Wireframing & Prototyping with Adobe Fireworks – Resources and Tutorials

Adobe Fireworks is one of the most popular application choices amongst web designers for wireframing and prototyping. There are many reasons as for prototyping with Fireworks over any other graphic editor, but we won’t go into them with this post (perhaps you could try this one: A Case for Adobe Fireworks against Photoshop and Illustrator).

What this post will offer is a comprehensive starting point and reference for any designer who would like to take those first Fireworks steps and are not very sure were to begin.

We promise, once you start using Fireworks for wireframing you will never go back.

Fireworks Wireframing Tutorials & Resources from Adobe

Creating standards-compliant web designs with Fireworks →
This article shows how to use the enhancements to the CSS Export feature so you can create standards-compliant designs.

Setting up a Fireworks web design mock-up for CSS and images export →
This article first lists the key tools that can help you when preparing a Fireworks web design mock-up to go to the web. Then it reviews each tool in detail and provides some examples. This article continues with a simple website design mock-up example (a PNG file is provided). Finally, this article reviews and helps you optimize quickly the exported CSS/HTML code.

Designing a website application with Fireworks CS4 →
This tutorial shows you the process of creating a website application in Adobe Fireworks – from sketching the original page design to developing wireframes, to creating the final design. All the essential tools and instructions will be covered in this article to help you begin creating websites and designs within Fireworks right away.

Prebuilt CSS templates in Fireworks →
This article explains how you can use the supplied sample PNG templates to ensure that you make the most of the CSS Export feature in Fireworks.

Creating interactive prototypes in Fireworks →
A Fireworks tips and tricks video. In this episode, you’ll learn how to create interactive prototypes.

Getting started with Fireworks: Using Master Pages, Pages, and Web Layers


This video tutorial examines some of the basic features of Fireworks that make it different from Photoshop. The tutorial uses a very basic design to show how Master Pages, Sub-Pages, and Web Layers work to create a complete web design in Fireworks that uses internal file linking. This is a great place to start if you haven’t really used Fireworks much before.

Wireframes to mockups with Fireworks


In this tutorial you’ll learn how to go from a wireframe to a web design mockup using Fireworks. You’ll create a homepage wireframe for a restaurant website and translate that into a design.

Fireworks: Interactive prototypes in PDF


This tutorial explains how to generate interactive prototypes directly from Fireworks in PDF format. This kind of prototype can be very useful for layouts approval with clients or just to make the communication between the design development team easier.

Build a promotional iPhone app website wireframe in Fireworks


This tutorial covers the design process of creating a wireframe for an iPhone application website in Fireworks. For those not familiar with Fireworks, it will be a good jumping off point for using it to wireframe your web design projects. This tutorial is the first part of a multi-part series.

Creating a basic wireframe using Fireworks


This tutorial teaches you how to build your own wireframe using Fireworks. It covers the fundamentals of the necessary web elements and page linking within a wireframe. The site being built in this tutorial is nothing fancy, but its simplicity keeps the users focus on my photography.

Prototyping in Fireworks (1 of 3)

In this video you’ll learn how to build a navigation bar with states, menus and submenus in prototyping a simple website.

Prototyping in Fireworks (2 of 3)

In this video you’ll learn how to link pages when you create a prototype of a website.

Prototyping in Fireworks (3 of 3)

In this video you’ll learn how to create a Swap Image or Disjoint Rollover and add interactivity.

Orange Commands


Orange Commands is a huge collection of commands for Fireworks that makes the life of a web designer easier and the workflow faster. Orange Commands is free and open source.

Fireworks Template for Wireframing


Here is a PNG template wireframe for Fireworks. The Master Page has been set up, so you can edit the Main Navigation, Functional Nav, Footer Nav, Logo, etc. layers, and then all of your additional Pages will contain these visuals. Other than that, everything should be pretty straightforward.

