New tool Easel makes web design easier

Easel streamlines the process of designing websites in the browser. We chat to its creators about the tech powering it.

easel web design

Easel aims to address the inadequacies of traditional web design tools

Borne out of frustration with the current state of design tools, Easel is a site that aims to make designing websites in the browser much easier for designers, developers and small teams.

The only way to truly know how a design will look on the web is to design in the browser, but that normally means you have to be proficient as both a designer and with code. With Easel, you can skip the code and go straight to designing with CSS3 properties

Easel has support for libraries like Bootstrap, a collection of components to help get your web project started, which you can drop directly into your site. When you're ready to implement your design, you can export the HTML/CSS for the whole document or just a specific element. To see how it all works, follow this demo.

Meet the maker

Founder Matt Colyer explained the process and libraries behind Easel: "At Easel our focus is to build the best design tool for our users - an immense challenge. Luckily, we're able to leverage a great set of tools the community has created. We use CoffeeScript to keep our JavaScript succinct. We use Backbone and Underscore to provide structure. We’ve recently added Rivets to the mix as it radically simplifies the interface manipulation through data binding."

Colyer was particularly impressed by the Rivets.js library: "If you haven't heard of Rivets.js before, I encourage you to check it out. It's a minimalist data-binding library, which allows you to create interfaces that automatically update and respond based on events from your models. This cuts down the gymnastics required to create [one] that responds appropriately to every event."

Start sculpting your web design by visiting the Easel site.

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