Hey @matt! Great to meet you. I wasn't expecting all of you to read that! Thank you so much.
Thanks for reaching out and providing a thoughtful response. I know X and Pro are your babies, and so appreciate your friendly candor in response to frustrated customers.
I think at the end of the day you are building a product that is marketed to the people it's named after – pros! Which I totally get, and which is why I, as a pro, love it.
However, my problem creeps in when I have customers who want to know they will be able to manage the site to some degree afterwards. And while they sort of can, they also can't really, as the Inspector pane is quite scary to the average user! Lol.
I don't know what the answer to this is (inline editing has definitely been a step in the right direction!). All I know is it makes it HARD for me to be able to advertise “simplicity of use” to my clients. As amazing as Pro is (I like the UI, personally, as a web designer – though even I wish more controls were on-screen rather than in the Inspector pane), it's also overwhelming for my clients, which makes this a tough sell in a real sense.
The notion of progressive enhancement comes to mind here. I almost wish we could see a dumbed-down, user-friendly UI at first (this is why I mentioned bringing padding/margin on-screen), and then click into more advanced controls as needed. Even I don't always need the kitchen sink (as WP so affectionately described it in the old page editor), and would greatly appreciate a re-tooling that puts the relevant settings at my fingertips as I hover over different elements on the screen (and then imagine being able to make all the page builder chrome completely disappear by holding down Option or something crazy like that – if that could give the same result as reloading the page on the front-end, that would be heaven!). Now I'm going overboard.
Again, no easy answer to the problem that I'm battling, as evidenced by the fact nobody else has solved this dilemma, either. Elementor and Divi are overly-simplistic, imo, and I'll always choose more control over less.
Also, though, you mentioned you've already surveyed your user base, and are building out tools based on that feedback, so maybe I'm simply in the minority on this anyhow.
One of the most important things to me in the apps I use is its aesthetic. Pro provides the best page builder aesthetic for me. It's elegant and beautiful to behold, even if all those Inspector panes can be overwhelming sometimes (just go set up a sub-headline and graphic on a V2 headline element and then scroll the Inspector pane! Lol.)
Again, thanks for the response you provided!