Designers are some of the people most exposed to tools that aim to help them in their day-to-day tasks. Helping them accomplish and deliver great work in a way that saves them time and enhances their abilities. But, besides the already existing and very well positioned programs like Photoshop, Illustrator, and Adobe, there is a new one that promises to deliver what designers have been praying for: Sketch.
Sketch is a fantastic new tool praised for being the future of UI/UX design and has gained popularity accordingly.
Sketch is a design app made for Mac users (sadly, they don't intend to expand to Windows or Linux) with a web version. However, its use is growing and becoming a favorite for designers and website designing agencies in San Francisco and all over the world. Let's look at why this is so:
Unlike some other apps and tools out there, Sketch sees UI as one of its key components. From the very beginning, this app was made with UI designers in mind. This is an upgrade from other tools like Photoshop or Illustrator, where agility can take a hit when working with UI graphics.
Another great thing about Sketch is that it constantly releases new updates to evolve its design based on the market's needs. This makes Sketch a big favorite over Photoshop and Illustrator.
Despite Sketch being limited in certain features and functionalities compared to the other existing tools, it has a user-friendly GUI that makes its performance more professional and just, in general, easier to use.
Most designers will agree that converting CSS drop shadows to Photoshop drop shadows is a painfully strenuous job. That is why Sketch, having designers in mind, has CSS logic already in its functioning—allowing designers to focus on their design and not waste any unnecessary time converting between formats.
Although Sketch has not been around for as long as other apps and tools, the fact that they have managed to read the needs of designers and provide real solutions has made them a clear runner-up for the best design app – it earned Apple Design Awards in 2021.
Sketch users know what they are getting: a simple app but highly powerful for their design needs. Of course, users need to know that although Sketch is fantastic for things like web graphics and UI, it does not have many functionalities as Photoshop or Illustrator. That is why, if you need more, look elsewhere, but if you are looking for a collaborative design app focused on designers and Mac users, Sketch is the app for you.
As we mentioned before, Sketch knows in which industry it is playing. It knows that there are constantly new techniques and needs for designers, and it delivers by continually updating and upgrading itself. Its latest updates include artboard presets, sharing capabilities, improved performance, and fused file format. Since its release in 2010, it has been doing everything it can to be up-to-date for designers.
There is no doubt that Sketch is winning ground and has proven to be an app that the market was asking for, but how long will this winning run last? Well, more than you would think, but there are some things to be careful about.
First, its suitability is tailored towards individual designers and especially towards iOS platforms. This makes it hard for teams to integrate and design existing workflows in other media. Of course, realizing that they can have the best app possible if they stick to one platform is a great idea, but losing on the integrality of diverse teams might harm them in the long run.
Secondly, another thing that might ring the alarm bells in the future is the instability that often costs the app's performance. Since they release so many new updates, it might take a couple of patches to fix them before working up to their potential. Keeping up with the fast times we live in shouldn't lead to poor quality and instability. Focusing on designing new updates with enough time and testing, even if it means fewer updates overall, could help keep more users happy.
For example, with version 66 released, a problem still lingers when using files created in older versions: each time a user makes a copy of its illustrations, the symbols can appear in duplicate.
Despite the limitations mentioned above, Sketch is still an excellent app for its power and flexibility. Its app developers are constantly working to deliver a product that will genuinely answer designers' needs.
And as if it wasn't enough, the app offers a vast amount of plugins –most for free– through its new open file format. With the third-party applications that are being delivered and are growing steadily, the future looks bright for Sketch.
With time Sketch can quickly become the go-to app for designers despite its powerful and timely competitors. Thanks to its powerful prototyping abilities, it is a tool you must have on your toolset, although it does not live up to its fame when it comes to more sophisticated designs.
To compete with its adversaries, it must boost its ability to function in a bloat-free mode and focus on interface agility more. Additionally, Sketch should project itself more as a necessary addition to the design tool sets instead of an alternative to the more sophisticated design apps we've mentioned until it can improve the few limitations.
And finally, it has a clear advantage. It is inexpensively priced at $99. Making it one of the best designer apps that every designer should add to their toolkit for competitive web and UI/UX design, at a price that makes it accessible to most.
Adding Sketch alongside your Adobe Creative Suites will help you find the right balance between usability, aesthetic design, functionality and allow you to solve your client's needs with much more ease and higher performance.
For those designers that are looking for high-quality work, increased speed, and innovation, as well as being forward-thinkers, Sketch is the perfect app for them. And probably, an essential player in the future of UI/UX design.