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I use Adobe Photoshop but I find it kind of buggy sometimes. When I import what I do in photoshop to Flash the quality of the design drops down a notch...

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I am assuming you mean some sort of charcoal sketch? (I call those wireframe plus:) )

It depends on the level of detail you are aiming for. If you want production quality go for the software you do the final design or production in (I.E. Photoshop / Fireworks / Xara /Flash).

If it is for illustration purposes only, to show a client how the website will function and to show the basic lay out, you could sketch it out in a program like Balsamiq Mockups. It gives a basic representation of elements which will not interfere with graphic design ideas and is very suited for functional representation. Of course if you take that route, it will be a starting point only and you will still have to do the real design in your production software.

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Thanks, Balsamiq Mockups seems quite nice for wireframes and stuff, as for high detailed stuff and final production I think I'll stick with Photoshop. – Flavius Frantz May 20 '11 at 13:11

I tend to start with paper to get a rough idea of what I need. Then, retool that in InDesign as a graybox. This step is about typography and hierarchy as a value study. Then I'll take that into either HTML or Photoshop and iterate between those two until it's "done". Get to HTML as soon as you can, but no sooner.

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Well if you are a beginner and not a photoshop expert we always recommend Adobe Fireworks because of its small learning curve. Its extremely easy to design in it and is 100% compatible with Dreamweaver. You can even slice and export your web pages right from inside Fireworks.

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Photoshop for me, although I know several designers who mock up in InDesign. Depends on what bells and whistles the site needs, I suppose.

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Depending on the project I use:

  • paper + pencil/pen
  • Inkscape/Freehand (AI, begrudgingly)...often for detailed wireframes.
  • Photoshop (in a PS office)
  • Fireworks (I much prefer it over PS for web graphics)
  • Pixelmator/GIMP (trying to wean myself off of PS whenever I can)
  • HTML/CSS/JS (my preferred medium)
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More often than not:

Pen & Paper -> Photoshop/Fireworks -> HTML

If I use Flash (very seldom these days) I make sure I do everything in Flash to begin with. Moving bitmaps from Photoshop into Flash is inevitably going to cause quality (and file-size) issues.

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so I've noticed... file size issues indeed.. – Flavius Frantz May 20 '11 at 17:58

I design in PS then cut it up into separate images to prepare in Dreamweaver. Images moved from PS to Flash do not transfer as simply as you would like, so you need to export the elements separately.

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