Finding an established and generalized user interface library that’s beautiful, useable, and fits your business model, is like winning the lottery on your birthday.
The odds of that happening are pretty slim to none. That’s the experience that I’ve had over the last couple of months looking for established user interfaces for front end editing.
The last week or so I’ve finally gotten into building the next version of Aesop Story Engine, where we become the front end editor. What I’ve learned is that existing solutions just don’t cut it. The WordPress Front End Editor slated to be merged into core is the only thing that comes close. However it’s built on some of the same older software that prevent WordPress from taking a giant leap forward (TinyMCE), and subsequently prevents us from branching out into other CMS platforms.
Then you have a fair share of existing solutions like Content Builder for one. Boy do these things come pretty close. These types of builders are really great for building websites, and pages. But I just believe that a story starts with the text. The components in Aesop are meant to bring the story to life and to complement the story. Thus, there isn’t anything that exists for our needs.
What if we could blend a beautiful writing experience with an interactive layer of story building?
The one big difference is the fact that we’re dealing with posts. There’s a reason why post builders don’t exist. Because it’s incredibly difficult and challenging to pull it off in a manner that’s useable, beautiful, and minimal. Minimal as in, the builder doesn’t take over the post. Minimal as in, the builder takes up less than 5% of the screen. Minimal as in, the writing experience comes first.
In this regard we’re paving new ground and making an entirely new product. Ultimately it’s why I decided that it best to roll our own solution instead of trying to shoehorn Aesop Story Engine into something existing. In the end, custom is the only perfect fit.