I primarily write about print design on this site, but most of the work I do is User Interface and User Experience design.
Until recently, Photoshop was the only real application one could use for UI design, even though it wasn’t designed for it. It’s kind of like using a road bike to bomb down a mountain. You’ll eventually get to the bottom, but you’ll bang yourself up good on the way. The feature set, and the workflow, of PS is not optimized for UI design. We accepted it, and kept trucking along, only because we had no other choice.
Then Sketch came along.
Sketch is a vector-based graphics app by Bohemian Coding that offers a set of features, and workflow, specifically built for UI design. I’ve made the switch to Sketch at home, and at work. It’s been such a breath of fresh air.
Some of the benefits of Sketch are:
- Super easy to use. The app is very intuitive, and never feels complex or overwhelming, but at the same time it’s powerful. You can get comfortable using it within a few hours.
- It’s vector-based. All elements can easily scale without degrading, including drop-shadows, gradients, blurs and strokes.
- Text is rendered exactly like it’s displayed in an app or on a website in a browser.
- Smart guides. You can easily line things up and see the pixel distance from one object to another. You don’t understand how much time this saves.
- Built-in grids. ‘Nuff said!
- iOS mirroring. Using their iOS app, Sketch Mirror, you can see your designs on your phone in realtime.
These are some of the great features you’ll find in Sketch.
It’s not all perfect, though. There are some issues with it, but they’re minor. The app is still a little buggy. It’s in the early stages, so it’s expected. Things like zooming in and out can cause some weirdness. It doesn’t handle raster images that well, but that’s expected from a vector-based app. Artboards and export features are only focused on iOS. Would be great to include other platforms like Android and Windows Phone. None of these are deal-breakers and the app just gets better and better with each release.
Now, I know this sounds like a paid advertisement, but I can assure you that I haven’t received a dime from Bohemian Code. This is all of my silly love for this app. It’s really changed the way I design, and it’s exciting.
Down below I’ve put together a list a resources to help with the transition from PS. A lot of great info here on the app, its benefits, how to use it, and the workflow.
I’m going to open the comments in case you want to ask questions.
Tips & Tricks Blog
Official Tutorial Videos
Photoshop Users: How To Switch To Sketch
Sketch VS Photoshop
Supercharge your Workflow in Sketch
Designing with Sketch
.Sketch App Medium Collection
Design with Sketch Medium Collection
How To Wireframe An iPhone App In Sketch
iOS 7 GUI for Sketch
List of Sketch Plugins
Sketch Keyboard Shortcuts