Should I start with Fireworks, or is Expression Design comparable?

I’m looking at starting down the path of creating my own unique designs for my sites (I’m a developer at heart, and care more about things working).

I’m most familiar with Adobe Photoshop, but after the research I’ve done I’ve decided that that isn’t the best program to use. (Not to mention my version is fairly out of date – I got it as part of CS2.)

At this point I’m looking at Fireworks and Microsoft Expression Design.

Fireworks is fairly popular, and the price is within the range I’m looking for.

Because I’m a developer, I can get Expression Studio, which includes Expression Design and a handful of other applications, for around the same price.

In my eyes, this is basically a toss-up. I can see myself using the other products in Expression Studio, but on the other hand there’s a ton of tutorials for Fireworks, which means I can probably get running much faster.

Unfortunately, discussions about Expression Studio 4 versus Fireworks CS 5 are non-existent. So, I’m hoping someone has already done the research on what I’d really be missing.

(Once again, however, perhaps Expression Design being less-featured, if in fact it is, would be better for me to get started, since there’s less tools to mess with.)

EDIT: Photoshop is out. I’m really just looking at Fireworks versus Expression here.

Also, I realize I can get trials of each, however what I’m really interested in is whether the programs are comparable as far as features. I don’t want to pick one just because it’s slightly more intuitive only to realize that more advanced features that are included in one aren’t included in the other.

Having used both Adobe and Microsoft products in the past, I feel confident that neither created something as difficult to use as, say, Gimp.


My experience with Fireworks has been good for web design, but I always go back to Photoshop. I wouldn’t be so sure that CS2 is so out of date that you can’t use it for web design.

I’ve used Expression Design for a few things and it is pretty capable as a vector design tool, but it really lacks the maturity that Photoshop and Fireworks have in tools, filters, shortcuts, masking, etc. It’s good that you’ve already noticed that the support community around Fireworks is going to be a lot better than Expression.

Personally my order of choices would be

  1. Photoshop CS2
  2. Fireworks
  3. Expression Design

Any tool will work, but knowledge, experience, craft and visual perception will be far more important than what tool you use to successfully create an interface design.

Source : Link , Question Author : James Skemp , Answer Author : sirtimbly

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