I have a basic understanding of HTML/CSS coding and was a complete wiz at Lingo back in the days of Macromedia Director. Being a right-brained creative, I started off with web using PageMill, then gnashed my teeth through GoLive and DW, finally finding a fantastic oasis with Freeway. As FW couldn’t keep up (then recently went toes-up) I’ve been frantically searching for a WYSIWYG web app that has the power of FW but does a better job of responsive.
There are a lot of apps out there that are not ready for prime time. So far, Pinegrow looks to have the greatest potential of them all, but coming from my level, I’ve found the interface to be a real head-basher. Every time I’ve tried to create something beyond a string of blocks I’ve hit a wall.
Example - I dropped in the basic image-and-menu header block, swapped out the logo for my own, then spent half an hour trying to set the size and failed. I’m used to doing this in a couple of seconds. I crawled up and down the interface, set the size in the Properties pane, but nothing. I then set the min size and got a stretched logo and with no idea how to actually scale it. When trying to do really basic things, such as setting the attributes for h1, p, etc. (which should also be simple) I hit another forest of spider webs and gave up.
I have no doubt that codeheads absolutely love Pinegrow. I can certainly see its potential. As creative director in a corporate setting (in large manufacturing company too cheap to hire a web specialist) I need a solution that I can personally implement for all our corporate sites as well as for creating and personalizing template sites for our local dealers.
As I plan on making a huge commitment to this, I naturally need to know that UI is a top priority. Using the competing app, Blocs, as a comparison, they have an easy interface, an easy way to quickly set attributes, etc., but the thing is extremely underpowered and is not really going to be a contender for another couple of years. Pinegrow, on the other hand, has a tremendous amount of power and substance, but has tire-blowing speed bumps for newbies.
A key consideration is the enormous untapped market of potential customers who need more power than the amateur apps out there - people who need Pinegrow but who also need a UI that gives them some sort of a leg up. How high on the priority list for development is user-friendliness for those of us who do not dream in code of the Lady in Red?