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Let me start off my saying I feel equally comfortable in Photoshop as I do writing code. Additionally, I have used this approach on some things a couple years ago.
That being said, it’s not for me. Perhaps an ideal project will surface and I’ll pull this technique out of the tool kit, but for now it’s gathering dust.
And here is why: While focusing on content from the start is certainly the best approach, I find staring at unstyled content to be much more paralyzing than a blank PSD. This is because I immediately feel the need to shuffle blocks of content around and add colors. Sort of like this article.
But that is skipping a step. After I sketch out layout ideas, I rapidly mock them up in Photoshop. I use vector shapes when I can and make use of some grid templates. At this stage I am taking into consideration design direction, branding and overall communication.
Starting with code puts me in details mode. I focus on the wrong things. I’m fiddling with text shadows instead of thinking about if the concept itself is right for the project at hand.
This is my personal experience and the reason why I don’t use this method any more. For me, it’s certainly not faster, or more liberating creatively. But that’s just me.
As Cameron Moll said above, it’s a little arrogant to say there is a right or wrong way here. For some people, this method may be limiting. For others, maybe it’s not.
“If it feels good, do it”