Fireworks or Photoshop, which one is better for app and webdesign?

almost 11 years ago from , Product designer @ Microsoft

Just read these two posts : http://www.reinegger.net/50_reasons_not_to_use_photoshop_for_webdesign.html & http://ivomynttinen.com/blog/the-endless-fireworks-vs-photoshop-battle/ and i asked myself if it's time to switch?


  • Max SteenbergenMax Steenbergen, almost 11 years ago

    Tools are irrelevant, in my opinion. If you can make a glorious design using MS Paint then by all means, please do. As long as your reasoning behind the design decisions is sound, exactly what path you took to realise those designs is entirely personal.

    4 points
    • Florian Pnn, almost 11 years ago

      I agree with you, but sometimes you need to change tool to improve your workflow, to be better and a little bit faster. And it seems that Fireworks became a really good tool for multiple devices design, Photoshop isn't.

      0 points
    • Marc EdwardsMarc Edwards, almost 11 years ago

      Tools aren't irrelevant at all. Designing software is complex, and some applications simply don't have the range or quality needed to product good results.

      Ever tried hammering a nail in with a screwdriver? Using the right tool matters.

      4 points
  • Marc EdwardsMarc Edwards, almost 11 years ago

    Those articles are full of errors and old information.

    1. Pixel Precise alignment Photoshop does a brilliant job of pixel precision for vector shapes. This was greatly improved in Photoshop CS6.

    2. Quick Infos Photoshop CS6 displays floating transformation values when moving layers, creating objects or transforming.

    3. Rounded Rectangle This one's a bit of an issue, but fixable with a script.

    4. Gradients Gradients in Photoshop are great (be it layer style gradients or gradient layers).

    5. Dithering gradients Available in all gradient fill types — bitmap gradients, gradient layers, gradient layer styles. I'm not sure where the author got their info from, because Photoshop actually had dithered gradients first.

    …And on and on.

    1. Export graphics for all pages and states in one go Photoshop can do amazing things with automated exporting using slices.

    2. CSS Export In Photoshop CS6.

    3. Color Management Ahem. http://bjango.com/articles/photoshop/

    4. PNG Support & Export I don't think the author understands that Photoshop's 24bit PNG export is the same as Fireworks' 32bit PNG export.

    So much old and incorrect information. Sure, you're allowed to like and use Fireworks, but please don't spread FUD.

    3 points
  • Aaron MoodieAaron Moodie, almost 11 years ago

    I spent a while changing between the two. Fireworks' (FW) page layout/management and symbol library make it great for designing page layouts and web sites. It's also has much better text control, which for me is a major factor.

    The problem with FW is that the software itself is sluggish, buggy and in general has no where near the level of polish that Photoshop (PS) does, and I found myself wresting with the app a lot of the time to get things looking 'right'.

    PS give you much better pixel level control, but the workflow for designing web pages is horrible, and working with text blows. This is not what PS was designed for, and it shows. Designing for mobile is a little better, and is where the pixel level control really shows through, but I find having to deal with everthing in layers quite unintuative.

    As a result, I've pretty much switched to Sketch full time. Although, like FW, the pixel level detail is not quite there, I actually enjoy working in Sketch, and frequency of updates gives me confidence that whatever is currently lacking in the app will soon be addressed.

    2 points
  • Matt MilosavljevicMatt Milosavljevic, almost 11 years ago

    Tried Sketch? http://www.bohemiancoding.com/sketch/ It’s pretty handy.

    2 points
    • Florian Pnn, almost 11 years ago

      Already tried it, I really like it but when i see the 9slice scaling tool on Fireworks with all these new devices that come into the game, think it could really improves our workflow !

      0 points
      • Marc EdwardsMarc Edwards, almost 11 years ago

        Do you want a 9slice tool for creation or export? Because when you're exporting image assets for use in apps, you typically want the 9slice / drawNinePartImage / resizableImageWithCapInsets / 9-patch images to be as small as possible, to use less RAM and so the GPU can do the scaling (on iOS in most cases, anyway).

        0 points
  • Brad McNallyBrad McNally, almost 11 years ago

    I'll throw Illustrator into the mix. http://brandonoxendine.com/writing/why-i-design-for-the-web-in-illustrator

    But honestly, use whichever you'd like.

    1 point
    • Brad McNallyBrad McNally, almost 11 years ago

      Even InDesign is getting some love. http://upstatement.com/blog/2012/01/how-to-approach-a-responsive-design/

      1 point
    • Marc EdwardsMarc Edwards, almost 11 years ago

      Illustrator is a brilliant tool for mockups, complex vector work and text heavy layouts, but I'd never recommend it for final image exporting for web or app development. Here's why:

      1. Poor antialiasing and shapes with stray pixels.
      2. No dithered gradients.
      3. Potential issues with embedded images not being passed through undamaged.
      4. Weaker pixel level styling.

      More info: http://bjango.com/articles/illustratorandappdesign/

      Basically, it produces sub-par results that can often be seen by the naked eye on a final design. The poor antialiasing and gradient banding are instant deal-breakers for me.

      Please note that I love and use Illustrator daily, but I use it for what it's good for — mockups and creating complex shapes that I then move to Photoshop for styling and exporting.

      Quality matters.

      0 points
    • Matthaeus KrennMatthaeus Krenn, almost 11 years ago

      Nowadays, I use Illustrator for everything that's not final assets (for which I use Photoshop). The ability to quickly copy paste and have multiple iterations of the same design sitting next to each other on the canvas is priceless. Not only makes it comparison easier, it also acts as a visual history of the decisions I've made along the way. Plus, file size and memory requirements stay manageable even with 50 iterations of the same screen on a single canvas.

      0 points
  • John MauroJohn Mauro, almost 11 years ago

    Though I agree with others that the tool doesn't matter at the end of the day, I've found Photoshop to be cumbersome and bloated because it's trying to be something that it's not. For me, it's a speed issue. I can realize my designs much more quickly in Fireworks.

    0 points
  • Victor MarkVictor Mark, almost 11 years ago

    I find Fireworks to be incredibly buggy

    0 points
  • Chris MeeksChris Meeks, almost 11 years ago

    At least for web design, I'm surprised I'm the only one to suggest: neither? Becoming extremely proficient at some combination of SASS + Compass for designing your websites and web apps is going to be a way better investment of your time that learning the ins and outs of Photoshop or Fireworks.

    0 points
  • Joshua ButnerJoshua Butner, almost 11 years ago

    I also gave this some thought around the time CS6 came out, but it seems as though Adobe doesn't have the same dedication to Fireworks as Photoshop. I don't want to adjust my workflow to learn and incorporate an application that may not exist in the next few years.

    0 points
    • John KarlssonJohn Karlsson, almost 11 years ago

      I'm with you on this one. Some years ago I used Fireworks and after making the switch to Photoshop I missed some features from Fireworks (handling shapes, smart guides etc.) but these features are now implemented in Photoshop in one way or another, and I believe the main focus at Adobe will be Photoshop because of its popularity.

      1 point