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Do you use Adobe Illustrator for your UI design work?

over 1 year ago from , CEO & Co-founder at Avocode

Hello, Illustrator fans!

This is Vu, the CEO & co-founder at Avocode.

Our team is now working on the Adobe Illustrator support to make the designer to developer hand-off process of .AI designs faster.

Before we release it, I'd like to ask you – What kind of designs do you create/deal with when working with Adobe Illustrator?

And if you have 2 minutes, you can share even more details with me about your Illustrator workflow: https://avocode.typeform.com/to/uh5iFD

It's been one of the most wanted features in our UserVoice, and I just want to learn more about the workflow.

I'm looking forward to reading your comments! Thanks.

53 comments

  • Gage WrightGage Wright, over 1 year ago

    I did a few years about but then I jumped on the Sketch and Figma trains and haven't looked back. Like others have said I really only use Illustrator to convert logos to SVG so I can import them into Sketch.

    18 points
  • Guy Noren, over 1 year ago

    We switched from Illustrator to Sketch around 3 years ago. Personally not a huge fan of Sketch due to the simplistic interface and lack of features, but it is objectively better for UI than illustrator. Illustrator is my go-to for creating graphics of any kind, as the vector tools in Sketch pale in comparison for this use.

    11 points
  • Timothy McKennaTimothy McKenna, over 1 year ago

    I don't use Illustrator for for any UI work. I use it main for logo design and illustration, either flat or for animation. My preferred program for UI work is Figma.

    4 points
  • Bart S, over 1 year ago

    I really only open AI to clean up some logos/svg's I get sent to me. Haven't opened AI for UI work in a super long time.

    2 points
  • A B, over 1 year ago

    I used it instead of Ps as a primary UI design tool about 7 or 8 years ago.

    I loved it, so light and fast. At the time I was a black sheep, no-one touched it for UI, now of course we have vector UI design tools such as Sketch that are so much better.

    Would I use it for core UI design now? No way. I still love it for non-ui vector work such as icons and logos though!

    2 points
  • Mark DavisMark Davis, over 1 year ago

    I'm usually only in Illustrator to convert print work over to SVGs or create some iconography that can be used across print and digital. Otherwise, we're in Sketch.

    2 points
  • Jan SemlerJan Semler, over 1 year ago

    I never and will never use Illustrator for Interface Design. It is like to use Photoshop to create Animations.

    I just use Illustrator for Illustrations which will be not only just placed within a digital product but also in animations for After Effects (Lottie). I also might alter Icons from kits i got in illustrator since Sketch, which i use preferably for digital Product design, is not that good (For me which uses Adobe Products for nearly 15 years) in vector shape editing.

    1 point
  • Cristian MoiseiCristian Moisei, over 1 year ago

    It's great to see you guys working to understand how designers work and what our pain points are. +1 from me for not using AI for design work. I know there are people who do it but personally I don't think its well suited for the task and only use it to edit icons/illustrations before importing them into Photoshop.

    p.s. I am using Avocode on my team and we're happy with it. The only objection I've seen from devs is from those who are already familiar with PS and prefer the tool they know.

    1 point
  • David Lau, over 1 year ago

    4 years ago, all i wanted was this feature. No one supported AI, so i had to moved my entire agency to sketch... good decision.

    1 point
  • Account deleted over 1 year ago

    Illustrator used to be my main tool until I switched to Figma with like 80% per cent of new UI work. I wonder myself whether there's need for an Illustrator-based hand-off software.

    1 point
    • Rhys MerrittRhys Merritt, over 1 year ago

      "FB has designers? I doubt. It's an ugly and poor UX crap, always has been."

      M. W. - Apr 07, 2018

      Never forget.

      1 point
      • Florian GrauFlorian Grau, over 1 year ago

        ?

        0 points
        • Rhys MerrittRhys Merritt, over 1 year ago

          This chap was previously rather abusive. Mods don't really do anything about it, so I like to remind them of this gem of a comment they made every time I see their name pop up.

