37signals: Why We Scored on Photoshop

Original author: Jason Fried
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This is a translation of the article “ Why we skip Photoshop ” by Jason Fried from  37signals

When developing a UI, we usually move from a paper sketch right away to HTML / CSS. We miss the layout design in Photoshop.

This is why we do it:

  1. The layout is not clickable. This is probably the number 1 reason why static layouts are not for us. They are not real. The paper sketch, of course, is also not real, but you do not expect this from him. The layout is displayed on the screen. Once it is on the screen, it should work. But the menu cannot be opened, you cannot clog the text in the field, the link cannot be clicked. And with HTML / CSS, everything is real.
  2. There are too many tools in Photoshop to work out the details. When you use it, it pulls you to do the details. Alignment, the right color, the right shapes are the little things that are important in the end, but useless now. At the very beginning, meaning is important, not details. Details later.
  3. Text in Photoshop is not like text on the web. You can’t quickly change the text in a static Photoshop layout - you need to open Photoshop, change the text, save the file, export to gif / png / jpg, etc. If you put the sketch online, you won’t tell someone to “update in 5 seconds”, as could be done with HTML. Instead, you have to say "5 minutes ...". And yet, the font in Photoshop never matches the font in HTML. It never seems. Neither line breaks, nor distance.
  4. Photoshop focuses on production, not productivity. In Photoshop, they do what looks, not what works. If you only care about the appearance, you will spend a lot of time on production. HTML / CSS allows you to be productive. With each change, you move towards something more and more real.
  5. Photoshop - do one job twice. Well spent 3 days on the layout, then what? We take up HTML / CSS, repeat it all over again. Waste of time. We would start with HTML / CSS and spend extra time on iterating, rather than re-creating. If HTML / CSS is also slow, take a little more time to learn faster HTML / CSS development methods. This waste of time is not empty.
  6. Photoshop is not for collaboration. I kind of mentioned already, but I will say it again: HTML / CSS allows you to change, save and update. So we are building cooperation. “I'll change it. Update. ”In seconds. “So, there will be float: left, a not right. Update. ”A couple of seconds. No tool selection, no moving things, no export, no pouring, no new file names. HTML / CSS is simply designed for rapid prototyping. But Photoshop is not.
  7. Photoshop is complicated. Of course, after 10 years of working with him, everything works out by itself, but for me, some things are still complicated. With a pen, it’s easier to manage than constantly climbing into the toolbar. You can draw anything with a pen, but in Photoshop you need to use the Text tool for text, the Shape tool for shapes, and configure everything through the menu, and so on without end.

We don’t want to say that Photoshop is bad or not worth the money, it just turns out that doing HTML / CSS right away is much more useful both for creating new and improving existing ones. HTML / CSS is the real thing Photoshop will never become.

Note Per .: Thoughts in general are interesting, fully fit into the 37signals proprietary concept called Getting Real . As an experienced typesetter, I agree with most things, however, here it’s clear to the hedgehog - not in all cases this approach will work, Pirogov, for example, is unlikely to appreciate :). You should take into account the specifics of 37signals - the development of simple and easy web applications on their own initiative to meet the current needs of the market. The guys do not make presentation and image sites to order, therefore Photoshop is really out of work. Here it is - in our opinion :)

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