Imagine a restaurant owner who wants to change a single line of text on his new website. Unless he calls in a tech egghead, he’ll need to wade through a mind-bogglingly complex administrative area, replete with stats, software updates, forms, linkbacks, plugins, buttons … the list goes on. Or will he? Not if a new web editor called Barley has anything to do with it: simple, fast and practical, this is the kind of invention to excite the curiosity of the innovation-seeking product manager and chief technology officer.
You don’t need to be a geek to use Barley
Barley, the first product of Philadelphia-based tech startup Plain, lets the average Joe edit web pages without needing to know anything about HTML or CSS. And they can do it from their PC, tablet or smartphone, changing wording on the webpage instantly with a few keystrokes. When a user’s webpage is running on Barley, he can open a simple editing menu and type in the change directly. The beauty, which won’t be lost on product managers, is that this web editor requires absolutely no technical know-how on the part of the user – no HTML, no baffling admin area, no separate editor to be opened.
Plain’s co-founder Colin Devroe is buoyantly optimistic about the product’s prospects: across the competitive landscape, complexity is the name of the game when it comes to web editing. WordPress is hardly known for its simplicity and even simpler website building tools like Weebly, as Devroe is quick to point out, still require a separate interface to lay out the page and get stuck in to any editing.
What will pique the interest of product managers is Barley’s ingenious simplicity – two words that don’t often go together. Barley lets you type in edits directly, just like working on a document. Just by using one of its templates, the user doesn’t have to bother with layout at all.
As Devroe puts it:
“You should never have to learn HTML or CSS to be able to edit a website. We hope to eliminate the reason why anybody that owns a restaurant wouldn’t have their own site.”
The team at Plain is aiming for small businesses by partnering with companies that offer broader packages for SMEs. This product really pops.