There are a lot of opinions out there on Sketch and mine is one of them. I’m not saying that you - the reader - should be using it or shouldn’t, I’m just relaying my personal experience with it. Hell, I might even switch back to Photoshop full time at some point. For now though, Sketch is giving us a new way to look at how we design and it’s making parts of it easier than ever. Here are some things we love about Sketch in no particular order and then some gripes about it too.
Exporting is awesome - The act of exporting assets has become so convenient that I don’t even think about it any more. Sketch has a dialogue that allows you to export assets at different sizes and filetypes in a couple of clicks. The added benefit of the retina art board option is also pretty awesome.
Project Organization - The days of having massive photoshop files with hidden layer comps/hidden layer groups or even having multiple PSD files for one project are all but gone (Sketch is a lot more like Illustrator than Photoshop but PS is what I use so that’s what I’m comparing.). Sketch has a multi art board setup and has a page based interface. So you can set pages by name inside one file.
Templating and Styles - We have a default template for web design. In it are the default form elements that Sketch provides as well our default type styles from our framework and Entypo icons, which I use pretty often. From this we are able to go through and make early decisions on web projects that will shape the visuals throughout the project. We’re working on a project now where, along with Google Fonts+Typecast, we made some decisions about color, style and visual elements to send to the client before we ever started designing whole pages (a la Dan Mall).
Now Some Gripes
Sketch is definitely a work in progress. There are some bugs and some real issues as far as performance goes. Here are some things I’d like to see fixed:
Copy/Paste: pastes in random places on art board, it really needs a paste in place option. Bugs me to no end.
Text Formatting: Sketch sets type pretty poorly. It’s not super accurate and can be buggy.
Guides: I use guides a lot in PS and the lack of guides aside from the layout settings irks me. ( Author's Note: I was just informed that I'm not paying attention and guides are present and actually work pretty well. )
I’ve gotten used to these bugs and other ones. The enjoyment I get building UI with Sketch is totally worth the minor headaches I’ve experienced. I hold no allegiance to any app or developer (as far as this goes), so if this stops being fun and useful I’ll definitely switch to something else. For now I’m getting a kick out of Sketch and it’s making our work move along a little faster.
(Author's Note: I know that releasing an app on the level of Sketch 3 garners a lot of expectation AND criticism. The above gripes are not meant to be slights, nor should they detract from the fact that I genuinely enjoy using Sketch and it's helped me with a lot of aspects of my workflow that were slowing me down. )
Are you using Sketch? Do you have questions about Sketch or our workflow at Blue Fish? Let’s talk in the comments or on Twitter.