Here at Medialoot we don't often review software, but as I am somewhat of a dedicated Fireworks fan, and an avid believer that the industry is in dire need of a tool specifically created for professional UI designers, I think that Bohemian Coding's Sketch 2 deserves a mention.
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It’s safe to say from the off that Sketch 2 is without a doubt, an excellent app at a very reasonable price. And if you’re a casual designer, who can’t quite justify splashing out on Adobe’s offerings, then yes Sketch is for you, go buy it! But in this article I want to assess how well it meets the needs of professional designers, and how well it stands up against the two most popular tools used at the moment, Photoshop and Fireworks.
Why I Want To Use It Every Day
It’s creators say that Sketch 2 has the absolute minimum feature set that a professional tool needs. And I completely agree with them, there isn’t anything missing that could actually stop me in my tracks when designing a website or app interface. And that is very good news. The promise of more features being added soon is also very exciting.
It currently has some features that are pure genius, and I’m actually starting to miss them when going back to using Photoshop and Fireworks. Multiple fills for example is an excellent idea, executed perfectly. As the name suggests, multiple fills allows you to stack fills on top of each other, and is a fresh new take on the traditional Color, Gradient and Pattern Overlay methods.
Other notable features are the Infinite Canvas, and Artboards which gives you Illustrator-esque freedom with your designs. And Non-destructive Boolean Operations, that allow you to do things like adjusting the corner radius of a rectangle even after you have combined it with another shape. It even beat Fireworks CS6 to the punch adding CSS Styles support!
What It Can Create
It’s still very early days, but already designers are testing out Sketch 2 and sharing their results on Dribbble. I even decided to recreate a couple of the elements from our latest freebie using Sketch (results below).
MediaLoot Tickets by Tony Thomas
Icon made with Sketch2 by Jason Csizmadi
iOS Message UI made with Sketch 2 by Ben Breckler
Playing with Sketch 2 by Gadzhi Kharkharov
Why I Can’t Use It Full Time Yet
My work, much like most designers out there requires sharing files. Whether it’s sending .psd’s to your developer to get coded, or creating and sharing design resources. There will almost certainly be a day in every designer’s life when you’ve shared a source file.. And the chances are it was probably a .psd.
This is where Sketch currently falls flat. I’m not going to write out a list of bugs, because I’m sure that the developers are perfectly aware of the state of affairs. But to summarise it is very difficult to open even the simplest .svg or .eps files. Likewise, exporting to vector formats is just as awkward and unpredictable.
If a designer chooses to use Fireworks instead of Photoshop, they will find that Fireworks opens .psd, .eps, and .png files brilliantly. So it wouldn’t be much of struggle to switch exclusively. Sadly, the same thing can’t be said about Sketch, so that is why I can’t use it full time yet.
Try It Out For Yourself!
If you haven’t already, take it for a spin and decide for yourself Website Link it has a 14 day free trial. And let us know what you guys think. Could this be the long-awaited Photoshop and/or Fireworks Killer?