After using Photoshop for the past 14 years, I finally took the brave decision to enter unchartered waters for a designer… To try a new piece of software... You might have guessed which piece of software I’m talking about. It could only be one tool, the most talked about design software currently, Sketch.
Ever since it’s emergence in 2012, Sketch has gradually grown in popularity, however it was not until the last twelve months or so that Sketch really come into the mainstream.
I must admit, I’ve personally tried to avoid it but I thought in the spirit of personal development I would give it a go and see what all the fuss was about.
Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised. The work interface is a mixture of Photoshop, Illustrator and Axure, making the transition to Sketch very easy for any experienced designer. It is an extremely user-friendly interface and I was pleased to find everything came very naturally.
After 3 hours playing around with effects, shapes and text I was ready to start my project.
The job was to design a dating app for Apple iPhones and I found it extremely easy to settle into using Sketch once I had a little play with the software. One of the great things about Sketch is that you can work in multiple screens at the same time allowing you to get an overall view of your project and create ‘masters’ so it optimises your workflow and speed.
Below is a list of the pros and cons - of which there are barely any - that I’ve encountered whilst using Sketch.
- User-friendly interface making it easy to work with multiple artboards and duplicate artboards.
- Similar interface to Illustrator, Photoshop and Axure combined meaning any experienced designer can transition nice and easily to the software.
- Easy to export PNGs and integrate the screens with Invision app or Marvel app to create a high fidelity working prototype.
- Ability to export the CSS stylesheet!
- Ability to export it as a paged PDF file, which helps you to print it out or send to the client for meetings and annotations.
- Extrenely easy to drop vector files straight to the screen.
- Small File Size.
Now the NOT SO DOWN aspects.
It is a bit of a pain to export Photoshop files and as this is the format that the majority of developers are used to receiving files to slice… However, it can be done with a small work around.
- Export the file as a PDF
- Open the PDF in Photoshop (The layers will be very messy but will do the job)
- Export. You can’t export the HTML (only the CSS). Job done.
It was a great experience using Sketch and I will most definitely use the software again for specific projects. However, I would never abandon my beloved Photoshop as I believe the graphic capabilities are more advanced than Sketch, especially if your project involves a more elaborated design.
For app designs in particular it is an amazing little piece of software. Some people may hate me for saying it but for this purpose I think Sketch is actually better than Photoshop and Illustrator.