Question About Using Photoshop in Responsive Workflows

Now that I’m no longer using photoshop for prototyping, I wonder if it still has a place in my workflow besides just image processing. What are new ways to use photoshop in adaptive/responsive workflows?

Sherpa Dan Mall answers:

Great question! When I want to show someone the best representation of a web site, I shoot for the highest fidelity in the shortest amount of time. That dichotomy between fidelity and efficiency is a balancing act. When helping people envision a brand new house to move into, a showroom may take weeks to build and furnish, but a blueprint or a 3D rendering might only take a day or two. The showroom is more representative because it’s closer to the end result, but it’s also more expensive to tear down and/or revise if changes are needed. In any field where you get to a result through iteration, approximations are necessary.

Embrace Approximations

The value of Photoshop for me has always been that it’s the path of least resistance to the most expressive result. It’s a great tool for me to quickly get to some useful approximations. Using more waterfall-like processes in the past, a comp was the quintessential best approximation. But comps are generally based on the premise that this was how everyone would see the site: 960-ish pixels wide on a desktop computer. We know better than that; in our multi-device world, people access the web from the palms of their hands to the dashboards in their cars. Designing “full comps” for all of the permutations is a zero-sum game.

Visual Inventory

What’s a designer to do in a post-“full comp” era? We need better approximations. The first great approximation that I generally use is a link. I send my clients links and say, “Here’s how they did it. Would that work for you?” I collect those into a document called a Visual Inventory.

Element Collages

Once we have that conversation, I turn to Photoshop to start creating my next favorite approximation: element collages. These are usually ideas that I’m most excited to get out of my head and into pixels. No need to care at this stage whether what you’re designing is a good idea or even possible; the main goal here is expressiveness. I’m looking to establish art direction, the touchy feely stuff. When I show element collages to clients, I’m looking for feedback like, “It feels too dense,” or, “The colors are too bright.” If you start hearing feedback like, “Could we move that a bit to the left?” then you’re being too detailed (or your client is).

Use What Works for You

Sure, you could get this same level of approximation in code instead of Photoshop. In fact, my friends over at Sparkbox make what they call a Style Prototypea staple in their process. For me, however, it’s back to the quickest method of expressiveness. When I’m writing code, my brain isn’t in creation-mode; it’s in debug-mode. All sense of expressiveness is usually stifled in place of “correctness.” And, no offense, but most sites I come across that were “designed in the browser” look “designed in the browser,” if you know what I mean.

The short answer is that there’s no shame in using Photoshop as part of a modern web design process. All this time, we’ve been trying to use it as like a fountain pen and totally missed how great it is as a paint roller. You can use it really well to make some broad strokes. Don’t be afraid to use Photoshop for the big picture stuff and save the fine details to decide in the browser.

Happy Photoshopping!

Discussion

  1. , digisocialnet said:

    I feel like Photoshop will always have its place for photos and print-based work but the future of web design prototypes involves a lot of command line applications, plugins, scripts, and text editors. I don’t see Adobe ever being agile enough to buy or create a GoLive Cyberstudio or Dreamweaver again and no other company is really being innovative in GUI-based web design tools (other than SublimeText i guess.. sorry Macaw) Photoshop plugins are powered by web technologies now so it’s easier than ever to create a tailored Photoshop workflow. If you’re going to have to script your workflow then tools like Gulp are probably more flexible and powerful for non-artistic image processing.

    That being said, Photoshop is still the shit for creating pixel/photo based images. Buy a scanner, and paint something or draw something.. Scan it and use it in your design. Even if you can’t paint, you can use it as a custom-made, Retina-ready texture. Scan in a plant or flower.. Responsive design is not the end of pixel-based images. There are plenty of people doing great things with Photoshop that share their techniques on Deviant Art or hundreds of other websites. Photoshop is a tool and you can use it to create anything you can imagine.

  2. , melisamoeyer said:

    The Photoshop importance is known to everyone as from this creative web designs are created. The another fact is that where this software is applicable in today’s world of SEO - is in the Infographics.

    It is the use of Photoshop or advantage of Photoshop due to which the information is represented in with Infographics.

    Stay with my hTML5 website and looks its creativity - http://www.technocrab.com/web-design.html

  3. , SherrylPerry said:

    There are plenty of designers who weren’t using Photoshop before responsive design - Illustrator’s multiple art boards, symbols and vector shapes makes it perfect for responsive design, and ideal in the new flat design era. Adobe should be pushing an html5 export option for Illustrator wire frames to produce clean markup.

