The Great Design Battle of 2018 — Pick Your Side

Trends and Predictions + Why Sketch Prototyping is a game changer.

Alexander Handley
Design + Sketch
Published in
3 min readMar 7, 2018


War! Not really, but that’s how it can feel to choose which design tool to use in 2018.

When I’m not thinking about what tropical plants to include as mood hero images, I think about what design app should I be using.

Will I miss the cool train if I’m not coding buttons on Framer? Should I leave everything behind and move completely over to Invision?

In this article I’ll go through the years of design tools (starting way back in 2016), map out the current state, and then present some predictions for a design review.


  • 2016 and 2017 👷
  • 2018 💥💥
  • 2019 🤖

2016 and 2017 👷

If you can excuse me from not communicating the design process with the “Confusing Quadrant of Iterative Design that Justifies the Entire UX Profession”; then I’ll just use this crude linear process:


In 2016 I graduated from the Design School of Medium Articles majoring in Powerpoint Slides. Life was easy (well, the part that involved designing interfaces). The debate was between Photoshop and Sketch and you could present your ‘clickable prototypes’ with Invision.


What a year! The design tool world opened up giving us more choice, options for Windows users, and increased FOMO (cue Designer Imposter Syndrome article).

2018 💥💥

2018 will be a great year for users and a competitive one for companies. Especially with newer players armed with VC money:

(Does anyone want to raise money to write developer docs for Sketch plugins? I’ll definitely invest.)

I named the article The Great Design Battle of 2018 because so many big players are competing for the same users:

What tool should you focus on? At the moment there doesn’t seem like a clear winner. So keep experimenting!


Prediction 1:

Trenches are dug, platforms are fortified and trade routes will be cut! Each company will try to cover more of the design process and the integrations between the tools will be weakened.

Prediction 2:

Rise of the integrators. Opportunity will open up for companies to become ‘integrators’ between different tools and platforms.

Prediction 3:

AI will take over our jobs.

Okay maybe not by next year but I’m sure you could train an AI to go through Dribbble and then generate an agency landing page concept…

What do you think?

Leave your predictions in the comments 🙃