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Terry's Workspace

By DearTerry ·
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Fireworks fans

by DearTerry In reply to Terry's Workspace

<h1>If you are in love with Adobe Fireworks.... </h1>and worried that it might go away, well do not let your fear conquer you.  The <a href="http://http://techrepublic.com.com/5208-11192-0.html?forumID=52&threadID=69756&start=0&tag=search">old discussion</a> has been revived about what graphics editor is better (Photoshop or Fireworks).  There was even a discussion about desired new features for the next Fireworks software in Google Groups.  Who is to say that web designers would prefer one or the other graphic editor. In fact, it has always been a matter of preference in which way either software made your workflow more efficient.  In my humble opinion, they should just look for features that would make Fireworks stronger and not look for features that would bloat the already bloated Photoshop product.  Wouldn't you want your web designer life be a little less complicated, well add some custom brushes to Fireworks and then I'll be happy!<br /><br />If you are confused of the difference between Photoshop and Fireworks, St?phane from Pixelized wrote a good article about it:<br />- <a href="http://www.pixelyzed.com/pixelforge/whychoosefireworks/">Why choose Fireworks</a><br />

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Fireworks fans

by Emmanuel Sibanda In reply to Fireworks fans

<p>Well some of us are a bit less detail oriented and would rather use whatever works well and does not let us down at the time of integration into other designs. I mix photoshop, fireworks, Micrografix and CorelDraw to reach climax of an artist. However as you put it that it is all about preferences, there's no greater thruth than that. Though standards and recommendations may try hard to channel designers to follow through a certain pattern, there's now way to replace personal preference that ultimately produces the same results.</p>

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Fireworks fans

by Duane_Dixon In reply to Fireworks fans

<br />Well, I use Fireworks for creating my graphics and save Photoshop only for photo editing.  This is what I am most comfortable with and you are right about the fact that one's preference is what matters the most.  I also teach web design at my High School and we use the Macromedia (Adobe) Studio MX 2004 (I know, I do not have the latest version, were a school) thus, most of my teaching for the area of graphics creation is in Fireworks.  One other factor that is important is that the licensing cost is much more affordable for Studio than for Photoshop, so the students learn to edit photos in Fireworks and not in Photoshop.  Which when all is said and done, we are creating web sites and not print work, Firworks is just fine.  Any of my students that are serious already have Photoshop anyway.  I seriously digress, I hope that Fireworks will be around for for quite a long time and that Adobe does not deal away with it, as well as the educational pricing for the Studio product.<br />

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Fireworks fans

by DearTerry In reply to Fireworks fans

Hello Duane, <br />I can relate to you the ease of showing people how to play with "Fireworks". I teach University faculty how to make their own interactive graphics using Fireworks and the acceptance is great.  Some of these folks have worked with PhotoShop and expect Fireworks to be overly complicated but they are pleasantly surprised when they see how fast and easy they can make buttons and rollovers and how easy they can integrate that within their online courses.  <br />

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Fireworks fans

by Duane_Dixon In reply to Fireworks fans

You are so correct in you observation about your faculty
realizing that Fireworks is an extremely easy program to use.  My students
are also pleasantly surprised about the ease of Fireworks, especially the ones
that have used Photoshop in the past.  I teach at a magnet school for arts
(music, theatre, dance, and visual artists).  Several of these students
always seem to be very interested in designing on the computer, whether for
their art area or for their personal experimentation.  I just hope that Adobe,
since its take over of Macromedia, decides not to spin-off Fireworks like Adobe
did when they purchased Aldus and then spun off the Freehand product which Macromedia later picked up - this is from the early 90's, I think.  Thanks
for you reply and I did not mean to take up your blog with my side topic.

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Design from Scratch?

by DearTerry In reply to Terry's Workspace

<h1>Web Creativity: Enhanced or Challenged?</h1>I have been designing sites since 1998 when I armed myself with HTML barebones tutorial and a free geocities account (which by the way, you can't get for free anymore from Yahoo). After a little while, I found that MS FrontPage could make my life easier and then after I found Dreamweaver, I never turned back. During all that time and still today, design is for me a form of expression where functionality and user interaction are always at the top of the list and where colors and layouts go hand in hand with user audience and site specific goals. We've come a long way now, there's <a href="http://www.joomla.org">joomla</a>, drupal, mambo content management systems and thousands of ready made CSS layouts you can apply to these CMS systems and I wonder, where did our creativity go? Every design seems to be almost the same, change some colors, stretch the column widths, apply the same features - headers, footers. I fear that someday I might depend on following the trends of <a href="http://www.csszengarden.com/">Zen Garden CSS examples</a> or the wordpress templates or the <a href="http://www.twebmedia.com/">template monster layouts</a> and colors if my clients point out to something that dazzled them and want to recreate. How many of you are challenged by people asking you to re-create a design they have seen somewhere else?