          I read DN pretty often, so it's not hard to post when I do see their name. If you're up for a laugh, have a read through their comment history.

          0 points
          • Account deleted over 1 year ago

            You are just trolling useless crap. Go get life. I hope mods will do something about YOU trolling. Only leftist morons go through comments history or comment on people's lives or photos just to boost their low ego. You are nothing more than a miserable troll.

            0 points
          • Andrew C, over 1 year ago

            No offence—but the Facebook post isn't abusive at all. It's an abrasive opinion about the user interface and flows of Facebook but this is a design board... I'd expect this?

            1 point
            • Rhys MerrittRhys Merritt, over 1 year ago

              No offence taken.

              The facebook post is certainly not abusive, I agree. It's the other comments this person makes on a regular basis that are offensive. I'll copy a few which haven't been nuked in case you don't feel like digging through:

              OMG another left-wing moron.

              "Accept diversity" read like a leftist moron's point of view (if he/she is capable of any). I know you might know nothing about design but please hold from attacking me personally.

              I am way too professional to say "I don't like it". It just breaks so many rules of UX, UI, design in general, good practices of this, that, rules of gestalt, etc. that it's just awful. Of course, for those of you who don't know shit about design - this might be appealing.

              Oh, typical leftist BS: you search the internet for the person and mock the persons face / hair / anything just to be on top. WOW. Great.

              This person is a constant hostile voice, and one day I got tired of seeing their hostile, abusive comments and nothing being done about it by DN mods, so I decided to keep reminding them of one of their comments I found very funny. I enjoy the reaction it gets from them.

              3 points
              • Andrew C, over 1 year ago

                Ah okay—I thought it was just the Facebook criticism. Yeah he's bringing a lot of politics needlessly in to professional subjects.

                0 points
      • Account deleted over 1 year ago

        Look, I know your knowledge is very poor and you probably know very little about UI design but it doesn't mean you have to troll people who possess this knowledge.

        0 points
        • Rhys MerrittRhys Merritt, over 1 year ago

          You possess all the knowledge, don't you. More than those ugly and poor UX crap designers at thefacebook.com have combined!

          0 points
  • Andy MerskinAndy Merskin, over 1 year ago

    Still using Illustrator for everything here! I refuse to switch to Sketch for its lack of friendly vector editing features and a proper property-based eye dropper among many other things it's missing.

    I'm sort of waiting to see what Phase and others like it are doing, and for them to mature.

    1 point
  • Hussain Raja, over 1 year ago

    There was a time where we did wireframes using Illustrator (around version CS4) at the company I use to work for.

    I remember when they added artboard support it was great. We would basically keep similar states in the same file but divide different pages types into their own file.

    1 point
  • Greg Warner, over 1 year ago

    If you want an app with better layer management but more vector drawing power along with your UI work, go with Affinity Designer. Otherwise, yeah, Figma or Sketch.

    1 point
  • Darsnip Blormpkist, over 1 year ago

    Filled out the survey. Even sent you a fancy .ai.

    Have a nice day. <3

    1 point
  • Juan Gonzalez, over 1 year ago

    I only use AI for vector editing, our team UI design is done in Sketch because of the variety of plugins that make workflow easier.

    1 point
  • Ray MartinRay Martin, over 1 year ago

    As far as UI goes, the only time I use AI is for icon work. Sketch is getting better at it but still feels clunky

    1 point
  • Jonard TirolJonard Tirol, over 1 year ago

    Sad to say that we are still using Illustrator, Though we are planning to move our team to use Sketch.

    1 point
    • Troy Otts, over 1 year ago

      We're still using Photoshop for UI. So, it could be worse!

      1 point
      • joe andersonjoe anderson, over 1 year ago

        How big is your team, and why is that?

        1 point
        • Troy Otts, over 1 year ago

          Currently, we have a design team of 3 people. Our creative director doesn't think the benefits of more modern programs, like Sketch or even Adobe XD, are worth taking the time to transition our design and dev teams over to something new.

