Dan Davies{ Front-end Developer }

Photoshop and the world wide web

12th November 2014

I along with many others have felt that Photoshop was no longer the leading tool for web design for quite a while. Now this isn’t a typical I hate Photoshop blog post. It comes on the back of me reading Why we skip Photoshop by Jason Fried.

The post really resonated with me and my beliefs. For a while now, I’ve been a big fan of skipping the Photoshop phase in favour of going into my text editor and building the thing.

That said, it’s a hard habit to shake off. I often found myself thinking in terms of layout on desktop and opening Photoshop and before I knew it, had a design for something I had not considered on mobile or tablet.

What Jason says is spot on.

Photoshop is repeating yourself. Ok, so you’ve spent 3 days on a mockup in Photoshop. Now what? Now I have to make it all over again in HTML/CSS. Wasted time. Just build it in HTML/CSS and spend that extra time iterating, not rebuilding.

This is my biggest issue I think with Photoshop and web design. I’ve worked on projects where a PSD had to be immaculate when in reality, it was going to be ripped to pieces and in the end, most of it was infact wasted work as I’d end up doing stuff myself in CSS.

The way I wanted to work was to establish a base theme and for the extra touches to be added at a later date or even for the designer to maybe play about with the theming in CSS themselves so at the end of it, their work wasn’t throw away.

Designers are still very very important

I’m very much of the opinion designers should know markup. Not because they will be forced to ditch Photoshop and move to CSS, far from it. They still can design in Photoshop. I just think it benefits them to play about with the environment they are designing for, it speeds up the process and hopefully stops their work being misunderstood or ignored. I know many don’t share that view though.

I believe people can work together, building layer upon layer of detail. This can be done in the form of HTML & Photoshop. I know people who work this way and it has been a great success. It just requires a rejig of workflow but it can generate fantastic work and probably at a saving of time too.

Like I said, Photoshop is still massively important for the team producing websites. It’s not the tool however to directs how the project goes anymore… in my opinion.

Selling that to the clients is a whole new ball game though. Good luck

Back to top