I'm a front end developer that has never used Photoshop before and always designed my websites in browsers directly. I know that website development has changed a lot since responsive design came into play.

Is Photoshop still used to design websites? Should I invest in learning the tool?

4 Answers 4


Is Photoshop still used to design websites?

Yes, this is still quite common.

At companies where the team is large enough to have designers and developers separate, PSDs are often given from the design team to the development team. There are often 1-3 versions of a site showing how it will be responsive.

For more on that, check out these posts or more in the responsive design tag.

Should I invest in learning the tool?

In my few years of experience working as a front end developer, I've needed to be able to open PSDs and navigate them (open different layers, get color codes, etc.) but never had to edit any given to me. This is because my work is in code, not fixing a PSD. As such, you should be comfortable doing this if you're working at a company that has this type of workflow.

Ultimately it depends on the company you're working at and the workflow that they have. Front end developers aren't generally required to know how to use PS or any other Adobe software intimately.

With that being said, knowing how to use such a tool for asset creation of your own personal projects can definitely be beneficial.


Very few web site can be designed responsively in Photoshop alone. Most of the time I see designers designing 3 different web sites...rather than three views of one web site. It's not necessarily a fault of the designers...Photoshop, being a static canvas, simply isn't a responsive medium.

Knowing Photoshop certainly won't hurt, as lots of web sites still use Photoshop as part of the production process, but it certainly doesn't have to be--and I would argue shouldn't be--a part of the production process.


If you need to ask then you need to know it. It is as simple as that. You really dont need to be super proficient with Photoshop, you just need to know with good certainty what it can do, or photo editing in general. Its good to know also what Photoshop can not do for you.

It is not like you need a huge time investment. A good teacher could teach you 60-80% of all you need to know in a day or two. But since most people actively reject new knowledge this is more like 2 weeks for most people.

The next 20% are almost unobtainable. I certainly have used PS roughly 20 years and I still dont know everything, simply because the last 3% can not really be known. It includes such things as how to use Photoshop to calculate how much your steel bar flexes under certain loads. Sky is the limit and only your knowledge puts any boundary on the possible uses.

Personally I would add how to use a vector drawing tool to the mix of things as most people really benefit from that more than pixel manipulation which is more akin to painting while vector drawings is more of a drawing tool.


Yes. I would also add Illustrator as well. As several of the above said, expert level is not needed at all but the basics will do wonders.

  • This is much better suited as a comment, not a full answer Mar 28, 2016 at 17:19

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