Tools of the trade

Marko RosicWeb DevelopmentLeave a Comment

There are a lot of debates and countless wars on which “tool” is the best for one task or entire work-flow. Often I’m asked: “What do you use for web design?” Well the answer is, there is no simple answer. There are a lot of tools and the best are those you feel comfortable using and those that will get you finished the most efficiently. The truth is, it’s not the tool that is doing the job it’s you.

Over the past decade of doing the web and graphic design, I’ve used and grown to love a bunch of different apps, utilities and environments. Every app has or had it’s place in my work-flow and most of them can and should or shouldn’t be used in variety of ways, depending on your knowledge and the need of the project.

I’ve read some articles debating weather you should sketch first, make wire frame first, sketch with pencil or some app, or web app… skip this whole step and wire frame in html or… damn that can be confusing and frustrating. Just use whatever work-flow you feel comfortable with and that will produce beautiful, standards compliant result.

The world is speeding up and changing fast, especially this virtual one. New techniques and technologies are emerging every day. We as designers and developers should try to keep being updated and experiment using them, at least those of us who aren’t innovators.

At the end I’m not going to tell you which tools should you use, but here is my list of apps I use more or less regularly and my application:

  • Adobe Photoshop: design of web pages, Illustrations and more complex photo editing
  • Adobe Illustrator: logos, graphic elements, design of web pages
  • Adobe Photoshop Lightroom: Photo managing and editing.
  • Code editing: Visual Studio, Eclipse, Notepad ++. I’ve used Dreamweaver for a long time, Netbeans, Joe, Vi, Kate…
  • Revision control: Git, Mercurial, TSFS Source Control, as well as svn and cvs in the past
  • Other: xampp, haml/sass (which I’ll dedicate a full story to).

This list could go on, but my idea was not to bore you to death, but to give you a hint to right direction 😉

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