In the days of Macromedia, Fireworks was a tiny niche, but popular application preferred by people for its flexibility while dealing with bitmap and vector objects. That is still a very big advantage for the application but the journey for it is being defined freshly to find a more strategic spot in the creative suite of products.
CS3 was the first version under the flagship of Adobe brand for Fireworks. The tag of “Rapidly prototype and Design for the web” was well received by the designers and other consumers of the application. The application started gaining importance for Interaction Designers, Information Architects for various activities from Wireframes to Website prototypes.
The journey does not end here and gives Fireworks unique opportunities at different stages. CS4 release projected a stronger Suite Integration story for the application apart from making website prototypes easier to create and maintain. Fireworks seems to be the tool for any design which has to be put on the web.
Exciting times lay ahead with Adobe focusing on this application. It fits well in the portfolio for Web Designers where Adobe is gaining strength. Making itself as the first choice tool for Web Designers, free lance designers, Interaction designers, Experience engineers will not be an easy task but Adobe is fully committed to this vision.Being a design application, the focus stays on refining the existing design-centric workflows, creating new ones to keep the application abreast with the technology advances around it.
An interesting opportunity lies in the area of Interaction design where a click through mockup of an application or website or even a workflow is needed. Fireworks has the feature set which makes it a natural choice for designers of that portfolio. Adobe will continue to invest in that area by promoting Fireworks as the right tool for these designers.
Fireworks has been a tool preferred by freelancers and designers but there are some bottlenecks when using the application in their design process. The commitment is there to streamline that process and go the extra mile of reaching the stage where the design can be handed over to developers in case of website or web applications. For freelancers, they can just spit out standards-compliant CSS from Fireworks itself and tweak it.
Vastly improved support for CSS was a major effort in CS4 release and the feedback has been very positive on that front as well. Let us all get excited and anticipate for the exciting times that lay ahead for Fireworks with Adobe brand fully committed to it.