Nick Pettit’s article PSD to HTML is Dead on Treehouse provoked a passionate discussion. While the article is a nice summary of the current PSD to HTML workflow and its limitation, it’s missing a few important points. In this article, I’ll show you why PSD to HTML is not dead.
PSD to HTML evolved
Nick is describing evolution in web industry towards responsive web, better tools and frameworks and more flexible workflows, but is forgetting that PSD to HTML and Photoshop evolved too.
PSD to HTML and Photoshop are parts of web industry evolution
Converting PSD to HTML/CSS was never easier than today. All relevant browsers support HTML5/CSS3, so there is no need to slice designs in the old-fashioned way even when you work with PSD. Instead, we now have wonderful plugins like CSS Hat which make converting layer styles to CSS3 a breeze.
Designing by coding or coding by designing?
If you are a designer, your expression language is visual. You are giving things shape, moving them around and creating relations among them. Now imagine that instead manipulating objects directly, you will have to write definitions describing their visual properties and relations in HTML5/CSS3. Then you would have to check all your ideas in a browser instead seeing it immediately. Is this effective web design workflow? Definitely not.
Designing by coding isn’t an effective web design workflow
Achieving your creative goals (or, simply, desired look and feel) by designing by coding isn’t an effective workflow. Much more promising is the opposite direction promoted by tools like Macaw – coding by designing where you design in tools similar to Photoshop and code is auto-generated.
Adobe strikes back
Does Adobe just sit there and watch their flag ship sink?
This brings us to another wrong assumption in the Nick’s article – do we really think that Adobe isn’t aware that Photoshop is becoming less suitable for modern web development process? Do we think that they will just sit there and watch their flag-ship and de-facto standard in web design become a plain photo editor?
I don’t think so, and let’s explore why:
- Adobe is actively involved in web development and has declared a mission to move the web forward and give web designers and developers the best tools and services in the world
- They have tools like Adobe Edge Reflow CC which allow creating responsive websites, and can now even connect to Photoshop for better responsive workflow
- Adobe has added a functionality similar to that in CSS Hat to Photoshop CC
- Adobe has introduced Photoshop Generator which opens a lot of possibilities for plugins authors, whether it’s designing for mobiles or tools similar to Macaw which could generate HTML5/CSS3 directly from PSD.
All these actions show that Adobe is trying to overcome Photoshop’s limitations for modern web design.
So instead of expressing our condolences, let’s end with a more positive message – the PSD to HTML workflow is not dead, like anything else it evolves and adapts to current designers and developers needs and towards more automation.