Sketch — An alternative to Photoshop for starter creatives?
So you’re starting out as a Web Designer or UI creative and wondering what the best tools are for the job. For years, this has been a straight forward decision for many creatives alike; Adobe CC Products such as Photoshop. But over the past 3–4 years…..a new suitor has emerged: Sketch App by Bohemian. Below I will talk about my experience using both and give my advice the best I can.
Let’s start with Adobe Photoshop…
Adobe Photoshop has been around since the dawn of man…… well…… 1987. Since then it has grown and grown from a predominantly photo editing and manipulation-based app to what we know today; A Photography AND Website Design app.
I have used Photoshop (Ps) for the better part of 10 years now and for me, it was always my go to app when creating anything web or UI related. It had served me well for years. The only thing I started to notice with Photoshop is that Adobe seemed to be trying too hard and introducing all these “tips, tricks and cartwheels” onto the scene. The experience of designing a website/working with UI within Ps seemed to be getting slower and less responsive. It was almost as if it was a photo editor app that had been “hacked” for web and UI design.
The cost of Photoshop is an annual contractual cost per month or a “lump sum” payment for the year. It works out at £10.10 ($13.36) p/month for the monthly plan or £120.64 ($159.53) for the upfront yearly payment. A clear point to note, if you buy Photoshop for the yearly payment up front you will save £0.56p compared to the monthly cost worked out over the year (£10.10 x 12 months = £121.20).
Again, It is entirely the user’s decision and down to their life status and comfortability. The opinion stated above is my own and hopefully an advisory one.
All Adobe programs are available for Windows and macOS.
A new suitor….Sketch App
On the other hand, we have the Sketch App founded by Bohemian Coding in 2008. Sketch is a vector-based Design app specialising in website design, development and UI/UX experience as well as linking up with the great Principle App (create animated UI) extremely well.
Sketch is almost 10 years old, but yet has only recently taken the world by storm over the past 4 years. I was introduced to Sketch myself 2 years ago and I’ve never looked back for web design and UI. It focuses on the best experience possible for a creative digital designer and lays everything out cleanly and openly so a user can adjust and create wonders.
Sketch App is also heavily focused on developers as well as designers. Being able to customise the app itself and quickly export assets and set up variables and styles for the developer to go in and assess the file in the most efficient way possible. The experience is a fast, smooth and efficient one for designers and developers alike. There is also the ability for plugins within the app for developers, this opens a vast world of creativity and really holds ‘no limits’ for the design in question. I have found my experience in Sketch to have improved my skills as a designer, but also help me understand more the link between design and front-end development.
The cost of Sketch App is a one-off payment of £74.88 ($99). This gives you the app in full AND free updates for 12 months. After that, updates will be paid for on a plan, but you will always have the app at its current version before you run out of updates….so if you’re happy with your current version then….no more costs for you! Also a clear point to note….you can add a user to Sketch for a one-off cost of £33.65 ($44.50). So, that’s 2 x Sketch users and all updates (for 1 year) for £108.53 ($143.54)…. £12.67 ($16.76) cheaper over the year than 1 x Photoshop user on a 1 year only contract.
The only major downside to the Sketch App is that it is not available on Windows. For me, this is not an issue, however, I know some digital creatives have Windows machines so in that sense Ps maybe the better option instead of shelling out on an Apple product to support Sketch. The user decides their best experience/workflow ultimately.
My Personal Outcome
My personal choice…. Sketch…Why?
I feel Sketch is a good place for digital creatives to start and often provides the best experience ‘through and through’. It is laid out well, smart, efficient, ever-expanding, focused on its primary objective and dedicated as a UI and Website creative program.
The decision is to choose what works for you and what makes your life, as a Website and UI creative, more efficient and forward thinking. For me, that’s Sketch.
I am happy to give advice to anyone starting out in either Sketch or Photoshop! :)
If you DO choose Sketch, here’s a little Freebie to get you started…
Free Sketch Starter set including a homepage template (desktop and mobile) fitted and laid out with custom symbols and a full custom minimal icon set. Everything is laid out perfectly for designers and developers. Feel free to download and play around with it.