I'm a software developer, not a designer, I usually have designs provided by my clients before the work begins. It seems the designers always want to provide the designs in .psd file format, is this a good (industry standard) practice?

The designs in question are for either websites or desktop/mobile software applications.

As a developer I find it easier to work with vector graphics (Fireworks / Illustrator), I find them much easier to slice and manipulate.

To be honest, I thought Photoshop was for editing photos, not for designing software. Is this statement correct?

  • 1
    Fireworks has been discontinued and is being phased out. Not sure how that affects your opinion and subsequently this question.
    – Ryan
    Commented Jul 2, 2014 at 14:51
  • um... slicing?? You should be using the .psd file as a reference and coding the site. The only thing you should be adding is the images or icons, but even then some icons can be coded... So to answer your question on what the industry standard is.. thats code, not inserted sliced images.
    – user9447
    Commented Jul 2, 2014 at 15:12
  • @Ryan - Oh, didn't know that, thanks for the tip.
    – Drahcir
    Commented Jul 2, 2014 at 16:12
  • @Gramps - If I'm building a mobile app there're usually very image rich. It's not possible to code everything - Obviously I use as few images as possible, but the end result must look exactly as the designer specified.
    – Drahcir
    Commented Jul 2, 2014 at 16:15

3 Answers 3


Whatever gets the job done

Photoshop is absolutely fine for some tasks. In fact, it may even be better at times. It all depends upon the final desired output. (example: Illustrator can't dither gradients... Photoshop will.)

A well-rounded designer will use many tools to complete a project. It is rare to rely on only one piece of software for all projects. While Fireworks and Illustrator are fantastic at many things, Photoshop is just as fantastic at other things.

In the end it doesn't matter if you use Illustrator, Fireworks, Photoshop, Sketch, CorelDraw, Xara, MS Paint, KidPix, iPhoto or anything else as long as you get the result you need.


Yes, using Photoshop for designing software is industry standard practice.

Im totally with you, i prefer making designs in Indesign or Illustrator vector based, but Photoshop supports vectors too (Smart Objects) and many people use it.

  • 2
    Many people use Photoshop because that is all they know. Small children and hammers and such. Use whatever works such as postIt notes :)
    – joojaa
    Commented Jul 2, 2014 at 10:26
  • 2
    I have to agree with Joojaa and I disagree with Photoshop as the industry standard for designing software.. A better solution to designing software is with Illustrator and the biggest feature they support, Artboards, is one of the best features over Photoshop.
    – user9447
    Commented Jul 2, 2014 at 15:17

Actually Photoshop is design software.. It "also" has options for editing a photo. Primarily designing is done with Photoshop. It cannot be sidelined as a photo editor. Photoshop is certainly not similar to picassa editors.

The wide range of features enables people to experiment with every kind of effects. There are many ways with which one can create designs in Photoshop such as gradients, brushes, filter gallery, patterns etc.

One has to experiment with the software. Try this tutorial online but there are many tutorials provided by Adobe. Youtube has a wide range of videos and Facebook has pages which provides tutorials and updates about latest features of Photoshop.

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