What’s your take on WYSIWYG editors?
Designers are inherently visual people. Code often feels disconnected and alien to the things they want to make. Code also requires a different design process—more iterative and systemic—than the processes we naturally employ when we sketch visually.
I have been a longtime defender of WYSIWYG tools—or any tool that empowers visual designers to get engaged in a technical process that they once felt locked out of. I want designers to be part of the dialog, and not have their creativity limited by lack of understanding or access to technology.
To me it is not about being visual or non-visual, there is room for both—tools for visual thinking and tools for system thinking—but how the tools empower designers to do new types of work. One can see parallels today between the way a language like Open Frameworks has led visual artists towards programming in a “serious” computer language like C++ and how, years ago, tools like Dreamweaver or Flash opened the web to visual artists and designers. Are there limitations in all of these systems? Yes, but in my mind the benefit of access outweighs a bit of messy code.