Google has launched a free web design tool for Windows and Mac users. Currently in beta, Web Designer lets users create HTML 5 designs (including animations) with a minimum of fuss.
The new tool, released two days ago, needs to be installed on your computer. But it seems to effectively run as a web app packaged in a customized Chrome window. The program comes with a couple of design options, but the only templates included are for Google Ads banners, which suggests that the main purpose of this software is the quick creation of animated HTML5 ads.
As John Gruber of Daring Fireball points out, Web Designer doesn’t have the best user interface design in the world. It features non-standard menu items and while it does have some online help pages (never guaranteed with Google products), the level of actual support for this free software is likely to be minimal. Other beta-ish elements persist, like the way the app opens in Spanish on my work PC, with no apparent option for changing the user interface language.
All the same, Web Designer is a pretty simple, easy to use app which users can use to create either impressive, clean website layouts or hideous 3D nightmares, depending on their design sensibilities and capabilities. Most importantly, it offers beginners a super simple way of creating ad banners for Google advertising services.