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Google Web Designer: A Free Visual Tool For Creating HTML5 Ads And Sites

In case you missed it, Google recently announced the launch of a visual tool for creating interactive HTML5 sites and ads called Web Designer. The search giant initially hinted that they would be coming out with such a tool in June but kept quiet about it right up until the official launch. Well, now it’s available, and the best part is that it’s free as a beta download whether you run a PC or Mac! According to Frederic Lardinois of Techcrunch.com:

Web Designer was developed to allow advertisers to easily create HTML5 ads for mobile and desktop. Until recently, Google argues, advertisers ‘didn’t have the tools they needed to easily develop content fit for today’s cross-screen experiences’ and Web Designer aims to be the tool to create these experiences.

Advantages of Google Web Designer
The great thing about Google Web Designer is that it caters to experienced coders and web designers, as well as amateurs who are looking to try web design out on their own. So you can focus on design and create a visual experience that will capture your audience while Web Designer does all the heavy lifting on the HTML5 and CSS3 side. Of course, you can still dive into the code to enhance and refine the code if that’s the way you prefer, but at its core, Web Designer is a visual tool.

Another thing is that since it’s a tool that uses HTML5, it can be used to create professional quality design that can be viewed across a variety of devices. Emil Protalinski of TheNextWeb.com says:

HTML5 is widely seen as the standard that everyone on the Web should adopt. In case you didn’t know, Google describes HTML5 as a ‘universal language for building beautiful, engaging content that can run across desktops, smartphones, and tablets.’ It is thus the company’s hope that Google Web Designer will help make HTML5 accessible to people throughout the advertising industry, getting Web developers closer to the goal of ‘build once, run anywhere.’

For Creating Ads
Primarily, Google Web Designer is a tool for creating ads. Unsurprisingly, it integrates with Google’s AdMob and DoubleClick Studio, but there’s also an option to create generic ads that can be used on other ad networks. However, according to Frederic:

…there is nothing in the tool that would prevent you from building interactive single-page sites and animations for other purposes, as well.

Unfortunately, some features are only available for ads although Google does plan on expanding these features for other purposes later on.

If you’re worried about the controls being too alien for you to use, Google has built Web Designer with all the tools you might be familiar with on other visual design tools. There’s a pen tool for free-drawing, a timeline to manage the animations you’re working on, and even the ability to create 3D content using CSS3. Animations are one of the core features of Web Designer, and there’s a Quick Mode for those who just want to jump right in scene by scene, as well as advanced mode that allows you to fine tune the different elements that make up the page or ad.

Web Designer isn’t the only visual tool on the block for creating professional quality visuals to make sites and ads. In case you weren’t aware, there’s also Adobe Muse, Reflow and a bunch of others that offer the same feature set and functionality. However, Web Designer is currently the only one that offers everything for free. Sure, Web Designer is technically a beta product, but Google has been known to use that term loosely, popularizing these so-called beta services and keeping them running for a couple of years before finally dropping the beta tag. Looking to use it? Check out the official Google Web Designer page here.


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