February 22, 2006
Let’s talk integration at Flashforward
We’ve obviously got integration on the brain, so if you’re attending next week’s Flashforward conference in Seattle, we’d like to talk in person. There’s a session on Tuesday, 5:15-6:30, that Mike Downey (Flash PM), Phil Guindi (Illustrator), Steve Kilisky (After Effects), I, and other Adobe folks plan to attend. If you’ve got time and want to give us a piece of your mind on integration, please swing by.
Photoshop + Fireworks: Where to from here?
Now that Adobe and Macromedia have come together, we’re busily planning our next moves, and it would be great to get your input. Fireworks Product Manager Danielle Beaumont has posted a message saying that Fireworks is alive and well at Adobe, and we’re working to define the best course for each app.
It might help to define the players:
- Fireworks offers a hybrid raster/vector editing environment for creating and editing designs for use on screen (typically the Web). Rather than going as deep into vector or bitmap editing as Illustrator or Photoshop, Fireworks opts to bring together a mix of tools for each function, plus symbols (edit once, update many), slicing and optimization, CSS menu generation, and more.
- Photoshop is “the professional image-editing standard“–or, if you prefer, a ten-foot-tall, two-ton son of a gun who could eat a hammer and take a shotgun blast standing (or something like that*). Photoshop offers an unmatched range of capabilities for image manipulation, plus basic vector drawing tools, gallery and contact sheet creation, and a set of Web optimization functions.
So, some questions:
- If we could do one thing to improve the process of making graphics for the Web, what would it be?
- Are there tasks (e.g. rapid prototyping of Web and app interfaces) at which we should target Fireworks more than Photoshop? (Or, to take the other side, would you rather there be a single über-app with a customizable interface?)
- Do we need to improve integration between Fireworks and Photoshop (e.g. better file format compatibility, Jump To), or does it work well enough?
- What about compatibility with Dreamweaver? What tasks could/should we improve?
- Are there interface elements or ideas from one app that we should emulate in the other?
By the way, we’re not, as I’ve seen suggested a couple of times, going to rip out the Web features we’ve developed in Photoshop. I’m not sure what motivates this idea, but I’m guessing it’s based on 1) a desire to make the positioning of the apps more distinct, and/or 2) a desire to avoid/reduce “bloat” in Photoshop. Re: 1, rather than crippling Photoshop for the many people who use it all or some of the time for Web design, let’s make Fireworks stand out by adding kick-ass, never-before-seen features. (Of course, it’s to identify these that we need your help.) Re: 2, I have more to say, but in the meantime consider this.
And with that, I’ll wrap up and open the floor to discussion. We’re really looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the future of these two applications.
* This is, of course, why I will never be allowed to write our marketing copy.