Every design team has their list of favorite applications that best suit their workflow. For the most part, those top applications are practically set in stone. While we are not opposed to trying new applications (in fact, we test out new software quite often), it takes a lot of functionality to knock one of our primary tools off of the list. In this case, the lack of updates to one of those programs is what forced us to change things up. Change is good, and we have been enjoying the adjustment.
An Aging Program In Fireworks CS6
When Adobe released CC this year, they didn’t bring Fireworks along for the ride. Technically it is still part of the Creative Cloud, though it will remain stuck in its latest iteration of CS6. While Fireworks still has some great advantages over Photoshop as a website design tool, the lack of updates it would receive make it less valuable to us. We want to ensure we are offering the best possible products to our clients. Outdated software will only hold us back the longer it ages.
Fireworks vs Photoshop? Photoshop Wins By Default*
The Photoshop vs Fireworks debate between designers has been going on for quite some time. Each program has their positives and negatives depending on what you are using it for. Since we made the change with using Photoshop as our primary web design tool in June, there were a few things that we were longing for from Fireworks that Photoshop did not offer. After some searching around, we found some great solutions.
* Not really by “default”... Photoshop certainly has a larger user base as it is not just for web designers. We felt convicted to point that out!
Slicy from MacRabbit - Get It Here
In a Photoshop file, there are a number of elements we want to export so we can start coding a website. Slicy helps make that easier. First, we name our layers / groups with the file extension that we want them to be exported as (for example, logo.jpg). Once that is done, we drop our PSD into Slicy, and it generates the cut up files for us. It even offers retina support as well.
JPEGmini - Get It Here
Fireworks offered high quality exported assets at really good file sizes. Photoshop and Slicy really don’t come close in that department. That is where JPEGmini comes in. After we have our sliced up JPG files, we drop them into JPEGmini, and it compresses those files to a fraction of the size, while not sacrificing quality. While JPEGmini is advertised as a space saving tool for family photos and the like, it is excellent for making sure website are lightweight and load quick for users.