Building websites today is usually a totally bloated and inefficient process: First, there is a designer who creates layouts and designs in photoshop.

After that, the designs are iterated together with clients or teams. Making changes to the overall design in Photoshop, e.g. changing fonts, colors and margins is a ridiculously time-consuming task - compared to making the same changes in css. After the designs are finalised (or even worse - not finalised) some poor coder is asked to build HTML & CSS markup. A tedious job, if you’ve done that, you probably know what I mean. And then, there comes the CMS, but I will just skip that topic for now.

If I remember correctly, we had the same process already 10 years ago. Some earlier versions of Photoshop for the designer, and a different text editor maybe. But there has always been this huge friction within this process, mostly due to the several tools and stakeholders involved in it. (And because Photoshop is NOT a web publishing tool).

Worst of all, it makes it very hard for non-coders to easily create something beautiful in the web.

When Sebastian and Stefan were guest lectures at the Hochschule für Gestaltung in Offenbach, they realized that there was no tool for design students to build their portfolios in a “what you see is what you get’ fashion. There were some CMS solutions, like Squarespace, but these work with templates. It was simply not possible to instantly create and design for the web. That’s what they wanted to change with, and we were happy to help here.

Technically, there were all the ingredients to develop such a product:  Thanks to HTML5, we were able to create a drag’n’drop interface. We made it a single page app, using backbone.js, which was essential to make salon feel as smooth as a desktop app. In fact, salon is one of the very first backbone applications we’ve created and backbone itself was still in it infancy (v0.3).

After over a year of development, already thousands of designers, photographers and illustrators have created their portfolios with salon. It’s definitely worth to check out some of the great examples what they have built. The user-feedback is overwhelming. is malleable and allows designers to move closer to a flow of creativity. The ability to stream consciousness and employ improvisation in web design is now becoming a very possible thing with

The Salon team has chosen not to take any VC money, this is why we kicked off a crowdsourcing campaign for salon over a month ago. Now, everyone can get premium memberships for half of the price and support further iterations on the product. After all, there are still so many awesome things in the pipeline.

If you haven’t tried out Salon, you should definitely do that. Chances are that you will enjoy this whole new way of publishing anything online.

And please spread the word to support