Design, UI, UX, Insights, Web Development

Converting PSD to HTML – All That Agencies Need to Know

Converting PSD to HTML is one of the most solidified ways to build the desired website. Of course, simply translating the designs into HTML/CSS is hardy enough nowadays with the existence of so many great looking websites. That is why we will also discuss the use of additional, even essential, tools that will not only make the final product outstanding but also pleasant to work on. We will separate those tools the same way we create websites: design, development, and testing. 

Quick Overview

Converting PSD to HTML – All That Agencies Need To Know

Additional Tools from Design to the Final Product

 

Converting PSD to HTML – All That Agencies Need to Know

The process of converting customer ideas into a fully functional website involves different people and many procedures to be taken into consideration and a big part of that is the actual programming.

The expression “converting PSD to HTML” started from the idea that the design, which was created on Adobe Photoshop needs to be converted to an actual code that the browser can read.

Nowadays there are many different design tools, so it would be better if we call it from “design to code”.

Why do we convert PSD to HTML?

As we all know, Photoshop is the leading software not only for image editing but also for creating designs and exporting them in various formats. The default format PSD is preferred for later conversion into HTML. Coding experts use those files to transform the creative designs into beautiful website masterpieces via making use of present tags in HTML.

Since web design is indeed a creative delicate process, most agencies won’t start coding the sites directly. Instead, they keep the creativity and aesthetic appeal by mocking up closer to the final product graphic representation. 

We also believe this is one of the best practices not only for the designers to reach said graphic representation but also for the developers to have a better view of the final piece and thus work easier with the codes. 

Of course, even the best practices have their downsides, mostly related to scaling and targeting a specific resolution. 

In short, here are the highlights of the benefits and downsides of converting PSD to HTML.

Advantages:

  • Easy to use framework options
  • Visual representation of the final product
  • Pixel perfect design, especially for retina quality
  • Mockups offer more flexibility than prototypes in terms of the creative process and constant changes
  • Helps the developers create code of great quality

Disadvantages:

  • Responsive designs and a variety of screen resolutions for mobile devices
  • Photoshop doesn’t offer the usage of multiple pages
  • Most effects are already accomplishable with CSS and won’t need graphic representation.
  • There are much better tools and frameworks to support the process

For those of you who are also interested in solidifying their brand presence by creating eye-catching emails, we have some great read. MailBakery discusses the best practices for converting email designs from PSD to HTML and get really technical about it. 

In the following lines, we will cover the alternatives to Adobe Photoshop, the new technologies in the web programming you ‘d love to be aware of, and some tricks that might help you during the whole process.

Additional Tools from Design to the Final Product

As we mentioned earlier, we will separate the tools the same way we create websites: tools for design, development, and testing.

PSD Alternatives – Other Efficient Formats

With the web technologies evolving rapidly and the need for good design tools growing Adobe Photoshop started losing his past glory. And although it’s still a very good product, the idea behind Photoshop was to be used for multiple purposes and not for web design only. This means that some things are overcomplicated there, the software is heavy, the files it produces are also not small, and last but also important was the price.

We had just covered the basic advantages and disadvantages of converting PSD to HTML, and now is the time to offer some solutions.

Below is a list of alternatives you can use right away. 

  • Sketch – Best Photoshop Alternative for Apple Users
  • Figma – Best Web-Based Alternative to Photoshop
  • Adobe XD – Best Multi-Platform Alternative to Adobe Photoshop
  • InVision App Studio – Powerful Screen Design Tool
  • Affinity Designer – Professional Graphic Design Software for Desktop and iPad
  • PicMonkey – Graphic Design Tool
  • Marvel App – All-In-One Platform Powering UI/UX Design
  • Origami Studio – UI Design Tool From Facebook
  • Framer – Visual Design For The Busy Creative
  • Mockplus – Design, Prototype & Collaborate Better and Faster
  • Moqups – Online Mockup, Wireframe & UI Prototyping Tool

We have covered these Photoshop Alternatives and more in greater detail in a separate article.  We pinpoint those with an intuitive experience that will help you craft your UI/UX designs faster and more efficiently.  You can check out the article here.

Efficient Tools for the Developing Process

In this section, we discuss useful technologies that one could definitely take into consideration if they’d like to give their brand a personality. From SPA straight to the best JavaScript frameworks.

HTML/SPA – Rewrites the current page instead of loading a new one

When discussing modern developing technologies, we can’t miss mentioning the single-page application. SPA is basically a website that interacts with its users while dynamically rewrites the current page instead of loading new pages from the server. 

Think of Gmail, for example. The SPA behaves the same way as a desktop application and doesn’t interrupt the user experience. All that communication between the data with the server happens behind the scenes in response to the user’s actions.

