What the actual heck is Sketch doing?

5 months ago from Andrew C, Design Director

  • vadim mikhnovvadim mikhnov, 5 months ago

    Especially given that Figma behaves like a thirsty VC-backed startup

    Why “like”? Figma is a VC-backed startup. As is Sketch. Are they any different? They are similarly VC-backed. They behave quite similarly. They are both quite secretive, prone to hype up superficial nice-to-have as features as though they are the best thing ever. Both are shamelessly exploiting community for free promotion and ecosystem cultivating, although Figma seems to be doing much better job here, at least with support for plugin developers.

    The actual difference is that Sketch has slicker UI, while Figma is more performant and used to ship new actually important features faster. Most importantly being “cloud first” is at least half of the solution for the version control and design system CI and it's really hard to go back from that (even if Sketch now has an integrated cloud which is supposedly smoother than Google Drive, Dropbox or whatever). Figma slowed down somewhat these days though, becoming another slow giant with unresolved issues and features that community has been asking them for years which are maybe coming some day and maybe not.

    1 point
    • Andrew C, 5 months ago

      I noticed Figma slowing down. There was a spell in 2018/19 where they were announcing new killer features every 2-3 months. I would expect to hear a sales outreach from them in the next 6 months. That's exactly what InVision did (it transitioned from product-led growth -> sales-led growth very quickly).

      For Sketch I don't feel like that's true. They haven't acted like a VC yet. No salesmanship — just product growth. From my understanding Sketch was purposefully kept quite small in footprint, and only recently took VC to grow their teams significantly so I suspect it's a cultural thing (in a good way). Sketch doesn't really seem to hype much, either — the video last year was the first time I'd even seen an attempt at it. But here we are a year later and there's no delivery — so I guess they just don't do roadmaps or deadlines well. I respect that to some degree...

      I think Figma being so accessible via a URL is what makes them good. But I have to say the organization and file management is poor, and dragging things in a design full of stacks is a flabbergasting experience fraught with frustration. But it does a lot, so here we are.

      1 point
      • vadim mikhnovvadim mikhnov, 5 months ago

        I agree with the observations, but Sketch slowed down to the pace where Adobe XD delivers features that were a top of the mind back when Sketch 3 was taking the industry by force, i.e. components with states.

        Figma definitely invests more effort into community outreach (streams, social media presence etc.) as well as corporate sales. That seems to be working for them. They're eating the market share previously occupied by Sketch. It may be of sustainable. Future will tell.

        1 point
        • Andrew C, 5 months ago

          It's interesting. I think for me I would've liked Sketch to just have released better prototyping and hand-off (their Cloud/Teams features are actually pretty good too!)

          But instead it has felt like 9 months of radio silence w a few minor prototyping features. And I'm going in to budget meetings and thinking "Okay so Figma can get rid of these things for me... and the younger designers dig the all in one..."

          One thing Sketch has it its almost more universally loved more for just straight up layout and design. Their interaction model isn't as convoluted (Figma really seems to overburden their drag interaction w Stacks) But that's slowly becoming not enough.

          1 point