Do you start on Paper, Photoshop, or in Fireworks?

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by eclipse, Dec 11, 2008.

  1. eclipse macrumors 6502a


    Nov 18, 2005
    I'm wondering which professional web designers start what way... and is Fireworks better than drawing up a web-page in Photoshop and then converting that into a web page?
  2. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    I am no pro but most of my pages were crafted on paper for starts to show a client. It was then all pretty much done in DW. I don't use Fireworks much (at all).

    Clients like the paper method it seems, but know I am not a pro and my clients have been generated through word of mouth or by way of my mommy. ;)
  3. drichards macrumors 6502a


    Nov 30, 2008
    Always start with an idea on paper. Always. No exceptions. Whether you're working on a webpage, writing a thesis, making a kids toy, attempting to breach the space-time continuum, or just doodling. Paper is the foundation of all that is good.
  4. eclipse thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Nov 18, 2005
    Frees up the creative juices hey?:D

    Nice to meet a DW user. I'm just starting off... I haven't designed web-pages since GoLive a few years back and it messed up the code so much the pages started to crash. But then, I didn't understand CSS or good XHTML either, so hopefully by the time I've done all my CSS tutorials I'll be better able to appreciate how DW does what it does.

    Do you use code much?
  5. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    Yeah I use code quite a bit. I use text wrangler instead of good ole' notepad. However, I've found myself gravitating to DW more often than not.

    I did use GL for a while, actually, that's what I use on my old powerbook given it doesn't like the CS3 design suite much. It was not as easy to me as DW, but that is force of habit more than anything.

    Back in the day when I cared/had time, I wrote most pages in notepad and used DW for layout work mostly.

    I do like the stability of DW while using XHTML as GoLive always crashed upon previewing. Weird, but it did and since I was unable to figure it out ... well DW won again. :)
  6. mariahlullaby macrumors 6502a


    Jan 19, 2005
    I usually always start on paper; I keep a mini Moleskin notebook on me at all times for web projects that I also use to take notes from client meetings/calls. I go back to it for future projects to see what sort of ideas we had and how they were implemented in the early stages and final product.

    I don't always sketch the whole site out on paper (my drawing isn't really good enough for that) but always use it to start out the structure -- especially navigation trees, etc and the overall user experience.
  7. angelwatt Moderator emeritus


    Aug 16, 2005
    I start in HTML without CSS. I focus on the content of the site rather than what it looks like because the content should always be the focus point as it's why visitors visit.

    If clients are being troublesome about providing content and just want design, then I use something like a Presentation or use a SVG graphics program (Inkscape) to create some looks. I don't like looking solely at design though because content is the reason for the site. I also find content is the hard part to generate, not a design to hold it.
  8. SrWebDeveloper macrumors 68000


    Dec 7, 2007
    Alexandria, VA, USA
    Same here, I use Adobe PS alot for prototyping alernate layouts with placeholder content. Sometimes its a simple matter of visiting other web sites to inspire a client. Luckily we have a content manager who liaisons with the client, and as a developer I'm involved in getting a basic understanding of the business logic so I know what to expect and what tools to add to assist the client or client manager in populating the site.

  9. ChicoWeb macrumors 65816


    Aug 16, 2004
    I start out by gathering the requirements from the client. Typically I give them homework to come up with a "Site Map" or what we call navigation structure. That really helps get an idea of how the site is going to flow. After that we jump into Photoshop and create comps depending on how large the job is, it could be as little as 2, or as many as 16. After approval, then we XHTML CSS, while developer integrates back end functionality and front end php.
  10. decksnap macrumors 68040


    Apr 11, 2003
    We usual start on paper, and from there to illustrator wireframes to get functionality and workflow issues resolved.

    Designing often starts on paper as well, then in Illustrator for rough comping, then is recreated in Fireworks for pixel-perfect designs.

    Later, CSS Edit and (insert HTML editor here) for coding, then gets sent off to the programmers for backend stuff.
  11. Melrose Suspended


    Dec 12, 2007
    Pen & paper mostly.

    Once in a while I can get a clear enough idea to fiddle around with Photoshop - and at certain times the pen tool is more intuitive for what I'm trying to do.

    But generally, pen & paper.
  12. NoNameBrand macrumors 6502

    Nov 17, 2005
    Halifax, Canada
    I will make a very simple sketch of the layout on paper, but will very quickly switch to Photoshop.

    Once the prototypes are approved, I duplicate, flatten the image, and copy out the minimum graphical elements I need for my CSS.

    Then it's over to Coda or vim (depending on how the site is hosted - some ones at work are set up in such a way that I can't use Coda to get at them), and start typing.
  13. HomeBru Studios macrumors member

    HomeBru Studios

    Jun 4, 2008
    Paper? This is the 21st century and the world has enough environmental issues as it is.

    I used to just start coding in HTML but have recently discovered that Adobe Illustrator is a pretty neat tool to use for such things. I just upgraded to CS4 last week and maybe I was unaware of CS3's capabilities or maybe it is a new feature with CS4 but now you can build pages in Fireworks and dynamically interact with the design as you go along - pretty neat... I'll probably give that a try.

    I know some people do a similar thing with Photoshop but I find Photoshop a bit awkward to use (I never seem to have enough time to sit down and learn it properly).
  14. geekindisguise macrumors 6502


    Jul 22, 2008
    Paper is the best...

    I have a Notepad that I use for making all of my designs!
    I usually sketch up the design during school so I can't use Photoshop.
    And plus paper is much more crafty... I think...
    I don't know what I am saying!

    I just like using Paper and Pencil the best!
    After I get it all Sketched up I start coding it all.
    And I don't use any Fancy Smancy program like Dreamweaver!
    (Actually I use EditPad Lite :D )

  15. pelsar macrumors regular

    Apr 29, 2008
    i start with inspiration.....

    after getting the "brief" from the client...i start looking at different sites as well as stock photography sites for different solutions/ideas .....

    after finding a few i like or icons that fit i then go over the PS and start putting a design together...i may go through 3-9 different "sketches" until i get an concept that seems to fit. One of those goes to the client for approval.

    and just to clarify as a long time designer, no one designs in a vacuum, we all get our inspiration from different areas, could be street sign, a headlight of a car or other website designs.....
  16. ToM-RSC macrumors member

    Oct 12, 2007
    I usually do a 10 minute almost mock-up idea on paper first, put it to the side of my Mac, and do something else on the computer for an hour or so. During that time, I'll usually keep looking at it, and adding/changing things on the design as they come to me, and then I'll put it into Photoshop, which I can then split into HTML and adapt it into CSS. :)

Share This Page