There has been a big discussion about using Photoshop to design websites. I heard many voices that Photoshop is going to be replaced soon and it won’t be a choice of most designers.
We started talking about designing in the browsers, or using some other alternative softwares, but still, it’s 2014 and almost every designer I know uses Photoshop to design websites.
I use Photoshop too and I have some good reasons to keep using it in the near future. Here is why…
Everyone asks for PSDs.
The thing is that you, as a designer, don’t really have a choice when it comes to choosing design software. It all depends on what your clients and developers require from you.
It’s very hard to use anything else than Photoshop for your designs. Even if I really wanted to try some alternatives, most of the teams I have worked with have asked me for PSD files.
There was a time a couple of years ago when Adobe Fireworks was more popular and some developers asked for layered PNGs or PSDs. However, Adobe decided to discontinue developing Fireworks, so we’re all back in Photoshop.
PS has been the most secure option for designers for years. Most front-end developers know how to use Photoshop and how to easily extract your graphics from the PSD files. There are tons of tools and third-party plugins that make that job even easier.
If you’re a freelance designer and often work with different teams, you need to be prepared that they will ask for PSD files.
Adobe wants us to keep using Photoshop.
I’ve been waiting for Adobe’s response to the huge demand for making the PSDs responsive. There it is: Adobe Edge Reflow. It’s still new and fresh but I really like the idea of this app.
Adobe doesn’t tell us that there is a new app and we should all stop using Photoshop to design websites. You can either design your website directly in Reflow from scratch or import your PSD files and make them responsive.
It’s a perfect solution if your client asks you for both PSD files and wants some mobile screens. You can drop your PSD file into Reflow, rearrange and scale some elements and produce alternative screens of your designs.
Designing in the browser from scratch.
Many designers who know HTML/CSS started designing directly in the browser and simply skip the entire design process in Photoshop or any other software.
Well, I tried that too and it didn’t work for me. I feel like it limits my creativity because I can’t quickly execute various visual ideas that are in my head. Instead of focusing on being creative, I focus on making it actually work in the code.
Even though I skip the entire Photoshop designing step, it makes the entire process much slower because of the endless amount of trying and fixing things.
I call designing in Photoshop a “pre-design” step. It helps me to visualize the entire website concept and I often omit pixel-perfect details and finish that part up in the browser while coding.
Master your design skills, not software skills.
The headline of this paragraph is the best conclusion to my blog post. Designers, let’s focus on our design skills. Let’s master our design techniques and styles. If we develop our skills, we can design beautiful websites no matter what software we use.
Check out my other blog post with some tips on how to improve your design skills.
We’ve been using Photoshop for so many years but who knows what the future brings? Web design especially changes so rapidly that it’s hard to predict and prepare.
I will keep using my Photoshop.