Myself and Adam have known each other for 7 years and we share the same opinions on the tools we like to use whilst designing and developing . Here I will show case our top 5. In no perticular order:
I know a few designers that opt for Fireworks over Photoshop but in my opinion, hands down Photoshop is the better tool. From gradients to working with UI designs Adobe Photoshop has everything you need.
Firefox is my web browser of choice as its way a head of Internet Explorer CSS wise, specially for making UI enchancements with moz-border-radius etc. Everything looks the way you designed it and it’s so much safer to use whilst browsing the net, and were all about being safe at nenuno! Needless to say, you can use addon’s which takes us to number three.
Firebug is personally my favourite web development tool. Being able to highlight different parts of my website whilst it’s live in the browser and able to change div heights and widths saves me so much time!
Creating multi-column layouts has never been so easy with using the blueprint css framework, also cutting down your development time so you can focus on working on your actual design more then worrying about the postions of your div’s!
The first thing I work on whilst creating a design is the color scheme. Kuler is a simple way of seeing what color palettes work well together. If you are still struggling to get the right color combination there are tonnes of user created palettes to choose from!