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The future of Photoshop as a UI design tool

June 26, 2015

Adobe murdered Fireworks and put Photoshop in charge

3 years ago, Adobe decided to abandon Fireworks (Fw), leaving anger around the community.

Last week, Adobe have just released CC 2015, in this release Photoshop was added a noticeable funtion: Artboards, one of the killer function in Sketch.

That’s a wrong turn

This upgrade once again showed that Adobe is trying to evolve Photoshop to become an interface design tool.

Since day one, Ps was born as a photo edditing/manipulating program. Let it do what it was born for. I know for a long time many web designers was using Ps for web design. May be that’s the reason Adobe decided to follow this trend, for years they have tried to release new fuctions tailored for interface designers. At the same time, photo editing is still a big area of Photoshop, which they can never abandon.

Result? Adobe chose to go 2 directions at the same time. 1 program serve 2 purposes, actually 2 big industries. Fair to say, Adobe did quite a good job on that. But I can’t imagine how can they keep doing that in long run, they are trying to build a flying car, good luck with that!

Reality has shown this diversion was Photoshop’s Achilles heel, which is why Photoshop was heavily attacked by programs like Sketch in the last few years. Look at Photoshop’s neighbour, Golliad Illustrator have its own Affinity David, but the story was very difference, because Illustrator is focus on one purpose only.

Is there a better way?

Yes, I think there’s a better way: Let Fireworks (Fw) take care of web designers, let Ps focus to photographers as it should be.

In the post 3 years ago, Adobe said they will leave that job (web design) to a new baby called Edge.

What new tools is Adobe proposing to create for web design?

Adobe has embarked on creating a new collection of tools and services aimed at addressing the needs of today’s web designer — we’ve started with focusing on responsive layout, web animation and HTML, CSS and JavaScript code editing and are delivering new Edge tools to address these use cases. We are actively working on next-generation solutions for screen design and prototyping that we hope our existing Fireworks customers will love.

3 years later, I still don’t know why they do that. Edge is now a mess with 4 programs, one of them (Edge Code) even got another name: Brackets.

Some people may worry by doing that, Ps will overlap Lightroom (Lr), personally I don’t think so, Lr and Ps can live together peacefully. If there is an overlap, it will be a peaceful overlaping. Actually, Lr and Ps are already overlapped each other (i.e: Camera Raw), and nobody seem to have any problem with that.

Why Fireworks?

I just name a few, there’s much more you can find on Google, i.e: here and here

  1. Fireworks – like Sketch – is base on vector and can be scaled infinitive.
  2. The Fw community (despite the fact that it was abandoned by Adobe) is still very active. I have many colleage still using Fw, not because they don’t know how to use Ps, but because they love the Fw functionalities for web designers.
  3. Pages (same as Artboards), Symbols, Styles… was already available in Fireworks since Sketch was not even borned.

After all, with this direction Adobe will create a much clearer message, better product positioning, stronger internal/external communicate message for both products.

Sadly, after joining Adobe family, Fw suddently became a confusing program. It was overlaped by its new brothers, mostly because the Photoshop’s bullying. And it seems the big daddy choose to go with Ps — which also put more weight on Ps’s shoulder.

If Ps still continue evolve to the current direction, I think the question “will Sketch take the throne?” will change to “when”.

PS: I wrote article to practice my writting. Please let me know if you spot a misspelling or grammar mistake.

New year, new city!

February 19, 2015

Today is the first day of the year in our Lunar Calendar. A new year and I’ve just came to this new city. I’ve been to Melbourne for a few times in the past, mostly for work so I didn’t have much chance to explore this city therefore everything is new (and exciting!) for me. It was a bit sad to leave my beloved team in Sydney – one of the loveliest team I have lucky enought to work with during the last 7 months.

As it is new year, wish everyone a great year ahead, full of happiness and success.