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Design from Scratch?

by webdesign In reply to Design from Scratch?

Usually, people who aren't designers only know what they have already seen before. Very few of those people are visionaries in wanting to do something different. IN some respects you cannot blame them as they know what they like, but just want something a bit better (to them) than what they originally saw. <br />As a web designer, it's much more of a challenge today. There are very few moments one can really go and be creative AND usable without breaking something or highlighting the flaws in something. Which isn't a bad thing, it just means that even as the web has evolved to better users and better tools, we designers have to evolve to better...well, designers.

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Design from Scratch?

by Justin James Contributor In reply to Design from Scratch?

<p>tandardizing on some elements of design, such as the location of search boxes, boilerplate text, "Contact Us" links, main navigation elements, etc. is actually quite a good thing. Web design is less and elss about creativity, and more and more about usability. Indeed, increased uability (and sticking to prevalent locations and basic skeletons helps significantly with that) is <a href="http://techrepublic.com.com/5254-6257-0.html?forumID=99&threadID=184332&messageID=2065273&id=2926438"><strong>proven to increase site revenue and profit substantially</strong></a>.</p>
<p>That being said, the standard templates out there are atrocious, and tend to violate nearly every usability recommendation out there. If the folks over at Wordpress/Joombla/Mambo/whoever were following my "<a href="http://techrepublic.com.com/5254-6257-0.html?forumID=99&threadID=184332&messageID=2063085&id=2926438">Running Water Web Design</a>" philosophy, or taking usability tips from folks like <a href="http://www.alertbox.com">Jakob Neilsen</a>, it would be great. Too bad they are all too wrapped up in their "let's make this thing look cool, and who cares if it is readable or usable?" school of rounded corners, grey on black text, tiny fonts, and fixed width sizes.</p>
<p>J.Ja</p>

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Design from Scratch?

by mindilator In reply to Design from Scratch?

another problem with being creative is that when you come up with something new, you require more time to produce it, test it, etc. and that can equate to less cost effective. i think that it's good to establish some standards for site widgets so that the LCD doesn't become confused and frustrated. the flip side to that is that the LCD has become used to the standards that have been created simply because they've been regurgitated over and over. if designers always put search boxes on the bottom rather than the top, users would be used to looking for them there. when you get a mass of creative designers putting the search box in every possible location, users will have to spend more time looking for it because there is no "automatic" place to find it. at that point their brains are running a search query on the location of your search box!<br />but there are more than one type of audience for websites. most business-minded websites need to display important information and allow users to give and take that information in various ways. there are however quite a few arenas on the web that encourage creativity and provide leeway to do what you will with common site widgets because the audience has a greater reason for being there than to get information they can get anywhere else. the best example of these are band/musician websites. the audience is expected to be a fan of the artist, so there is no need to capture their attention with supreme usability, they are already interested on a unique level. sites for the artists Amon Tobin, Three Days Grace, Team Sleep, The Mars Volta and thousands more require you to explore the wondrous interface and discover what you can do while you're there. the buttons may not be obvious or sometimes even visible, and you can often get unexpected results by going somewhere you think should be familiar. for this genre that is not a setback. for a site like bank of america it definitely is.<br />my point is to not limit your thinking about design based on what you have already done and seen, or even to the business world model. i remember when www.****.com was around (later www.the-end.com). this was in the earlier days of flash. you could spend hours trying to figure out what you were doing on these mulitimedia artists' sites and be rewarded with a new experience on every click or mouseover. don't get locked into a box. don't be discouraged. just know who your audience is and if you don't like them, find a new audience to design and build for. you are still in control.<br />

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Design from Scratch?

by thumbknuckle In reply to Design from Scratch?

<p>I agree with your comments.  Everyone seems to want to design with the minimalist blue, grey and white look with miniscule text and <em>greater than </em>signs showing your drill-down.  Once XP was released, everyone wanted rounded corners. Dare to use a background tile anywhere in your design and you're an instant pariah.  Creativity means taking a risk.  For every design of mine that I like, there's three or four that I've discarded. I suppose many companies prefer the efficiency of using an established look over the sometimes messy methods of creativity, even though it's the latter that's more likely to establish a brand identity.</p>

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