    Creating your first website, basic HTML5 for beginners like this :
    https://www.whitechek.com/

  4. , PromoRecharge said:

    The Photoshop importance is known to everyone as from this creative web designs are created. The another fact is that where this software is applicable in today’s world of SEO - is in the Infographics.

    It is the use of Photoshop or advantage of Photoshop due to which the information is represented in with Infographics.

    Stay with my hTML5 website and looks its creativity -
    Netmeds Promo Code
    http://www.promorecharge.com/coupon/netmeds-promo-codes/

  5. , web designer said:

    Web designers must embrace Responsive Web Design (RWD), but it’s not easy. traditional web designers who are used to Photoshop can transition to RWD thanks to Edge Reflow. Both tools are available in the Adobe Creative Cloud.

    http://www.rationaltechnologies.com/

  6. , website designing said:

    The web design landscape is changing, but with Edge Reflow CC and Photoshop CC, a designer can create a working mockup that will give the client (or other) an idea of what the finished responsive design will look like. Adobe Edge Reflow CC connects directly to Photoshop CC so that you can easily import assets, content, and shapes directly into Reflow, creating a starting point for your responsive designs. Edge Reflow is actually a design tool that you can use to design and test designs in different screen sizes.

    http://www.canopussoft.com

  7. , satendra said:

    What great information.  i have read this article…thank for sharing.

    http://www.janbaskdigitaldesign.com

  8. , sandeepsharmag said:

    Awesome Post! Posted article is very informative.…thanks for sharing.

    http://www.dec.edu.in

  9. , AnnaGrace said:

    Thanks for sharing such kind of great article.
    http://livepcservicess.co.uk/avast-customer-support-service-phone-number-uk/
    http://livepcservicess.co.uk/support-for-avg-anti-virus/
    http://livepcservicess.co.uk/support-for-kaspersky-anti-virus/
    http://livepcservicess.co.uk/support-for-mcafee/
    http://livepcservicess.co.uk/norton-customer-service-phone-number/

  10. , orentation said:

    great information..
    web design company bangalore

  11. , KarTik Saini said:

    Helpchat Coupons

  12. , sandeepsharmag said:

    Very nice solution for Responsive Workflows using Photoshop . Thanks for sharing your thoughts.


    Gmail Support Number | canon printer helpline number | mcafee antivirus support NumberHotmail Support Number  | epson printer support number | norton antivirus support Number

  13. , website design said:

    responsive design came into being, designers and developers have been faced with workflow challenges. Do you design several iterations (mobile, tablet, desktop) in a program like Photoshop and hope an explanation of interactivity will suffice, or do you design “in-browser,” or a combination? Adobe expert Brian Wood shows how by using Edge Reflow CC and Photoshop CC.
    http://www.canopuswebtech.co.in/

  14. , website designing said:

    Nice information for Responsive Workflows using Photoshop.Thanks for sharing!

    http://ssinfotechnologies.com/

  15. , robloxaz said:

    This is an informative post review. I am so pleased to get this post article and nice information. I was looking forward to get such a post which is very helpful to us. A big thank for posting this article in this website. Keep it up.
    cool math games| 8 ball pool| happy wheels immortal| animal jam| happy wheels, unblocked games

  16. , kanika321 said:

    Very informative post. A big thank for posting this article in this website and keep posting in future also.                                                                                                                                    Best Engineering College in Delhi NCR

  17. , nikeshupadhyay said:

    Thanks for sharing this great and very important post. The Photoshop significance is recognized to everybody as from this inspired web designs are generated. Visit with my HTML5 website and aspects its creativity:- http://www.sankalptechnology.in/web-development-company.php

  18. , jollyoph said:

    Awesome Post! Posted article is very informative.…thanks for sharing.

    Website Designing Company in Dubai

  19. , jollyoph said:

    Awesome Post! Posted article is very informative.…thanks for sharing.
    Ecommerce Website Designing Company in delhi

  20. , Jennifer said:

    thanks for share such a more interesting stuff, i like this opinion. thanks for share with us.

    Godaddy Promo Codes

  21. , cyberdesign said:

    Nice post Thank you for information.


    Web Design Delhi, Ecommerce Web Development, Wordpress Web Development

  22. , vertixio said:

    I really hope to see the same high-grade blog posts from you in the future aswell.
    vertix.io
    Dog Games
    Fighting Games
    Subway Surfers
    Mickey Mouse Games

  23. , RahulSharma said:

    Excellent post!  Nice myths about Photoshop in Responsive Workflows. Thanks for sharing with us.


