Why we skip Photoshop (posted 2008)(signalvnoise.com)

over 8 years ago from Brennan Smith, Designer

  • Diana Lopez, over 8 years ago (edited over 8 years ago )

    I like that this article is "Why we skip Photoshop" and not "Why you need to skip Photoshop." I like Photoshop, and it works well for me, so I disagree with some of the points. For example, "when you use Photoshop you can't help but pay attention to details." For me, that's a benefit. I lke being able to focus on alignment and colors and details. I like making things that look good for the sake of looking good. (Especially since attractive things work better.) That's what breathes life into me as a designer. I would rather take my time on details than rush into HTML/CSS.

    I hate that feeling of picturing a certain color/typography palette in my head, describing it the best I can without a Photoshop mockup, then it gets jumbled up by passing through many hands (collaboration) and when it gets back to me, it's nothing like what I imagined but it's time to ship so off it goes and I can't take any honest pride in it. It's a tad bit demoralizing especially if it happens regularly.

    I also feel like HTML/CSS also has a certain grain that encourages you to do things in ways you've seen before. In Photoshop (or Sketch or whatever) you can experiment to your heart's content without worrying about how it's going to work logistically. Not to say that designers shouldn't know how HTML/CSS works, but through experimentation that's purely graphical, you can think of some wild way to display a dropdown that doesn't look native but works well for the brand of the website & the users of the website you're designing for. Then if you know HTML/CSS you can scale it back so it is actually workable through HTML/CSS.

    HTML/CSS are still in development too, so it's not as if our HTML/CSS toolkit is final. If you think of a new convention that's not currently the most elegant in HTML/CSS language but works well from a user experience standpoint, maybe in the future that will get worked into the spec.

    Photoshop and HTML/CSS are both tools that are still evolving. I find it's better for me (again, for me) to try to use them to do the job that I want to do without focusing on their current nature. I know text in Photoshop is awkward (point #7 in the article) but Adobe's working on it, supposedly. The tools will evolve the way we use them even if it's awkward at first. border-radius wasn't always a thing, remember? We had to ask for it.

    4 points
    • Mitch De CastroMitch De Castro, over 8 years ago

      Totally agree.

      I think the constraints of HTML/CSS on design forces a limited sense of creativity and ultimately gives leeway to site-builders and things like The Grid because everything starts looking similar and easy to replicate.

      And it's not like any of the crazy designs made in Photoshop are totally out of reach. There's always plenty of craziness going on over at CodePen...

      1 point