Interface design, should you use Photoshop?

The 37 signals team dont use photoshop, shocking I know. But this is interesting as its something I am working on at the moment. How do you test usability and encourage rapid development when interactive elements at the prototype stage are so ridged? When designing a UI we usually go right from a quick paper sketch to HTML/CSS. We skip the static Photoshop mockup. Here are a few reasons why we skip photoshop: You can’t click a Photoshop mockup. This is probably the number one reason we skip static mockups. They aren’t real. Paper isn’t real either, but paper doesn’t have that expectation. A Photoshop mockup is on your screen. If it’s on your screen it should work. You can’t pull down menus in a Photoshop mockup, you can’t enter text into a field in a Photoshop mockup, you can’t click a link in a Photoshop mockup. HTML/CSS, on the other hand, is the real experience. Photoshop gives you too many tools to focus on the details. When you use Photoshop you can’t help but pay attention to the details. The alignment, the specific colors, the exact shapes, the little details that may matter eventually but they certainly don’t matter now. The start is about the substance, not about the details. Details are for later. The text in Photoshop is not the text on the web. Once you’re looking at a static Photoshop mockup you can’t quickly change the text without going back into Photoshop, changing the text, saving the file, exporting it as a gif/png/jpg, etc. You can’t post it online and tell someone to “reload in 5 seconds” like you can when you quickly edit HTML. You have to say “Give me a few minutes…”. Also, type in Photoshop never seems to be the right size as type in HTML. It just never seems to feel the same. It doesn’t wrap the same, it doesn’t space out the same. read more 37signals