Because we are at the time of responsive and multi-platform designs, many software specialized in web design have been developed and respond optimally to the many current issues facing designers. One notable exception among them, however, is Photoshop.
Although it is understandable why many designers still decide on this piece of software, most of the reasons they stated for continuing to use Photoshop are misguided. It is indeed one of the oldest software programs on the market and, for most of us, the first one we ever used. Many universities and workplaces still rely on it primarily just due to the time and money cost of switching to an alternative.
However, this doesn’t change the fact that Photoshop is a severely limited, and perhaps outdated, piece of software for web design. There are many good reasons to abandon it for another, and in this article, we’ll go over why you should think about Photoshop alternatives.
Photoshop: A Giant of the Designing World
Launched by Adobe Studio in 1990, Photoshop was at the forefront of computer-assisted graphic editing. At the time, there was no real alternative. Everyone was working with Photoshop: photographers, illustrators and, little by little, the first web designers.
As web design became more prominent later on in the decade, Photoshop was the perfect tool to achieve your goals at the time. It had all the necessary functions for computer graphics editing and generation and the community was huge with forums and tutorials to create any project.
Although it was the undisputed champion in the 90s, as with all markets, competition soon arrived from multiple fronts. Some applications like GIMP tried to compete with Photoshop by offering a more editing-focused interface. Others tried to create a far more streamlined experience without all the bells and whistles that come with Photoshop, which a web designer rarely needs.
The Downfalls of Photoshop
Adobe has certainly included many improvements and other plugins for the web in Photoshop over the years to make the program more suitable for its new purpose. But this is an uncomfortable and superficial coat of paint over a product that was fundamentally not designed for web design. After moving to a more dedicated web design software, when you return to Photoshop, you’ll be surprised by what’s staring you in the face: software that is fundamentally not designed for the web.
Let’s be clear: Photoshop is an absolutely brilliant tool for working with photography, images and illustrations, which is what it was originally developed for. But when it comes to web design, it’s years behind other applications that have been specifically designed for the field.
The Advent of Dedicated Web Designs Applications
One of the first to seize this new market was Sketch, in 2010. Figma followed in 2016 with the advantage of not only being available on desktops but being operable straight from the browser. Adobe realized that they’re quickly losing market share to other applications, so they decided to release an application dedicated to web design. So, they’re back in the race with Adobe XD.
There are many reasons why these applications took off, and this is, of course, because they have been specifically designed for the web and the needs of the professionals in the field. They are built from the grounds up with tools and techniques that are meant to integrate perfectly with the workflow of web developers:
- Exporting CSS: Photoshop, like Sketch, allows you to copy the CSS code of a layer in order to reuse it during the development phase; however, the code Photoshop generates is often needlessly long, incorrect, and doesn’t take into account the principles of responsive design.
- Web styles: Sketch gives you the ability to save styles and apply them to new elements. This allows you to “store” text styles (H1, H2, paragraph, link…) and reuse them efficiently without causing style inconsistencies. This doesn’t exist in Photoshop.
These are just two examples from a long list of features that don’t exist in Photoshop, or they’re excessively cumbersome to use. And if you still have trouble turning your Sketch or Figma designs into proper websites, there are always alternatives. You can always rely on an amazing Figma to WordPress conversion service from Acclaim Agency to have your Figma design properly and professionally turned into a responsive, stylish website.