DesignNews

Site builder Breezi aims for designers

Online tool provides visual interface for web design

Billing itself as a "website builder for designers and creatives," Breezi recently 'soft launched'. The service combines hosting and a somewhat DTP-style interface that enables you to quickly get a design up and running. Although in some ways akin to other online building tools and consumer-level web software, Breezi is hoping to snare more pro-oriented graphic designers through its emphasis on grids, design savvy and widget-like apps.

We spoke to co-founder Chris Anderson (CA) about the service and his plans for its future.

.net: What was the thinking behind Breezi?
CA: The thinking behind Breezi has always been to give designers one simple, visual interface where they can create and design an amazing-looking website quickly, from start to finish, with pixel-level control. We completely remove abstraction from the process by enabling the designer to edit an actual website as they're viewing it. With everything from customising specific page layouts, to styling very granular design elements, to adding and editing content, you can see the changes take effect on the fly.

.net: How does Breezi differ from existing design tools for web designers?
CA: There are two things that make Breezi very different from other website design tools. First, we respect the design process by giving a number of different grid-based wireframe options as starting points, as opposed to pre-designed templates that constrain and limit the creative process. Customising a few things in a template is not designing a website. We simply give better tools and enable designers to get moving quickly.

The other big difference is Breezi offers a great deal of ultra-fine design controls, without requiring any coding. Not that there's anything wrong with coding, but in many cases a designer needs to move quickly, and coding can slow the process down. The inherent nature of Breezi also makes it ideal for rapid prototyping.

.net: What are your plans in terms of developing and evolving Breezi?
CA: On looking at the steps involved for a designer to create a website, we see a lot of room for improvement through the entire flow. Our goal is to fill more holes in this process, and make it a more efficient and enjoyable experience.

Immediate plans are to add bulk style editing, expand the number of available starting-point options, and refine the interface and usability in a few key areas. Beyond that, we have a long backlog of features and ideas on our product roadmap. But right now we're most interested in hearing from designers who use Breezi, so that the next steps we take are directly informed by feedback we receive from the design community.

Breezi is currently available 'free forever' in an April promotion. Subsequent pricing is to be announced.

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