Why Adobe Edge Reflow is Going to be Awesome
I feel that Edge Reflow will eventually become an awesome time-saving tool.
11:15 am on Sunday, May 26, 2013
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After exploring Creative Cloud a little while back, I found an application I hadn't yet tried, called Adobe Edge Reflow. "What is this?" I wondered, so I downloaded it. And after trying it out, I have to say that I am really impressed by what Edge Reflow offers when considering its purpose and target audience.
So what exactly is Edge Reflow? Well, I at first thought (incorrectly) that it would be a replacement for the since-discontinued iWeb, which is how I first became interested in web design, computers, and one of the reasons I plan on studying computer science in college. For those who haven't heard of iWeb, iWeb is (or was) a WYSIWYG web design tool geared towards those without programming experience. What was so awesome about iWeb was that anyone could build and maintain a website, and hosting was included with a .mac subscription (but more on that in another post). Edge Reflow, while not being a WYSIWYG editor, is the first example I've seen of an application whose sole purpose is to create CSS for you using a drag-and-drop interface (though there may be others out there). You simply drag elements onto your page and arrange them how you like, and boom, it lets you grab the CSS for any element you want. For those who are familiar with any kind of page layout (or CSS) or design tools, Edge Reflow also has a panel full of adjustable properties for each element on the side (your CSS rules, i.e. text-shadow, border, background-color, etc.) that can also be used to move, arrange, and customize elements.
So why is Edge Reflow going to be awesome? Because Edge Reflow is still a work in progress. I still prefer to write CSS myself so that I can mess around more and really also kind of test myself so that I retain what I'm doing for future projects. However, I feel that after a couple more versions of Edge Reflow, it will be one of the biggest time-savers out there for designers and developers alike. For example, now a designer or client can describe something to a developer, show them what they want in Edge Reflow, and the developer can go from there, or make quick adjustments in Edge Reflow itself instead of having to go in and change the CSS each time to move something, change something's color, or make other small changes.
I also feel that Edge Reflow will be to many others what iWeb was to me: a great introduction into what is possible with computers, the ever-changing internet, and possibly even a gateway into other languages. Edge Reflow has the potential to help inspire younger kids (and anyone, really) to get their feet wet and see what they are capable of making.