One time for a school project I made an animated short instead of writing an essay.
It was in Flash and took me about 100 hours to do for a three minute short. But the result was worth it. I felt quite proud of the final product, it was something tangible to show others instead of an essay that — let’s be honest — no one wanted to read.
I wasn’t always drawn to computers, but I’ve always been drawn to visual software. From Kid Pix and MS Paint to Corel Draw, Procreate, and now Webflow.
At Webflow we’ve been seeing some fascinating ways that students are using our platform: from our Camp No Code in the summer of 2020 where they built websites to sell their art, to this parent creatively bribing his child to learn no-code by offering Fortnite vbucks:
But some entrepreneurial minded students are seeking out Webflow by themselves. We heard about Julia Sansing, a high school junior in California, who founded the site Friend in Me. Friend in Me is a group that aims to connect neurodivergent and neurotypical kids with online games and conversation. We caught up with Julia and her mother Audrey Lee to ask them a few questions about the project.
Julia, what motivated you to build Friend in Me?
I wanted to build a website to reach more individuals in the community who would be interested in volunteering or participating in Friend in Me. I also thought a website would be a helpful resource for parents and volunteers looking to find more information about the program.
What has the response to the site been like from everyone involved?
Julia: I have gotten a lot of positive responses from people that have visited the website. Many have told me how clean, engaging, and professional the website looks. I think having the website up has definitely attracted more volunteers and parents to the program. It also lends credibility to the program.
How did you learn Webflow and how long did it take to do your first version of the site?
Julia: My cousin and I worked on the first draft of the website together. I did watch some really helpful Youtube videos, but the platform is super easy to use, so we were able to design and create most of the website by just playing around with all the different tools.
Audrey, how did you react when your daughter wanted to build this site? What were your concerns if you had any?
Audrey: I was concerned that she was biting off more than she could chew because I assumed it would take a lot of work and expertise to build a website and she has no experience in computer programming. But I was pleasantly surprised by how doable it was even for a teenager.
What was the most challenging aspect to build and how did you overcome it?
Julia: I think the most challenging aspect to build was optimizing the website for different devices. I found someone to help me fix the problem.
How did the site evolve after you got help on it?
Julia: The site looked a lot more professional and uniform throughout after I got help. The person I worked with also helped me choose colors, fonts, and styles that worked well with the website.
Can you share any tips for other students that may want to build projects online?
Julia: I think the best advice I could give is to not be afraid to ask for help. Designing a website can be challenging, and it’s always nice to have others who can help brainstorm ideas, propose changes, or fix minor details.
Audrey, any advice you have for parents of kids that may want to build online projects?
Audrey: Webflow makes it possible for kids to build their own websites. This really opens the door for kids to be able to explore their passions and express themselves. It was relatively inexpensive to get professional help to put the finishing touches on the website.
Julia, has working on this made you interested in building more websites? What’s next for this project or something else you want to build?
Julia: I originally dreaded the idea of making a website because I thought it would be really hard to do and take a lot of work. However, building the website has made me realize that it’s not as hard as it looks. I am planning on adding another page on my website that includes testimonials from parents and volunteers who have been involved with Friend in Me.
Use Webflow for your project
Whether you’re building a business, a non-profit, or a socially minded enterprise like Julia, Webflow is the professional, modern visual development platform that can bring your idea to life. You can customize every detail, add rich animations and interactions, and create a polished web experience. Get started today for free.