Fireworks – Past, Present and Vision

Different logos of past Fireworks versions

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.

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5 Responses to Fireworks – Past, Present and Vision

  1. Dan Rodney says:

    I’ve been using Fireworks for many years and I was glad to see Adobe keeping it alive.Currently rollovers and buttons make seperate images and use JavaScript. One feature I’d like to see in the future is CSS rollovers, specifically CSS sprites (using one image for all buttons and states).Thanks,Dan

  2. Frederik says:

    FW has the potential to be brilliant, but it will go nowhere if adobe does not fix this buggy cs4 release and quick. Its getting a bad rep.Why is adobe so quiet on this one?

  3. Sarthak says:

    @FrederikAdobe and the Fireworks team is completely aware of the problems which are existent in CS4 release.The work is happening internally and there are times when communication to all external users is not possible.It does not imply that we are sitting idle. I don’t want to sound harsh but we are working on fixing the issues.

  4. Ola says:

    SarthakYour comment regarding the fact that Adobe and the Fireworks team is working on a fix is the first and the type of communication that we users expect from Adobe.I do understand that things happen and you guys will fix the problem, but not communicating with your users does not help retain confidence in your company.As a longtime user I at least appreciate the strengths of Fireworks, but just think of all the new first time users and their perception. They maybe so put off that they may not consider Photoshop or other Adobe products either.All I am saying is a little communication can help to reassure your customers that you understand their pain and are working hard the correct the situation.My Two cents.

  5. John laPlante says:

    It’s great to see enthusiasm for Fireworks. I switched from PhotoShop about five years ago and it’s been a great tool. There are some bugs in CS4 but they haven’t caused me too many problems. I like the new look of all the CS4 apps, the auto-updates of commands is really helpful, and the inline editing of symbols makes them much faster to use and I find myself using them a lot more.Other interaction designers on my team use Visio which has it’s plusses, especially the area of UI component templates and easy sizing of UI elements. I’ve seen you posted a Yahoo template library which I’m going to checkout. I’ve also used the Quick Clips extension to add my own UI elements but it’s slow to use. I would like to see further work done on the library and symbols features of Fireworks to make it easier to get at those things and to use them for prototyping. Currently the list library is too list-like. I would also like to be able to create a symbol and then have variations on that symbol – for example to turn on an off layers in different situations.In a recent LinkedIn survey, some folks expressed a liking for Axure. It has good tools for prototyping, allowing for faster generation than with Fireworks or Flash.