    Best Dentist in Gurgaon | Dentist in Delhi | Dental Implants in Gurgaon | Holiday Club in Gurgaon | Conference Meetings in Gurgaon

  24. , Jamesbush said:

    Great information thank you..

    Website Designing Company, Web Development Company, Digital Marketing Agency, Mobile App Development, Ecommerce Web Development

  25. , AnnaGrace said:

    Ultimate article. I really appreciated


    Gmail Tech Support Number  |  Hotmail Tech Support Number | Canon Printer Tech Support Number | Epson Printer Tech Support Number | HP printer Tech Support Number

  26. , Leila Hatafi said:

    Very good post
    www.resolution-web.fr

  27. , niu_noida said:

    Hello


    Thanks for the sharing this great blog.. this is the most usefull information for me,…

  28. , sap onlinetraining said:

    Great article thank you for sharing.
    etl testing online training
    SAP FICO Online Training

  29. , website designing41 said:

    Great stuff,Thank you for sharing this article!

    Web Designing Company | Website Designing Company | Web Design Company

  30. , blomblom said:

    11 Watch Florence Foster Jenkins Online
    11 Watch Nerve Online
    11 Watch Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 Out of the Shadows Online
    11 Watch Bad Moms Online
    11 Watch Central Intelligence Online
    11 Watch The Legend of Tarzan Online
    11 Watch The Magnificent Seven Online
    11 Watch Suicide Squad Online
    11 Watch Spectral Online
    11 Watch Now You See Me 2 Online
    11 Watch Snowden Online
    11 Watch Storks Online
    11 Watch Neighbors 2 Sorority Rising Online
    11 Watch Jason Bourne 5 Online
    11 Watch Petes Dragon Online
    11 Watch Sausage Party Online
    11 Watch Captain America Civil War Online
    11 Watch Bad Moms Online
    11 Watch X-Men 9 Apocalypse Online
    11 Watch The Conjuring 2 Online
    11 Watch Warcraft Online
    11 Watch Ben Hur Online
    11 Watch Ice Age 5 Collision Course Online
    11 Watch Alice Through the Looking Glass Online
    11 Watch War Dogs Online
    11 Watch The Angry Birds Movie Online
    11 Watch Me Before You Online
    11 Watch Independence Day 2 Resurgence Online
    11 Watch Now You See Me 2 Online
    11 Watch Star Trek Beyond Online
    11 Watch Ice Age 5 Collision Course Online
    11 Watch Spectral Online
    11 Watch The Nice Guys Online
    11 Watch Petes Dragon Online
    11 Watch Petes Dragon Online
    11 Watch Alice Through the Looking Glass Online
    11 Watch Free State of Jones Online
    11 Watch Storks Online
    11 Watch Finding Dory Online
    11 Watch Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 Out of the Shadows Online
    11 Watch Ghostbusters Online
    11 Watch Me Before You Online
    11 Watch Free State of Jones Online
    11 Watch Jason Bourne 5 Online
    11 Watch Kubo and the Two Strings Online
    11 Watch Nerve Online
    11 Watch Sausage Party Online

  31. , carasmith said:

    I like to say that it is very good article which drives me crazy although help me alot to say http://www.packardfirm.com/ II and you will see variety of comments having the same identity which helps my clients alot to gain and boost San Antonio Bankruptcy lawyers to make you win in every step of your suit. help you to gain a win over your compitetors.

     

  32. , jackfernandos said:

    Excellent Post!!  Thanks for sharing with us.

    Yahoo Tech Support Number

    BT Yahoo Customer Support Number

    Gmail Support Number

  33. , jackfernandos said:

    Wedding Events near Manesar Gurgaon

    Holiday Club & Party Places in Resort near Manesar

    Best Dentist in Gurgaon

    Best Dental Clinic in Delhi NCR

  34. , shareit said:

    download shareit

  35. , gta 5 said:

    Thank you very much! Your blog is always full of great idea. They are really helpful
    list of emoticons | www google search | facebook lite

  36. , gta 5 said:

    I was looking for something like this…I found it quiet interesting, hopefully you will keep posting such blogs….Keep sharing.
    excel | gta 5

  37. , Vamshi Ga said:

    Nice post thanks for sharing with us. It made us knowledgeable about this topic - packers and movers hyderabad packers and movers kukatpally

  38. , Leila Hatafi said:

    Join me on www.chat-sexe.xyz

  39. , mikejasson2 said:

    Good way of telling, good post to take facts regarding my presentation subject matter, which i am going to deliver in my college Finance Dissertation Help

Share Your Thoughts

Please log in or sign up to share your thoughts.