We are new to designing/coding and picked up some adobe products to get started. We are currently overwhelmed and not sure which path to take. Here is what we are trying to do:
1: A music/social site that allows artist to create profiles and upload their art/music/etc and work with one another as well. The best way to describe it is a "facebook" or "reverb nation" directed at the musician/artist/media artist community.
2: An app for Android and possibly iPhone that incorporates the basics of our main site (searching for artists, seeing what events are in a certain mile radius, follow other users)
Our problem is that there seems to be a lot of adobe products that seem to do the same thing or have elements of what we need. Should we be designing the page in Fireworks and then code it in Dreamweaver? Also, will these allow for us to make the app as well or do we need Flash Professional or Flash Builder? I've been using Gimp to design the pages to work from and exporting the logo's/banners we've done into Dreamweaver and it's just not looking right. Should I pick up Photoshop so that it is all uniform and easier to export from program to program.
We've started this project off with very little knowledge in the way of coding and design and have a basic, if not slightly higher, grasp on most of it at this point. We just don't know where to go to accomplish it.
The programs we currently have:
Thinking of getting:
Adobe Flash (builder or pro?)
And Illustrator/Photoshop if we need to.
Thanks for reading and any advise from anyone that has been where we are at would be greatly appreciated...before we have to buy more Adobe products.
As a designer, I tend to design my sites in Photoshop and sometimes Illustrator. The reason I use Illustrator is because I like to use .svg images with the popularity of Retina Display on iPhones, iPads, and now the Macbook, which is something to keep in mind. Photoshop does not have the ability to export .svg files.
As far as development goes, I feel like you are better off sticking with Dreamweaver as your development tool for the website. As for the app, if you are developing for Android you will need to download and use the Android Software Developer Kit:
I would suggest getting a subscription to Creative Cloud, as it will provide you with the most flexibility to try out all of the Adobe Applications for yourself. You can get a membership here:
Since you mentioned that you have Dreamweaver and Fireworks apps currently, but didn't say which version is which.
As you know, by knowing HTML and CSS, this will definitely a huge asset and skill to work with and put itself in good use with Dreamweaver. Fireworks is pretty nice app as it is specifically designed for web graphic application.
I agree with dhosford's perspective about Illustrator and Photoshop, and about Adobe Creative Cloud for your situation.
If you have the latest version of Dreamwever and Fireworks CS6, then it is a good to go at least for now. Unless if you prefer to produce nice professional website, then Creative Cloud is pretty good choice. I have Master Collection CS6 (non-Cloud subscription) because I have owned legacy versions of Adobe Creative Suite design packages over the years and decided to upgrade to Master Collection CS5, then to CS5.5 and recently to CS6. It makes sense for me to upgrade instead of Cloud subscription. I cannot see how that fits right into my situation. BUT, I can see why it would make a lot of sense for people like yourself who never owned something like Design Premium or Production Suite and or Master Collection... I'll just leave at that.
As for mobile devices you mentioned, did you know that there are many different way to accomplish what you would like to see that happening... There are tools that are available at Adobe... for example, you can create pretty nice web apps right there in Dreamweaver as it hooks up with Adobe PhoneGap Build service, where it has all kind of mobile device emulation plug-in and SDK, it is all right there, all you have to do by hooking up with Adobe PhoneGap from Dreamweaver and it does the rest. I didn't know about that myself until few days ago. So it is a learning experience for me in that case.
That is why I mentioned that by knowing HTML and CSS definitely an important factor, it gets a lot easier to work with any apps especially Dreamweaver. Also, you can also create some nice simple web graphics with all kind of interesting techniques used in Fireworks, and you can cut and paste the CSS code from Fireworks CS6 and put that in Dreamweaver CS6. Again, with some knowledge of HMTL and CSS also a big help.
Hope some further be of interest and some ideas...
Thanks for all the advice. I don't think I'm ready to jump into the cloud service right now. I think we will give it a go with using dreamworks and fireworks hand in hand. And then if we get a good grasp of that, subscribe to the cloud service. One thing I would like to try out is Adobe Muse but I've read that it could be detrimental to the learning process? I've read a few reviews that make it seem like you don't actually pick up on the "coding" aspect. Also, I've read that since it's subscription based, and you choose to not renew, you could lose everything you've made? Not sure if these reviews I've read are from people that don't understand the application or may have not taken enough time with it.
I have downloaded the google SDK. I really need to invest more time in learning that as well. Like I said, we are both going into this with minimal knowledge. I'm more of a design person by nature and my job is to design something that looks good but is obtainable. Then my girlfriend codes it. I'm picking up "residual" knowledge of coding, if you will. Haha. Still, we've really gained a lot of knowledge from books, forums, and tutorials.
