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Sketch vs Photoshop a year later, where are we?

4 years ago from , Co-founder at Get20

I've been trucking along with Adobe for years now but it's become clear that Sketch is worth a few minutes of my time as a potential alternative. Looking over some articles, there hasn't been much update since about a year ago.

Can anyone fill me in with some insights as to the current state of the software now against Adobe? I'm interested in getting into something that is attuned to the UI designer's workflow versus the master of all photo editors.

42 comments

  • Patrick NeufmillePatrick Neufmille, 4 years ago

    Sketch is still a teen. One leg longer than the other, pimples, attitude... but its slowly getting more mature and has actually started looking for a job.

    40 points
    • Dan DiGangi, 4 years ago

      This comment made me laugh. Great analogy. Haha

      2 points
    • Vlad Danilov, 4 years ago

      Macaulay Culkin

      1 point
    • alec salec s, 4 years ago

      Photoshop is like a huge tattoo we decided to remove a year ago, and we're halfway done with the process. It hurts and it's kinda ugly but the end result will be great...

      ( ._.)

      3 points
      • Ryan MurphyRyan Murphy, 4 years ago

        More like a tattoo you got as a much different person, instead of removing it, you decided to expand it to give it new meaning. This happened again and again and now covers 80% of your body and has elements from hundreds of different iterations.

        2 points
  • Xavier BertelsXavier Bertels, 4 years ago

    I haven’t looked back since . . .

    28 points
    • Dan DiGangi, 4 years ago

      Done & done. Pulled it down yesterday. I'm still working through the learning curve but come close similarities to Photoshop in its' own way. Starting with a mobile app UI to see how it goes.

      0 points
      • Xavier BertelsXavier Bertels, 4 years ago

        I found it was mostly about unlearning the bad habits I had from Photoshop. I mean, r is for rectangle. Hallelujah! Things are surprisingly obvious after about a week. Another week and you can be at before-switch speed if you make the effort.

        2 points
    • Ollie BarkerOllie Barker, 4 years ago

      I did this but found quite a few limitations with Sketch. I use it for apps and interfaces but not for entire websites.

      1 point
      • Xavier BertelsXavier Bertels, 4 years ago

        I use it for interface design mostly, not to create websites. For websites, I switch to HTML and CSS rather quickly.

        0 points
  • Matt CastilloMatt Castillo, 4 years ago

    The past several months, most of the improvements in Sketch have been on the technical side and it has a lot less bugs than it did a year ago. There are still improvements to be made, but it's fairly stable and continues to get better.

    In terms of workflow, once I switched from Adobe to Sketch, my efficiency has pretty much doubled. Sketch just makes cranking out design and assets dead-simple and I don't see myself ever going back to Adobe as a UI tool.

    11 points
    • Dan DiGangi, 4 years ago

      The doubling in productivity makes me very excited to give it a shot.

      3 points
    • Jeremy RouxJeremy Roux, 4 years ago

      Yup, confirming the x2 efficiency for me and my team as well. Imagine what you can achieve with all that time!

      3 points
  • Marco De la CruzMarco De la Cruz, 4 years ago

    While Sketch keeps bringing new features and designers/developers keep building more and more awesome plugins, it is still young and unpolished. These bugs are a deal breaker and I am still using AI and PS. Personally.

    5 points
    • Xavier BertelsXavier Bertels, 4 years ago

      Which are known for their bug free stable environments? Come on . . . :-)

      0 points
      • Louis-André LabadieLouis-André Labadie, 4 years ago

        Okay, I'll bite.

        My biggest project is in Sketch – has been since 2013. Here are things that are still unsolved in Sketch. I paid for Sketch 2, got these deal-breaking bugs. Paid for the upgrade to Sketch 3, still got the bugs.

        • Text layers that go invisible when you edit them.
        • Layers locked to per-pixel movement, but stuck on decimal positions.
        • Layer styles that consistently reverse their gradients.
        • Groups that don't update their bounding box size.
        • Compound vector shapes don't display like they will export.
        • Line layers that use an inside or outside stroke and won't allow you to change it.
        • Random gray masking on zoom in and out.
        • Layers that are reversed, or scaled, or use a relative coordinate system out of nowhere.

