Top Draw Web Designers are falling in love with Sketch 3 — and we think you should, too.
Photoshop has been setting the gold standard for photo editing and web design since the ‘90s. It’s an outrageously powerful tool that has grown and changed so much over the years that it’s almost unrecognizable to its 1.0 debut back in 1990. To emphasize my point, I’ve included this fantastically hilarious YouTube video that captures 8 designers attempting to get creative with Photoshop 1.0.
Although I doubt designers — web designers, more specifically— will ever abandon Photoshop altogether, there are those of us, like those here at Top Draw, who have been feeling a bit smothered by Photoshop’s less than web-friendly capabilities.
Changes in user-behaviour are well underway with 68% of Canadians using mobile devices like smartphones to access the internet. This upward trend has web designers changing their tactics from single-design to flexible, system-based design where improved functionality and mobile responsiveness come first. This new fluid approach has Top Draw designers digging deep for new web design tools that better meet this trend and, by golly, we’ve found it.
Drum roll, please!
Allow us to introduce you to Sketch 3, by Bohemian Coding.
While Photoshop is a hefty powerhouse of photo editing magic, Sketch is a light and easy-to-use tool created specifically for web designers who create web design magic.
Even with the infinite design possibilities that come with the recent release of Photoshop Creative Cloud 2015 by Adobe, Sketch is still far more useful. It is the tool that keeps the feet of web designer’s firmly on the ground.
It’s not that today’s web designers don’t want to run free in a land of daisies and unicorns, it’s that they want designs rooted in what is actually possible for the web and in a lingo that is shared amongst all builders and designers. That is to say, Sketch only includes functions that can be replicated in code. Sweet, sweet code.
Reasons why you should use Sketch 3 in your toolbox.
Photoshop will always have a special space in your toolbox when it comes to advanced editing, but here is why we think you should make room for Sketch, too.
1. Price Point Matters Photoshop Creative Cloud 2015 costs $19.99 a month versus Sketch’s total cost of only $130.00, a cost savings of over $100. And it gets even better, Sketch can be purchased for as low as $75.00 dollars if you purchase multiple copies for your company.
2. Uses Less Power. Photoshop is not something you can operate on any old computer, at least not well. You need a powerful machine to be able to keep up with all of its features and tools. On the flipside, Sketch is light on power and includes fast processing to make storage and transferring easier than ever.
3. Easy to Use. I would bet that an experienced person from Adobe could go through Sketch and find a way to duplicate almost every function on Photoshop in some way, but it wouldn’t be an easy process. How many of us have had a fellow designer slide up next to them and drop a nice hot Photoshop knowledge bomb right on their keyboard?
“I didn’t know it could do that!” said the designer who has used Photoshop for 12 years. That’s because Photoshop is a massive labyrinth only David Bowie could possibly navigate in its entirety.
Sketch is more like Ikea—everything organized and obvious with arrows on the floor guiding you effortlessly through the ooo’s and aww’s. All the while offering a shallow learning curve and a familiar UI paradigm.
Don’t be frightened if the following scenario is nearly a direct depiction of your Sketch experience:
“Hi there, I’m looking for….”
“Here you go.”
“Oh, but I didn’t even…”
“You’ll also want this tomorrow.”
“…I love you.”
4. Templates to Get You Going Fast. Whether you’re designing a responsive website, an app icon or a batch of material design elements, Sketch has a variety of pre-loaded templates that are all perfectly sized for your project.
5. 100% Non-Destructive. Photoshop has the capability to remain non-destructive, but it takes a steady hand not to break things. If you’re a web designer who uses Photoshop, you might find yourself conducting the same hide-away performance that I’ve often found myself doing out of necessity. Hiding that extra copy of a layer in its vector or otherwise for safe assurance, the same safety net that causes a lot of mess and contributes to file bloat.
If using Sketch means you can leave those worries behind, why wouldn’t you?
6. A Community With Lots to Share. Sketch has a great community and has a ton of awesome resources and plugins to get you started, plus they are free! Many UI elements remain very similar from design to design, so stop building them out yourself when they are already prepared for you.
7. Bohemian Coding Listens. Photoshop is pretty good at adding new features to their software as the need arises, but these updates take time to roll out. Sketch, on the other hand, keeps on top of design trends and listens to the designer’s need for certain resources that are required to design for today’s web. Got a problem? You’ll find it incredibly quick and easy to connect with the makers of Sketch over bugs or possible updates. A glance at their Twitter shows the ease at which they engage with their users.
It’s always exciting when we encounter new tools that make us more efficient and productive. While we won’t be deleting Photoshop from our toolbox any time soon, we’re curious about the experience of other web designers using Sketch.
We call on our web design friends and ask them to give Sketch 3 a try and send us your feedback!