We really appreciate all the info and hopefully we will have a pretty bada-s site up in the next couple months.
Again, thank you all.
As for Adobe Muse app, I had tried this app just out of my curiousity when it was in beta stage. I see that there are lot of similiarity in UI interface used in Adobe InDesign - professional layout publishing application. It is more of designer's tool (for professional InDesign users or similar customers who don't want to know how to code, but focus on beauity of design perspective... Muse comes in and fit nicely for specific audience). Not necessarily just for specific targeted audience for designers, it can be also for general public whose those do not have luxury of having knowledge in coding... thus, that is where Muse comes in.
I think, in fairness, Muse is not for everyone. But...
There are some pro and con, if someone wants to design website with Muse, it has to be DONE with Muse all the time, entirely. If outputing the html and css codes generated by Muse to other HTML editing app or Dreamweaver, this makes more difficult. Unless if someone is willing to do the hardest way in hand-coding and understand the whole picture. From what I gather and had seen the Muse's code, wow... strange code.
Nice thing is about Muse's website, it can be goregous and nice. But there are always some negative and postive with different perspective.
If I were in your boat, I'd go all the way with Dreamweaver along with other Adobe apps (Master Collection in my case).
As for Adobe Cloud subscription-based perspective, it has some pros and cons. I know there are some heated hot debate over this issue. I don't want to go into that... But if look at long-term in terms of cost benefit analysis if go with Cloud subscription, it seems more expensive in a long run. At the same time, it is also true that it is expensive to purchase full-license Adobe suite, in case of Master Collection - if for a new customer who never had used Adobe, it might be too expensive. That is negative perspective. So it might make some sense for some targeted customers.
When Adobe released Cloud subscription at the time of CS6 released to the market for purchase, I was torn apart as to which venue should I go into subscription-based or the traditional way of upgrading electornic downloaded file straight from Adobe store that I have done for years. One thing that held me back was that when Adobe devoted lot of resources into developing few new applications for CS5 called Flash Calystst and few others. In CS6, Flash Calystst is no longer in existence. How can I possibly trust Adobe if they ever keep Cloud subscription for a long term. I cannot trust Adobe on that perspective. If I decide to go with Cloud subscription, and no longer use the way I had purchased for years in my way, total control MY WAY, MY products! With Cloud, different story. But what happens if Adobe decide one day, they no longer see Cloud being feasible to continue, that certainly will not sit well for many designers and other customers altogether.
I am more than willing to have a wait and see attitude about long-term Cloud-based subscription. But I am certain that large percentage of designers out there prefer the traditional way of "owning" apps instead of "renting" apps. I'll just leave at that.
As for other perspective, different topic now. But related to your struggle trying to get most out of Dreamweaver and Fireworks and the other Adobe apps. Perhaps that it would be good for you to have a look at Adobe TV. There are many pretty nice short Adobe TV coverage on whole range of different techniques, tools and how did they do that, or little known techniques and things like that... or those AHA! moments... Not all Adobe TV online videos are closed captioned, but it has a nice feature to make a request for transrcipt request. Hopefully all of them are closed captioned. But some are closed captioned. Not only just for English closed captioned, but also in French, Italian or Spanish. That is pretty nice feature, too. Unless there are frequent request for CC transcript requests, the more, the better.
Lynda dot com has pretty nice helpful tutorial video and books, too.
In closing, I am glad that i am be of some assistance with some perspective and ideas and suggestions. The rest is certainly up to you. I try not to be overbaised but. Sometimes I can be aloud with some strong thinking, I guess that is me. LOL, but my bad if I gone too far.
Have a great weekend and the rest of summer!
Oh, by the way, if you run into some problems with HTML code or something funny behaviour happening in browser while testing, you can always turn to Dreamweaver user-to-user forums, where there are fairly many helpful experts out there... Look for David Powers, Murray Summers and few others. Those two guys are very nice fellas. I trust and believe that they would be very happy to guide and help you. But I can tell you this - by knowing HTML and CSS inside-out certainly will make the difference. Otherwise, there would be some challenges ahead. I guess that is what is expect of it, in fairness.
I think that also very true of Fireworks user-to-user forums. There are many die-hard Fireworks fans out there. Also pretty nice Adobe TV online vidoes on Fireworks techniques and all.
ALSO, have a couple of look at Adobe Developer community, where there are many good nice articles with some practice download files for you to get both of your hands dirty under hood.
David Powers wrote a couple of good books about Dreamweaver, both static and data-driven websites for number of years. David Powers often chime in and offering some help online too. You are encouraged to learn from his expertise. Again, my advice for you by knowing some HTML and CSS inside out, then it gets a little easier to work with Dreamweaver.
Anyway... better stop blabbing otherwise I'd bore you.