First Project with Sketch

April 19, 2015 | Design

After dabbling in Sketch for a while, and toying with the idea of using for more than just a mobile mockup or two, I finally bit the bullet and used Sketch for everything on a (mostly interface-design) project. Sketch isn’t a replacement for Photoshop so much as it as replacement for a collection of things Photoshop is used for which it isn’t meant to excel at. Brushes, complicated masks, curves (photo editing features in general) and effects aren’t thing Sketch tries to replicate/replace.

- It’s a primitive product

PS is tested. Years of versions, millions of users, and bazillions of dollars. It’s easy to take that for granted after loosing an hour of work from a crash. Bohemian Coding has only been working on Sketch for 3 years; contrast that to a product that has been on the market for 25 years, and the difference is noticeable. In light of that, it’s fairly remarkable that they’re able to come up with something worthy comparing to PS (they even have a decent commmunity. That said, it clearly doesn’t have the flavor that a well-seasoned product like Photoshop does, but that’s okay - mostly because it also doesn’t carry the price tag that PS does.

- I miss the keyboard shortcuts

That’s it – I just miss the keyboard shortcuts PS has that Sketch has replaced with a less-cryptic, (slower but more usable) interface.

+ It still hasn’t crashed on me

PS has a bad habit of crashing. It has effectively reinvoked my former muscle memory for command S. Combined with it’s pathetic recovery effort, it can be awfully frustrating. Despite having around twice as many elements in a given document, Sketch stuttered, but never lost my work.

+ Organization, Clean and Easy

To me the most valuable use for Sketch is organization. Where I would have needed 10 PS files, 1 Indesign document, and countless inconsistencies, I was able to easily use single Sketch file. Leveraging cascading properties, and the seamless ways groups work allowed me to design on the fly. What I lost in functionality and learning curve, Sketch made up in time-saving file/style management. Image of layers

+- Exporting, As it should be

This is a heavily-touted feature in Sketch, that was different, but it really isn’t a make or break for me. It’s nice, convenient, and saved a few minutes here and there, but it isn’t something that I’ve been particularly frustrated at with PS. Image of layers

Will it Blend?

That’s the big question - I’ll certainly use it on the next project, until it can’t do what I need and then I’ll switch to PS. I may learn a few more keyboard shortcuts, and a few more tricks. In the end it saved me time vs costing me it - but that’ll be on a case-by-case basis. I do a good amount of concepting in program (things like “how does this look here”, and “let’s try this”), so it certainly helps with an iterative workflow, that seeks to get digital as soon as possible.