What the actual heck is Sketch doing?

5 months ago from Andrew C, Design Director

  • John Doe, 5 months ago

    yup, same experience, jumped from Illustrator->Sketch->Figma.

    Figma took the lead by storm, they did three crucial things that made them jump ahead:

    • Offering a free tier was crucial for gaining new users
    • Multiplayer - made it extremely easy to collab
    • Web based! Any Windows user could use it. Windows user base was a huge untapped market.

    Sketch:

    *Artboards: *

    I loved how on earlier versions I could place artboards on top of each other, but sadly Sketch got rid of this functionality, and slowly I began to resent it, for this and plugins breaking with each update.

    Figma embraced the "artboards can go on top of one another" as its foundation.

    *Plugins: *

    Sketch relied way too much on third-party plugins to do some basic stuff, and on doing things their way.

    They should have integrated the most popular functionality provided by third-party plugins. They never had an ecosystem, one had to rely on browsing internet for plugins, buying some, and hoping the developer updated it. Got burned by some plugins breaking and the developer never updating them.

    InVision

    They got blinded by InVision and the whole extra functionality it provided:

    • Comments
    • Prototyping
    • Asset sharing , when in reality they should have launched their own prototyping features ages ago.

    Zeplin

    Again, relying on a third-party service for a feature that was very needed for developer hand-off.

    Anima App

    Auto-layout, enough said.

    Prototyping animations

    Doing a dance to make animations in Principle and/or After Effects, or any other app, to explain something. And wasting hours on end.

    Abstract/Plant/etc for Version Control

    Ugh, last comment to avoid making this a long(er) rant, but having to install another plugin just for version control was too much. Managing file versions felt like a full-time job...


    And what did Figma do?

    Figma integrated all of them making the need for all the extra software, the extra plugins, third-part services, version control, etc, not needed anymore. Plus many other features.

    I opened Sketch not so long ago, feels very snappy since it's a system application, but they need to jump ahead.

    Sketch has kept releasing small updates, the sketch.cloud thing that works half-way, but still not doing major leaps, not doing any major undertaking.

    Haven't renewed my Sketch license, it lapsed recently, don't know if I will renew it for the time being...

    1 point
    • Andrew C, 5 months ago

      At one point Adobe "integrated" all design software and it was pretty bad at innovating. I'm pretty much trapped in Figma if I have to go that route. The integrated nature actually worries me a bit.

      1 point
      • John Doe, 5 months ago

        Great observation.

        Sketch shot their own foot with their open .Sketch format. It made it very easy for any third-party tool to integrate with Sketch, but sadly, at the same time it also made it easy for Figma to import Sketch files and run with them.

        Moving away from Figma once you're in it? Don't think it will be easy.

        0 points