        I know Adobe have a heavy track record with bugs and discrepancies, but that doesn't mean upcoming tool developers can feel better about selling broken features too.

        0 points
        • Xavier BertelsXavier Bertels, 4 years ago

          Apart from zooming (which is solved in the last beta for me) I don't seem to be affected by most of the things you listed. Maybe it has something to do with a file being corrupt?

          I agree with you that Sketch bugs need to be solved, but calling Adobe software more stable is a stretch. I think it has more to do with built up tolerance over the years than anything else.

          0 points
  • Abhijeet WankhadeAbhijeet Wankhade, 4 years ago

    I switched to Sketch 2.5 years ago and haven't looked back. I don't even remember the face of the guy who sits behind me.

    4 points
  • Amin Al HazwaniAmin Al Hazwani, 4 years ago

    Something I find really handy on Sketch is the ability to see the designs in real time on my phone with Sketch Mirror.

    4 points
  • Paul TrottPaul Trott, 4 years ago

    I still find an Illustrator & Photoshop combo wins hands down. Faster, handles larger projects, is more stable, integrates well with After effects for awesome animated proto's, works on both windows & osx.

    Sketch will definitely keep getting better and god knows Adobe need the competition.

    3 points
  • Spencer HoltawaySpencer Holtaway, 4 years ago

    I use photoshop for work and personal projects. I used to use sketch for personal projects.

    3 points
  • Bryce HowitsonBryce Howitson, 4 years ago

    I switched to Sketch and haven't looked back... Except when I have looked back.

    The thing with Sketch is that it's a purpose built tool. If you use it for that purpose (web interface) it's quite good. Not perfect but what is?

    However if you want to cut the background out of a photo you're back to Photoshop. Or if you want to make a logo or icon you're likely back to Illustrator.

    Just be aware of how your workflow dictates what tools you use. If you do mostly UI work, especially on mobile apps, you'll probably love Sketch. If not well you get the picture.

    3 points
  • Kyle MitchellKyle Mitchell, 4 years ago

    I switched to Sketch about 2 years ago, and haven't looked back. Honestly, yes there are still bugs, but there are definitely still bugs in Photoshop and Illustrator. It's worth a try, but you've got to give it an honest project to work on.

    I think the bugs are easily overlooked for the increase in productivity. Sketch to me, feels lighter, easier, more focused.

    3 points
    • Dan DiGangi, 4 years ago

      +1 on the productivity factor, very exciting after so many "slow" years in Photoshops comparatively

      1 point
  • Norm Sheeran, 4 years ago

    Use both, I know crazy!

    2 points
  • peter karpickpeter karpick, 4 years ago

    i just opened sketch for the first time brought an image in - Sketch quit unexpectedly

    maybe i'll try again

    2 points
  • Adham DannawayAdham Dannaway, 4 years ago

    You'll still need photoshop to edit photos but Sketch is great for web/UI design. I still use illustrator for icon design though.

    2 points
    • Marc EdwardsMarc Edwards, 4 years ago

      Illustrator is definitely worth a mention. When it comes to pure vector editing, nothing else beats it.

      0 points
  • Goran Peuc, 4 years ago

    Why would it be "or" solution? I use Photoshop when I need to do Photoshoppy things, I use Sketch when I need to do Sketch...y things. =)

    2 points
  • Peter RoquemorePeter Roquemore, 4 years ago

    I picked up Sketch when it was just Sketch 1, played with it for an hour. Super easy to use but i had nothing to work on at that time... it was forgotten about. A year later had to wireframe a project and remembered to try it out. Since then I haven't even opened PhotoShop except for intense photo manipulations.

    But I will say I wish Sketch handled large compound paths better.

    1 point
  • Jon MyersJon Myers, 4 years ago

    Like many others, I have been using Sketch for about the last year and a half and have not looked back.

    Another vote in Sketch's favor is - The Sketch Ecosystem

    I find the ecosystem of plugins, information and third party services (Zeplin, Invision), etc., to be a huge advantage.

    Yes, some of these coexist in the Photoshop ecosystem, but in general, I find them to be more effective in Sketch due to the fact it’s a tool more focused on interface design.

