, a free tool called Google Web Designer for the visually inclined and the non-technical to perform the daunting HTML 5 tasks.

Google has announced yet another tool of their own, but this time around it is not a web based designer, instead, it is a standalone software for both Windows and Mac platforms. Google Web Designer – or what it is called GWD, is more of a WYSIWYG (“What You See Is What You Get”) editor and all you need to do is place images and arrange them, it works by itself on the HTML and CSS code. GWD was launched at the end of september, and it is still in beta, so it lacks many features, which it would supposedly work upon in the near future.

During times when Adobe charges on a monthly basis for using their Creative Cloud suite and where Flash adverts are slowly becoming obsolete as iOS does not support flash, GWD comes as a game changer with HTML 5 advert designing tool. I personally am not much inclined to using WYSIWYG editors for my HTML, CSS coding process. These tools usually have a steeper learning curve and the end result is not particularly on fit for all browsers. That’s where GWD does most of the work, it is based on HTML 5 and CSS 3 and allows cross browser support, that makes it a good tool.

I have been playing around with this latest Google’s tool and from what I can tell is it is evolving and would need a little time to become that extra something.

So, let’s begin.

What is Google Web Designer

By now, you should have a basic idea of what exactly GWD is. It is a WYSIWYG editor that lets you create interactive HTML5-based designs and motion graphics that can run on any device. All you need to do is place the images and arrange them, GWD works with the code. You are also allowed to play around with the code and tweak them as you wish.

The installation

GWD comes as a free installable software supporting Windows 7+ or Mac OS X 10.7.x+. The installer is of a few hundred Kb which later downloads several megabytes of resources as it installs.

GWD interface

Google Web designer

You can see above what GWD exactly looks like. If you have been playing around with some tools before, you could immediately conclude that it looks more like a mashup between Microsoft Expression and Adobe Creative suite. From what I hear, Google has hired ex-Adobe employees for GWD, and so perhaps it does not come much as a surprise.

GWD boasts of a cool dark-themed interface and it is pretty much similar to what you might have experienced with Adobe tools.

Where can you use GWD?

Using Google Web designer

I have used it to its core, and from what I can tell, It is NOT at all a web designer. As Google claims it as ‘Google Web Designer’, it is not a full fledged Web designer. Although GWD allows you to edit webpages, it is not the best tool to do the job. What GWD lacks is a text content creation feature. It opens html files only created from their application in the first place. You can’t edit your own files from here!

GWD is great for creating HTML 5 and animation ads and banners. So, in short, it is more like a ‘Google Ad Designer’. I am not sure if it is a marketing act, but GWD is a great tool for creating interactive HTML 5 and CSS 3 ad banners.

Why it might be good for you:

  • It is completely free.
  • A reasonably good interface.
  • Great for Ad and Banner design.
  • You could quickly create prototypes.
  • Easy to create animations.

Where it lacks:

  • Can’t open independent HTML files.
  • It is more suited for created animated animated banners.
  • Difficult for novices and too clumsy for professional use.


So, wrapping up the details, in short GWD is the tool for you if you’re looking into developing interactive and great looking HTML 5 banner advertisements.

If you are all about web designing, GWD comes with its limitations and is not the best tool for creating web designs. Use it for quick prototyping, but the final product would be much better elsewhere.

Although, GWD received a good positive response from people worldwide, it is still in beta is a point to be noted. It might get much better sooner and fix its drawbacks to give Adobe Dreamweaver a tough fight. Your turn now, what do you think about GWD? Share your thoughts and comments below.

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Article By
A Shouter whose articles got mentions from the likes of The New York Times, Kissmetrics and AllTopStories. He writes articles, novels and poems; spends most of his time reading everything he could get his hands on. Srikanth is currently pursuing his Masters from The University of Illinois and holds a Bachelors in Electronics Engineering from the University of Mumbai. He is a programmer, a motivational writer and speaker.


COMMENTs ( 3 )

  1. Sagar Rai says

    Hi Sri,

    Great tutorial. Looking for more. But do you think is it best way to integrate a GWD Banner in a website? As an iframe?

  2. Ankur Upadhyay says

    The problem with Dreamweaver is its steep price which is difficult for novice users to afford. This new tool by Google will get its users, even if it is half as good as dreamweaver.