Artisteer - automated web designer?

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This week I was contacted by a business owner who wanted me to make their Joomla website template responsive. I took one look at the code to realize that it had been made with Artisteer. What gave it away? Code-bloat... and the fact that the original creator had used his name in the CSS tags.

And then today, a question was raised on Linkedin: Who uses Artisteer to build templates? - the responses have been interesting to say the least, and prompted this post.

Artister: "...Web design automation product blah blah blah..."

The Artisteer website boasts the following:

"With Artisteer YOU immediately become a Web design expert, editing and slicing graphics, coding XHTML and CSS, and creating Web Design Templates, Joomla templates, Drupal themes, WordPress themes, DotNetNuke skins, and Blogger templates all in minutes, without Photoshop or Dreamweaver, and no technical skills."

I couldn't resist adding my own 2 cents to the conversation...

Anyone can use Artisteer... however Artisteer is only as good as the designer. Someone who understands web design and web design theory may very well build great templates.

However, I've seen many Artisteer templates that do not look professional because the user knew nothing about the art & science of web design. Often they are trying to pump out a website for next to no money, and that is why Artisteer is their tool of choice. It's quick and dirty.

IF Artisteer was so good, many more professional website developers would be using it. From what I've seen, most professionals that have tried Artisteer steered away from it – for all the reasons listed in previous posts above.

There is so much more to template design than simply building a template around a brand and module positions. Things like understanding white space, contrast, color theory, useability, content flow, design trends, how users read, what their expectations are – Artisteer does not bring these things to the table.

I have tried Artisteer, but didn't like it either. Depending on my client I would rather build their template from scratch. If budget doesn't permit, purchasing a responsive, commercial template from a reputable design house and customizing it is still the next best thing to offering clients a cost-effective and professional template imo.


// rant

To be honest, I don't know any professional template developers who use Artisteer. Do you? And besides, would you want your web developer to be building your website template with Artisteer because no technical skill are required AND it's "Fun and Easy to Use!"?

// end rant

Posted in Website Development


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