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The Pitfalls of WYSIWYG App Building

There’s no denying that when it comes to graphic design and website building, WYSIWYG, the old adage for “what you see is what you get,” definitely has its advantages. Being able to build pixel perfect designs with easy-to-use, drag-and-drop interfaces is a big win for those non-coders among us. But when it comes to building applications for data collection, analytics and workflows, what you see might not be what you want. In this article, we’ll discuss the pitfalls of graphical development when it comes to building anything other than that perfect webpage.

In a graphical, wysiwyg environment, the emphasis is always placed on the design of the final output. What will this webpage ultimately look like to users? And more importantly, will it be beautiful and pixel perfect? With logical or elemental tool however, page design is broken down into building blocks that include both a visual element, but also critical functional elements as well. What logical tools lack in pixel-perfect layouts, they more than make up for in utility and functionality.

The main advantages of using a logical tool are ease of use and ultimately speed of development. Using a tool like Qrvey, you can build a robust form, for example, and begin collecting and managing data collected in just minutes. Each question is its own building block that can be created, edited or reordered in a simple, drag-n-drop editor that would make any wysiwyg tool proud.

After building the form, however, it can be immediately published in multiple contexts, using subforms, and it can be viewed in a mobile-responsive design, because the database and functionality is built right into the building blocks. Complex actions, like linking your form to other forms, pages and workflows allows for the building of robust applications and, you guessed it, none of it requires coding.

With a graphical tool, on the other hand, the focus is solely on design. While many of the design elements are often simple, drag-n-drop affairs, adding functionality to elements like form becomes significantly more complicated, requiring a scripting language like Javascript to make anything happen. Design tools completely lack the backend services needed to implement workflows, page flows or more complicated actions like authentication. This leaves you with a pixel-perfect form or page that won’t function without a lot of work.

That’s not to say that logical tools like Qrvey don’t offer adequate branding and styling choices. They do. But sometimes less is more when it comes to design, and users often find that having fewer choices for colors, fonts and styles as actually more liberating, as they can move faster and ultimately, get the app they want completed and deployed in record time.