Website Designer


Google, Bing and Yahoo's initiative to create for structured data markup has offered an opportunity and at the same time has posed a threat to many owners of websites. The opportunity is to transform the website's content to use microdata and, so that search engines can understand the information in web pages and, as a consequence, they can improve the accuracy and the presentation of search results. The threat of not doing that transformation is just the opposite: not reaping the benefits that other websites gain. This is the reason why many owners of websites are considering, or will consider in the near future, the markup of their web pages.

For large websites, implementing microdata can take a lot of time and require some big changes in the HTML source code. In general, that implementation requires two main activities. The first consists in designing what we call the website, which is the fragment of that is relevant to the website. The second consists in adding the microdata tags to the website pages, using the previously designed website

The Website Designer​ is a software tool that implements an approach to website design. Our approach consists in a human-computer task-oriented dialogue, whose purpose is to design a website The dialogue uses the directive mode, in which the computer has complete control. In each dialogue step, the computer asks a question to the webmaster about the website content. Depending on the answer, a fragment of is or is not added to the website The answer determines the next question posed by the computer. The dialogue continues until the design is finished.

Primera finestra de l'eina

Main features

  • The Website Designer provides a humancomputer task-oriented dialogue aimed to assist the design of a website
  • The Website Designer allows domain experts to enrich the metamodel of so that the generated dialogues can be more understandable (by improving the phrasing of the questions) and more selective (by asking only the most relevant questions).
  • Once obtained, a website design can be saved as a XML file for future reference.


The Website Designer and the Website Designer JSON Parser are two java-based software tools that need to be installed in your computer according to the following instructions:

Installation instructions

1a. If you are in a 64-bit operating system, download the following files:

Website Designer - Version 1.1 - 64bit - ZIP file

Website Designer JSON Parser - Version 1.0 - 64bit - ZIP file

1b. If you are in a 32-bit operating system, download the following files:

Website Designer - Version 1.1 - 32bit - ZIP file

Website Designer JSON Parser - Version 1.0 - 32bit - ZIP file

2. Unzip the downloaded files. Two new folders will be created.

3. If you are in a Windows 64-bit system, execute the EXE files. Otherwise, execute the JAR ;application files. Wait until the graphical interfaces appear.

You can find more detailed installation instructions inside user manuals (Documentation section).


  • If you are in a 32-bit operating system, you will need a Java Runtime Enviroment (version 8 or later).


Two software tools to design a website

Website Designer is an application that allows domain experts and web developers to generate their website designs. Through reference exemplars and properties in context, the application generates a useful dialog that concludes with a fully design schema of a website.

Website Designer JSON Parser is an application that automatically downloads the latest version available. The downloaded version is saved in a JSON file that end users can put in the wsd_files folder of Website Designer application. As a result, they can always obtain and use the latest schema.orgversion in Website Designer.

Define reference exemplars to get more relevant questions

Reference exemplars represent recommended practices of concepts. They can be used to restrict the number of relevant properties of a type, so the system dialog generator can ask better and more relevant questions to the user about his/her website.

Define properties in context to improve the phrasing of the questions

Properties in context are elements that can be used to define better names and conditions for properties in a specific context, so the system dialog generator can ask better and more relevant questions to the user about his/her website.

Generate your website design

Generate your website design with a few steps and an easy dialog generator based in your reference exemplars and properties in context:

Finestra de pregunta emergent

Open & Import website designs

Open your website designs just to view and copy your schema code, or to import it as a reference exemplar, so the system can improve the dialog generator.
You can open and import website designs saved in XML (system generated files) or TXT format. Text files can be written by the user with a simple text notation. In other words, you can obtain a website schema from the Internet (through tools like Google Rich Snippets) and import it as a TXT file:

Finestra per importar dissenys

Generate the latest version in a JSON file

Website Designer JSON Parser allows you to generate the latest version in a JSON file. You can use the obtained file to overwrite the schema.json file used by Website Designer application. As a result, you will always be able to get and use the latest version for your website schemas:

Generar un schema en un fitxer JSON

Files overview

Website Designer uses the following files contained in /app/wsd_files folder:

  • pics.xml: this XML file contains the saved properties in context.
  • refex.xml: this XML file contains the saved reference exemplars.
  • schema.json: this JSON file contains the version used by the system.



Quant a

The Website Designer and the Website Designer JSON Parser are two software tools developed by Martín Menes Rouco with the collaboration of Antoni Olivé and Albert Tort at the Information Modeling and Processing (IMP) research group at the  Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya - BarcelonaTech.

Both applications are based in the document written by Albert Tort and Antoni Olivé: A Computer-Guided Approach to Website Design.

Current Website Designer available version: 1.1.
Current Website Designer JSON Parser available version: 1.0.


User help & documentation

Technical software documentation

Related links

Related publications


For any question or suggestion, feel free to contact us by sending an email to

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In the following, we suggest some future work to be done regarding the evolution of the Website Designer software tool:

  • The approach and the tool should be formally evaluated in several websites in order to arrive at statistically signi ficant results.
  • The tool could be extended to automatically generate examples of microdata markup from the design.
  • When the website is operational, it could be interesting to analyze its web pages in order to guess the presence of potential properties, which could then be suggested to the webmaster.