Under the headline, “Designer’s Rejoice”, TechCrunch today introduced us to FROONT, a tool that allows non-coders to create valid responsive web page layouts.

Here’s my video review.

While FROONT seems kind of cool, as I wrote in a previous post, we’re long past the day when designers can, or need to, avoid coding.

I had a cultural geography professor back in the day who liked to tweak students by offering the then current definition of Homo sapiens as, “the only creature that makes tools to make other tools.” He was trying to pop student pretenses about their species’ specialness by highlighting the very thin line between ‘animal’ and ‘human.’

But there is something quite powerful in the idea of making tools that make other tools.

Some of the world’s best web designers now create tools in the form of WordPress themes that other designers use to create tools in the form of responsive social websites.

It strikes me that FROONT barely assists, and may even interrupt, our “tools to make other tools” evolution. FROONT allows designers to design website layouts from scratch. But that’s no longer necessary, or even a very good idea. With thousands of quality pre-designed WordPress themes now available from companies like WooThemes, ThemeForest and Elegant Themes, designers can skip right past all the blank page stuff and dive right into the middle of a responsive design. The result: better, more functional and more beautiful tools at a lower cost.

And it gets even cooler.

Some premium WordPress themes go way beyond the blog or website. For example, Fundify provides all the mechanics necessary for a modestly code-savvy designer to develop and launch a fully customized Kickstarter clone. For $60.

Responsive isn’t the half of it.



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