Google Web Designer Public Beta Ad Focused

Google Web Designer Logo
Google Web Designer Logo

Google announced the public beta launch of Google Web Designer which is currently focused on developing interactive creative ads with animations that run in HTML 5.

Google is clear that  smartphones and tablets are fast becoming consumers first choice when going online. Your own experience online may be similar.

A major driver for the development Google Web Designer was to provide a development environment for building interactive creative ads that work well on all screens.

For those that watch to view the UI Overview demo, it will become clear to viewers that the Google Web Designer development environment, at least in this public beta release, is targeted for creative agencies developing and placing interactive, animated HTML 5 ads. HTML 5 ads have been gaining momentum relative to the interactive flash-based ad units that have dominated online display ads for over a decade. One almost wonders if this initial public beta would be more appropriately named Google Ad Developer🙂

You can see from the discussion from the TechCrunch Article Google Launches Web Designer, A Visual Tool For Building Interactive HTML5 Sites And Ads (321 comments at the time this post was published) that many TechCrunch readers agree. The negative sentiment may be fueled by recent changes at Google such as the Google Keyword Tool retirement and accelerating the encryption of all organic search data (Not Provided). These changes are viewed by many online marketers as strong arm tactics by Google to monetize data that used to be provided to online marketers for free.

The Google Web Designer User Interface

Google Web Designer Interface - Free html5 Interactive, animated creative
Google Web Designer Interface – Free HTML5 Interactive, Animated Creative Development Environment

Google Web Designer User Interface Components

  1. Tool panel
  2. Tool options panel
  3. Timeline
  4. Color, Properties, Components, Events and CSS panels

Unlocking HTML5 Opportunity: What’s the Hold Up?

According to the research study “Unlocking the HTML5 Opportunity” conducted by Google Double Click and released last month, it appears that Google/Double Click are positioning HTML5 as the emerging standard for interactive display ads. In fact, it states:

HTML5 is emerging as the new standard for web content and digital advertising because it’s more flexible than Flash, which isn’t supported on every browser and device. While a lot of buzz surrounds HTML5, there are still barriers keeping it back from full-fledged adoption. We uncovered four obstacles for considering mobile advertising and offer two opportunities for clearing the way for more mobile.

A pdf of the study is embedded below to provide the reader with additional context of how Google is positioning Google Web Designer as filling a need to create a free tool that helps creative agencies exploit the “HTML5 Opportunity.” A little ironic considering that YouTube built it’s video empire on Flash technology!

Download a [PDF] copy of the Google Double Click Unlocking the HTML5 Opportunity report.

Google Web Designer User Interface and Application Layout Demo

In this video, Jon Reid of the Google Web Designer developer team, provides an overview of the User Interface and layout.

After watching this video, it becomes clear to the viewer that Google Web Designer, at least in its current public beta, is not going to become the best free html editor for Windows or MACs anytime soon.

For those working in creative agencies, Google Web Designer might be a good tool to augment the other creative tools for developing animated, interactive display ads.

On the Google Web Developer Google+ page, there is an active discussion in response to UI Demonstration posted there.

Perhaps this other Google Web Designer demonstration might reinforce the point. In this demo, Eric Guzman, another member of the Google Web Designer development team, provides an overview of the CSS Panel and editing CSS to create engaging content.

One YouTube user comments:

I wonder what would it be like to create a whole website with this software. I’ve just discovered it, is it actually possible?


While some online marketers are hailing the Google Web Designer as a tool to exploit the HTML5 Opportunity, others see it as primarily as the Google Ad Designer. If you work for a interactive creative agency, why not download Google Web Designer and give it a real tire kicking to see how it stacks up against the other interactive design tools such as Apple iAd Producer, Adobe Muse, Edge Animate, Microsoft Expression Studio, Sencha Animator or your other favorite interactive creative development tool. We and others would love to see your feedback in the comments.


Rick Noel is an experienced digital marketer enabling businesses and organizations to grow through the Internet, while maximizing marketing ROI (Return On Investment). Rick is the CEO and Co-Founder of eBiz ROI, Inc., a full-service digital marketing agency located in Ballston Lake, NY.

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