I keep hearing about sketch and how awesome it is for UI Design, so let’s see what the fuss is all about.
The blind test…
Open Sketch and try to build an app or webpages UI without reading the manual before my coffee gets cold…go !
And the result:
- It feels like a mix of Illustrator and Photoshop with a focus on web/app development.
- Fairly intuitive if you have used any graphics software with layers, inserts,groupings etc it takes no time to feel at home.
- Obviously has it’s own quirks (every software has them), I struggled with text manipulation and other small issues.
UI SPECIFC TOOLS ?
The first time saver are art boards, what’s an art board ? well it is a space where you lay down your design to suit a certain form factor, page or event, in this case a responsive design for mobile, tablet and desktop. what’s also a welcome feature is the export feature, in this case sketch exports the following:
Export CSS Styles & SVGs…
Pasted CSS:/* Rectangle: */
border: 4px solid #000000;
Reusable Components :
Reusable components are perhaps the biggest time saver if you are doing traditional iOS, Android or Web Development, for instance, let’s try making a quick mock up of both an Android (with Material Design) and iOS app screen.
The above were simply made by dragging, dropping and modifying included iOS,Android and Material Design symbols, you could presumably make your own and reuse them across your designs…neat.
There are hundreds of available plugins for sketch, some are more like macros that provide small conveniences, while others are bigger in scope and functionality, here’s a small sample so you get an idea.
Designing the UI or UX as a nice graphic or slice for further processing is just the start, thanks to newer tools, you can create clickable prototypes, or quasi ready code that plays nice with front and back end developers, sketch has you covered by providing different levels of integration with the following prototyping tools: (basically these apps can open and use sketch art boards as part of their workflow)
While you are perfectly fine using Photoshop/Illustrator or just pen and paper for your UI/UX designs, after working with sketch for little over a week I can see the appeal, it is super convenient if all you do is UI/UX design, has a ton of expansion and customization options and in general makes designing UI/UX elements and experiences more eficient and productive. The downside is that you might still need photoshop and other programs to create your content, so depending on your situation it might be considered an addon rather than your main design program. Price wise it sits at a very reasonable $100, highly recommended.
About the Author :
Born Eugenio Noyola Leon (Keno) I am a Designer,Web Developer/programmer, Artist and Inventor, currently living in Mexico City, you can find some of my work at www.k3no.com … I like big bevels and I cannot lie !