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The design community is well accustomed to tools that showcase layouts and design to clients. Photoshop, Fireworks, illustrator etc all do a stellar job of realising the vision that a designer has in their head and showcasing it in flat image formats. The problem is; to bring that design to life on the web, it has to be first coverted to HTML.
For any of you who have experienced the code bloat of Dreamweaver drag and drop, or indeed Google’s recent web design tool you’ll know that WYSIWG code quality is often atrocious, and does little or nothing for any serious business in the industry. Macaw hopes to change all that, with what they claim has the world’s most intelligent design-to-code engine ever. If their own website code is anything to go by, we could all be in for quite the treat.
On Wednesday this week they launched a Kickstarter project for their web-design tool and with a funding goal of $75,000 over 30 days – that has already been surpassed in 24 hours, it shows what sort of appetite there is for such a product.
Founders Tom Giannattasio and Adam Christ designed Macaw to piggyback off of habits of designers like specifically naming layers in Photoshop to keep track of things. “That also carries over into development,” Giannattasio said, adding how the design layers can correspond to coding elements for seamlessness. “It’s a lot faster than writing out HTML yourself. It can write faster and more efficiently than a human actually could because it can look across multiple pages.”
Macaw is engineered for fluid widths. Resize the canvas and your grids and elements will update accordingly. It also takes care of the latest designing for different device sizes, with a responsive ethos that lets you define arbitrary breakpoints and tweak properties of the design for that specific width. That alone makes it a contender as one of the most exciting design tools to appear on the web this year.
Although currently Mac only the full launch, is planned for January 2014, with first releases going to Kickstarter supporters. Soon after that, they’ll likely go with a full-on open-to-the-public launch with a flat rate price of less than $200 for Macaw, which all things considered is as tasty a price point as the product.
Checkout the video for more detail.