    1 point
  • Cristian MoiseiCristian Moisei, 4 years ago

    Photoshop is getting slower and clunkier, but Sketch is not a valid alternative yet - it's a toy. It's nowhere nearly as powerful as PS, it's buggy, and once a project gets big enough, it's not that much faster. I like how light and cool it feels, but things also look bulky and imprecise (especially text).

    The app was originally designed as a vector graphics tool, so while it does have some great advantages for UI designers (such as symbols, text styles, artboards or sketch mirror), it wasn't built as an UI tool so there's nothing impressive here (AI has all of those functions too, and it won't fuck up the vector icons you import).

    Personally, I'm going to give adobe some more time and hope the Metal update brings a big enough performance boost to make PS smooth again.

    Until then, Sketch is still a nice thing to have and play around with.

    1 point
  • alec salec s, 4 years ago

    Some things in Sketch will get you very excited and as a result, it's fun to use. Re-learning or re-setting shortcuts sucks as with any major software switch. I think the sort of dynamic / vector based approach paired with a speedy outputting process and tons of third party plug-ins makes it too promising to not give a fair shot.

    0 points
  • Ian GoodeIan Goode, 4 years ago (edited 4 years ago )

    Been using it almost exclusively and can't go back to Photoshop. Sketch is just so much faster. Wish it had better in-built support for exporting Android assets though as I've found the various community plugins to be hit and miss.

    0 points
  • Maciej JurczakMaciej Jurczak, 4 years ago

    I switch around a year ago and still think it was good idea. I still use PS sometimes for some photo editing but for UI Sketch only. In few years if Adobe will still be do nothing it will be great app :) What's new: 1. More stability, less hiccups more work :) 2. Zoom no more freeze app for seconds 3. They expanding plugins in new beta, they added plugin manager 4. New web sharing option for Artboard, but it need some work

    0 points
  • Helen . Helen . , 4 years ago

    I self-taught myself with Photoshop when I was a teen doing things like graphic design then moved onto UI/UX design a couple years ago. When Sketch popped up and my brother, who's a Creative Director advised me to give it a shot, I was skeptical, I felt like the learning curve was there and it would take me too long to get the hang of it, that and I was completely comfortable with Photoshop and couldn't see myself using anything else.

    It wasn't until bugs in Photoshop started to annoy me and that I realized AI wasn't converting my icons right for SVG for work that I forced myself to pick up Sketch and give it a shot.

    Are there bugs? Yes, but it's also apparent in Photoshop. Sketch imo feels like it speeds up my workflow and I find myself more focused on designing, they have handy features that I wish Photoshop had before I found Sketch. I still use Photoshop for work since we're already using PSDs but Sketch would be my go-to for freelance and side projects.

    0 points
  • Justin SchuelerJustin Schueler, 4 years ago

    I Started working with Sketch almost 2 years ago and also struggled a lot in the early days. I used it for a relatively big project and constantly pushed it's limits. But it was worth the loyalty and patience at that time. As it has just become my primary tool for UI design. I also used to work with Photoshop but mostly because clients needed or delivered psd etc... Switching from Sketch to PS always feels like going back to 2012 and slows down my entire workflow. But as there are tools like Affinity Photo I'll try to slowly get rid of Adobe CC.

    0 points
  • Asko NõmmAsko Nõmm, 4 years ago (edited 4 years ago )

    In my opinion, as long as Sketch won't come to Windows, it simply can't take over Photoshop. Plenty of designers using Windows day-in, day-out, and while you may argue that OSX is the "superior" operating system, it doesn't change that fact. Heck, it don't even have to be designers - what about front-end developers cutting PSD-s every day?

    0 points
  • John JacksonJohn Jackson, 4 years ago

    I've been designing since 2010 and I used Photoshop until earlier this year. A colleague suggested that I try Sketch in January; shortly thereafter, I downloaded a copy of Sketch and played around with it for a week. I no longer use Adobe products as they are a complete waste of my time compared to Sketch.

    Sketch has significantly increased my efficiency and I won't be looking back any time soon. Some people apparently find it complex, but I thought it was an absolutely simple transition.

    +1 for Sketch

    0 points