Dragnet Website Wireframes Kit for Fireworks


Dragnet website wireframes kit is a common library for Fireworks and contains over 25 objects that are useful for rapid prototyping of websites. It is completely free to download and use. The kit contains common web design elements such as scrollbars, buttons, menus, alerts, etc. Most of them support the 9-slice scaling feature that is build into Fireworks for a better resizing of the objects.

Fireworks mini web wireframing kit


The Fireworks mini web wireframing kit gives you just the essential shapes for web wireframing. For everything else you can use natively Fireworks because Fireworks itself is great tool for prototyping and wireframing. The file is in PNG format which is native to Fireworks and means you can edit and resize all the shapes in Fireworks.

Wireframe Library Symbols


This is a set of rich (meaning they have items that you can change in the symbol properties) symbols. This set is supposed to look like hand drawn wireframe items. The color scheme is meant to look like blueprint ink.

Fireworks Common Library Stencils


A downloadable stencil kit for Fireworks. The kit is in the Common Library format.

Light UI set for Fireworks


A small set of light UI elements for your next project. Included: a Button, a Radiobutton, a Checkbox, a Combobox (Dropdown), and a Textfield. Active-state is also included for the most elements.

Black and White Company Website Template


A wireframe template designed for use with a company website. The design is a simple black and white one.

Fireworks Wireframe Diagram


A clean wireframe template for Fireworks that has layers of a few different content types to get you started. You’ll notice the width is 1024px which is a conventional standard for browser size.

Fireworks Template for Android


A Fireworks template for Android. The Android user interface elements have been redrawn as vector images. In the folders the elements have been mostly labeled according to the Android vocabulary.

Fireworks toolkit for creating iPhone UI mockups


A Fireworks template for the iPhone. You get the individual UI elements for quickly and easily creating mockups of iPhone applications and screenshots.

BlackBerry mockup template for Fireworks


A Fireworks template for BlackBerry. The template is made for BlackBerry devices with a resolution of 640×480, but as all UI elements are vector images they can easily be resized.

Gesture library for Fireworks


The Touch Gesture Reference Guide is a unique set of resources for software designers and developers working on touch-based user interfaces. The set of gestures is recreated here for Fireworks as rich symbols.

Background Image Grid for Fireworks


A background image grid for easier web design in Fireworks. You can apply the grid to the body of your page as a background image so that it displays behind your site. Thus you can use it to precisely line up your layout.

Useful Fireworks Resources

Fireworks Lab →
On Fireworks Lab you can download free resource files for Fireworks. All files are layered PNG’s which can be opened and edited with Fireworks. The resources you can download here are free and you can use them where ever you want (personal and commercial projects).

Webportio →
Webportio is a graphical resource for Fireworks. All graphic files have a good structure, so it’s easy to navigate. The artworks are vector-based and can be easily customized according to y our needs. And all files are available for free and can be used for noncommercial or commercial usages.

Fireworks Zone →
Fireworks Zone is a resource for Fireworks enthusiasts with tutorials, articles, linkbase, commands, styles, textures, patterns, auto shapes. According to the website it’s one of the largest and most regularly updated Fireworks sites on the web.

Further Reading

8 Essential Fireworks Tips for Web Design →
This article shares 8 time-saving tips to speed up your Fireworks web design workflow. It explores a bunch of features of Fireworks to speed up design time and put the rapid back into rapid prototyping with these time-saving tips. In other words, these 8 tips can help save yourself from doing the same thing over and over again.

Wireframing: Tips, Tools, and Techniques →
A pair of articles that looks at some of the relevant tools, techniques and tips available for wireframing. This first of two articles gives an overview of the tools, while the following article covers some tips and techniques to smooth your wireframing process.

Do You Wireframe with Fireworks?

Over to you: do you do wireframing with Fireworks? If so, feel free to share your favorite tutorials, resources, and/or templates in the comments section below.

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Oleg Mokhov (mokhov.net) is the world's most mobile electronic musician and web + visual design enthusiast. He makes music that's a cross between Four Tet and Aphex Twin.

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