Technically speaking, the HTML page is downloaded by the browser and the data returns in a JSON format afterward. Since it’s not pre-rendering the pages, the dynamics of the single page drastically improves the speed of both the website and the interactions within. 

This popular technology is incredibly useful for a brand to build personality and even tell a story with its website. It’s also popular amongst developers who love to get creative with frameworks like ReactJS and VueJS to build amazing features. 

In short, the HTML/SPA technology benefits the website with a fast and smooth experience thanks to AJAX and the single time loading of the HTML, CSS and Javascript resources. It’s also visually appealing, engaging and incredibly functional. As usual, here’s where we write that “however” adverb. Logically, the initial load of the SPA takes longer in order for the entire thing to get ready to work. Also, unlike static HTML pages, the SPA is proven to have a weaker performance on the search engines.

If you need a functioning and engaging app that will tell a story and make your visitors have a smooth experience, SPA is definitely a great choice.

ReactJS – JS library perfect base for SPA that can reuse code components

We already talked about SPAs and mentioned the ReactJS. It’s a javascript library created for building UI. Because of this specific purpose, it usually requires additional libraries for management and tools that developers consider essential. Since ReactJS was never attempted to be a complete application framework, this actually gives more freedom and opportunity for the developers to choose their own set of tools in order to accomplish different tasks and create unique pages.

The framework can be used as a perfect base for SPA development since it’s created for fetching changeable data that needs to be recorded. 

The pros of using ReactJS is that the Virtual DOM makes the user experience smooth and the developer’s working process way faster. Another quirk is that React has the ability to reuse code components any time which drastically saves valuable time. More importantly, the framework allows the direct work with components and downward data building which allows the changing of child structures without affecting the parents. Aside from the stable code, ReactJS has a constantly developing open-source FB library that is always open to the community. 

This tutorial will introduce you first-hand to the process of coding with ReactJS and its specifics:

VueJS – Open-source JS framework easy to migrate on existing projects

This javascript framework is an open-source tool that also aims to build UI and SPAs. Its features include an incrementally adoptable architecture for components composition declarative rendering. Its libraries also pack advanced features for server-side rendering, routing, build tooling and state management. VueJS is lightweight and easy to learn and write in for that reason it is recommended for large scale applications. 

Thanks to its familiar templating syntax, it’s very easy to migrate or integrate already existing projects. On top of that, VueJS’s documentation is always up to date and with a simpler syntax. 

If you’d like to have a more detailed understanding of VueJS’ functionality, you could check this article.

AngularJS – Open-source framework that makes both developing and testing simpler for applications

Similar to ReactJS and VureJS, this open-source framework is developed and maintained by Google. Its aim is to make both developing and testing simpler for applications. This is done by the provided framework for client-side MVC and MVVM architectures as well as components that are used in rich internet applications.

The AngularJS works by reading the HTML page with some additional attributes that have been embedded into it and interpret them as directives. That way the framework binds the input and output ports into a model with standard JS variables.

Take a closer look at what AngularJS is all about.

Website

Testing Tools for The Final Product

And last, but also important, is to find the right tools that will help you test your code. Below we listed our most favorite that we prefer to use when we finish developing a project.

Pixel Parallel – Handy HTML vs Design tool

This one is actually something we created to speed our workflow. It’s a pixel perfect HTML vs Design tool that is super handy for front-end developers to reach the ultimate precision in the final product. PixelParalell by htmlBurger is a free comparison tool from developers for developers.

BugBox – A vulnerability corpus for web applications

This tool offers an environment and packaging mechanism that allows managing and distributing exploits and vulnerable applications. The framework also aims to facilitate security metrics search, empirical vulnerability studies, and security tool evaluations.

Selenium- Automating web applications for testing purposes

A UI test automation tool that has become a household name for developers. Selenium offers huge flexibility and variety in terms of languages that run on multiple system environments and browsers. In order to take advantage of the tool, however, it requires advanced skills in programming and enough free time in order to build your libraries and automation frameworks.

UFT – Test automation for web, mobile, API, RPA, and enterprise apps.

The Unified Functional Testing software is intelligent test automation for desktop, mobile, API, RPA hybrid and enterprise applications. It offers support to multiple platforms to test as well as some advanced quirks for smart object and image-based detection. The tool is popular for its intuitive interface that allows creating and executing API tests with ease and offers support for WADL documents. As a downside, it could be pricy with a #3200 annual license.

In conclusion, converting PSD to HTML  is just one of the “design to code” practices that could be used to create a beautiful website. The process could have great use of additional, even essential, tools that will not only make the final product outstanding but also pleasant to work on.

 

We hope you enjoyed this article. Are there any tricks or tools that we’ve missed but you find essential? Please let us know in the comments below.

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