< Back

How I’d Improve Pinegrow UI

Here we talk about what makes Webflow’s UI great and what Pinegrow can do to improve theirs


My name is Samuel Gregory this is a spice I can’t pronounce and this is the full stack agency. I’m constantly responding to people in my comments about the UI of Pinegrow it sucks so dreamly so complicated.

While, I agreed in my first look video I’m going to actually think that for the tool is actually a really great UI once you grow familiar with it and understand Pinegrow better to cut right to the chase Webflow’s at all is incredibly simple and provides just enough to get some pretty great results for most people but for the rest of us we need more from a no code tool.

I counted about 45 elements that you can create in Webflow many of those being components such as the slider and some being essentially the same element style differently for example text Link, Link block and button so realistically we’re talking about actually 20 elements you can create, to put it in perspective I counted roughly 133 possible HTML elements in the HTML spec with a limited number of possible elements of course the Webflow UI is simple because there’s simply to do.

Webflow also writes a lot of code for you so this again means they further don’t need to present certain UI elements to get stuff done which cleans up the user interface this is awesome for casual users but if this is something you need to do every day, then you want to know what exactly is going on and you want Total Control.

As Uncle Bob put it on my podcast, “It’s kind of like um learning to drive a manual transmission versus an automatic transmission”, casual drivers automatic is fine you’ve got two pedals go and stop but if you understand manual gears the clutch the feel of the revs, it allows you to get so much more out of a car.

Manual cars have that little bit of extra UI but once you get familiar with it, it’s much less daunting. You wouldn’t ask a race car driver to use an automatic gear car would you? as creative there’s always going to be a learning curve and getting familiar with a new tool and the more advanced they get generally the more difficult it becomes.

This isn’t to say that we should be complacent with a complex UI but it’s certainly something I’ve come to expect and instead of just disregarding it because at first glance it seems complex. I follow tutorials I look into the documentation and just have a click around and have fun in order to find my feet.

Here’s some things I think that will improve the UI of Pinegrow I invite you down in the comments to let me know what you think makes Webflow UIs great or what you would do to change Pinegrow’s UI.

I definitely think some more iconography can help with people not only enjoy the interface a lot better but they can learn to associate imagery with certain actions elements or properties. This is something Webflow does really well there’s very little text on that interface and icons are dominant.

I would say that given there’s less options they have more space to play around with to show these icons but at least it’s something to consider for Pinegrow. Another thing Webflow does pretty well is contextual options for instance you can’t see flexed elements unless a parent is off display flex and while I dislike that Webflow forces you to create elements top down Pinegrow lets you create your children first style that and then work your way up to the parent.

But having an Adaptive interface really does clean it up, similarly a lot of styling properties are obfuscated presumably as they are not widely used but you can access them by clicking a show more button think Pinegrow could have a beginner’s mode selector that when you first start the app it simplifies to use interface in favor of more widely used elements and styling properties.

So, there’s my thoughts in one video I encourage you not to disregard things at face value and push yourself to learn and grow as a designer. As, I said let me know down in the comments what you would do to change Pinegrow’s UI and I hope that you enjoyed this video. Like, Subscribe, Watch one of these videos and happy building the future of the web.