The simplest tools are often the best. The great Mystic poet, Kabir once said, “Having befriended a big man, do not forget the small. A sword cannot do the job that a needle can do.”
Less than 20 MB in size, Sketch is an app focussed on UI Design. Exponentially smaller than photoshop software updates, it gets the job done faster, smoother, better. I see people making poster, social media posts etc. on photoshop, which can be handled by illustrator in a fraction of the time it takes to create on photoshop. While the popularity of photoshop can be attributed to it being the de facto DTP software for anything related to design, the one fits all approach brings us back to, “A sword cannot do the job that a needle can do.”
The key to good design is recognizing the right tools for the right purpose, this is where Sketch comes into the picture.
Where Sketch Shines
It’s fast. My late 2011 Macbook with a meager 4 GB of ram handles sketch like a breeze, where as Photoshop barely manages to crawl. I could go grab a coffee and a sandwich while it zooms out from 500% to 100% on a slightly heavy file.
With a plethora of devices with different pixel densities, it’s crucial for designs to be independent of pixels. That’s why we prefer apps like Illustrator and Sketch over Photoshop.
Symbols work great when you have a repetitive element in the project. It saves a lot of time and effort by replicating them throughout the artboards. Check out the video to get an in depth tutorial.
Sketch has a handy tool that helps you rollback to previous versions of your file, pretty similar to the apple time machine. Just go to file>restore previous versions, and you’ll be able to browse through all versions of the file you’re working on.
Lean file sizes
Sketch file sizes are usually much smaller than photoshop or illustrator’s file sizes. Since most Indian ISP’s have terrible speed and a ridiculous data cap, this comes in handy while uploading and backing up your work on the cloud.
No SASS Model
Sketch is a ‘one time fee only’ software. While this being an advantage is debatable, I prefer it to a monthly subscription model.
Where Sketch Falls Short
Bugs, Bugs, so many bugs
I have been a user of Sketch since the first version was released. The software’s stability is incomparable to that of Adobe softwares, it easily crashes while handling large files.
Another bug that prevents it from rendering the line height correctly is a major frustration while using the app. But considering the software is still in its adolescence, Sketch has definitely come a long way.
For some more funny (not really) bugs check out Sketchisbest
It’s a well known fact that in the Indian market, Macs are nowhere as popular as first world countries. Though, plugins like zeplin and Avocode, make the transitions easier for predominant Windows users, ‘Mac only’ is a major deal breaker for many designers and firms when it comes to making a switch to Sketch.
Photoshop, as the name suggests, was designed to edit raster bitmap images, it was never designed to handle requirements with vector graphics. This being said, I can’t blame Adobe for the sluggishness of their software. The new photoshop ‘design’ module is definitely a step in the right direction, however the whole thing still feels like patchwork.
Update: Also worth nothing the potential Sketch killer – Adobe Comet. Sincerely hope it’s cross-platform.