With both the multitude of web design packages available and the preference among many professional designers to rely on HTML coding, it's easy to forget some of the design tools that make the job easier if not simply possible in the first place. Here are four under-appreciated tools that continue to play an important part in design work.
This software package was originally developed for graphic artists and print work. It still has a role to play in building web pages. It's top-of-the-line for manipulating photos and creating special effects in images. Nearly all websites contain at least one attention-grabbing picture, and this software was probably used for the task. Most important of all, it can store images as vector graphics. This allows them to stay sharp while scaling up or down to fit a page on a widescreen laptop or a smartphone.
Many serious web designers overlook this tool in favor of writing HTML code directly. The argument is that this allows better control and access to certain capabilities. There are occasions when this is true, but in most cases, Dreamweaver has everything needed to create a complete website in less time than hand-coding. The best thing about it is that it doesn't generate the excess amount of HTML code it's alleged to.
This program compliments Dreamweaver by providing a means to create the design elements that Dreamweaver then integrates into a working web page. Unlike Photoshop, Fireworks allows effects attached to images, like drop shadows, to scale with the image. The advantage of Photoshop is that it can handle larger pictures without crashing.
Unlike the other three software tools on this list, Firebug is an open-source program. It was originally created to work with the Firefox browser. This tool has a couple of nice uses. First, it can help identify a problem or unwanted feature in CSS code. With this capability, the designer doesn't even have to fully understand CSS code. Second, it allows a designer to discover what CSS commands were used to create particular desired effects in someone else's website.
The Finished Product
While these tools work together smoothly, there are still more parts to getting a web page working efficiently within the Internet as a whole. Microsoft has created a framework with its own library to accomplish this. Professional web design businesses, like SolutionStream for .net design, have expertise in utilizing this framework to its fullest extent.
When designing a website, there are a lot of tools that can be used, some of which are more popular than others. These 4 often-neglected tools should definitely be part of your game plan.