          1 point
  • Jason Spidle, over 1 year ago

    We switched from Illustrator to Sketch earlier this year and though there were some growing pains, we are full converted now. We do occasionally have to fire up AI to grab design components from old projects or to use the superior pathfinder and tracing tools.

    That said, I was constantly looking out for something like Avocode for Illustrator. Red lining was the bane of my existence.

    The situation at my company was that the lead designer (and founder) was very attached to Illustrator. His early career was all marketing and branding. As he started to focus more on product design, he just naturally continued to use Illustrator. We're a small company, so every project is a team effort and I had to adopt Illustrator for design even though I preferred Sketch. It took me a few years, but I finally convinced him to give Sketch a shot and we made the switch pretty quickly.

    In any case, I know of a lot of other similar situations where Illustrator continues to be used for screen design because of leadership preferences.

    0 points
  • Jared KrauseJared Krause, over 1 year ago

    I hardly use Illustrator for vector anymore. I do 99.9% of my work in Sketch, resorting only to Illustrator when absolutely necessary.

    As for developer file hand-off, we've completely cut that process out by incorporating Zeplin. Our devs love it and the final product is much more accurate to my intended design.

    0 points
    • Vu Hoang AnhVu Hoang Anh, over 1 year ago

      Thanks for you feedback Jared. Making the switch to Sketch makes a complete sense. And regarding your design hand-off workflow - aren't designers spending too much time since they have to prepare all layer assets as Exportables for the Zeplin sync? Have you looked for alternatives in that regard?

      0 points
      • Jared KrauseJared Krause, over 1 year ago

        There's not much work in preparing layers to export in Sketch. You really just have to make sure they're named correctly and have the correct export settings. Zeplin does the rest. It also gives developers CSS and other code to pull straight from the app.

        Here's an extremely simple tutorial on that process

        As for learning Sketch quickly, I found that recreating one of your existing designs in Sketch is the best way to get to know the features. You'll nearly become an expert the first time.

        0 points
  • rosie mary, over 1 year ago

    I used it instead of Ps as a primary UI design tool fanfiction

    0 points
  • tamaradactyl .tamaradactyl ., over 1 year ago

    Never used Illustrator for UI work because the workspace doesn't lend itself well to digital design projects such as responsive websites and mobile apps.

    Photoshop was my primary UI tool until about 2015. Ever since then I've solely been using Sketch for UI work and I haven't looked back since.

    I mostly use Illustrator for logos, illustration and patterns.

    0 points
  • Matt KMatt K, over 1 year ago

    We fully switched to Sketch a few years ago and no longer use Illustrator for anything more than the occasional drawing, to vectorise a logo or to edit a PDF.

    Anything from Illustrator our developers may encounter has been already been exported to bitmap or SVG.

    With the advent of better UI design tools it seems like Illustrator has returned to its print and artwork creation niche, rather than trying to get it to do something it wasn't optimised for.

    0 points
  • Andrew C, over 1 year ago

    Nope—switched over to Sketch (last year, actually).

    Still love Illustrator for illustrating and corporate identity work, but that's it.

    0 points
  • Eduardo Menegaz de MatosEduardo Menegaz de Matos, over 1 year ago

    Adobe XD for UI, and Illustrator to create illustrations and logos.

    0 points
  • Ktrn DsrsKtrn Dsrs, over 1 year ago

    I tried to used it way before Sketch and Figma since I was interested in the linked file system because I always wanted to create a design system for a better work collaboration with my coworkers.

    Sadly, the poor performances, the bad export feature and the awful font rendering made me change my mind. To those downsides, I must add that most dev (the one I personally know) don't really like opening illustrator files...

    If you absolutely want to use something as powerful Illustrator in terms of features to work on your UIs, look for Affinity Designer.

    0 points
  • iterati designiterati design, over 1 year ago

    I certainly don't. Product designer here. There were times 2-3 years ago when I had to open an .ai to convert an icon or illustration to svg or clean it up.

    Now most illustrations and icons I receive are svg and Sketch upped their game with vectors/svg.

    I suppose I'd use Illustrator if I was a graphic designer or an illustrator.

    0 points