To start my journey in UX, the number one app mentioned was Sketch. It’s a “digital toolkit” designed by designers, for designers. I downloaded the free trial and did absolutely nothing with it. So by the time I got serious, of course, my trial expired. A full Sketch license is now $99.
So I did what any self-taught student would do starting out: I found a free alternative. Enter Adobe XD. From the folks who brought us Photoshop, Illustrator, and Dreamweaver, Adobe XD an “all-in-one UX/UI solution.” XD is also by designers, for designers.
I started an XD Udemy course to get my feet wet and fell in love. The shortcuts were easy, the movement was smooth, and I found a few UI kits to make my life easier. As I did a few UI challenges within the program, I knew I’d been putting Sketch off for too long. So I bought a license to go with the other Udemy courses I had already purchased on the tool.
Sketch’s Time to Shine
Yesterday was my first day truly using Sketch. It flows very similar to XD. One reason I knew I needed to move over was that there are way more resources for Sketch than XD. I don’t know which came first (I’m assuming Sketch did). I also saw Sketch mentioned in most of the UX Designer job descriptions I had clipped.
So I did a quick email receipt design within it. I say quick but what I mean is I bumped my head and mouse around to learn the ropes of the program. It isn’t my most exceptional work, but as time goes on, I’ll learn more about what I can do within it.
This morning, I watched a few videos and found a feature that may have won me over. Enter: Libraries. Sketch’s Libraries feature takes their symbols to new heights, essentially creating an easy place to grab your favorite elements, so you’re not always reinventing the wheel. I love it because if you have a full design system, you don’t have to go searching for the asset you need. It’s right there.
As someone who is newly obsessed with design systems, this is an amazing feature. Say your team recently made a color scheme update. If they update the library document and upload it to a shared space, your team can download the file and instantly update all the symbols that changed. I’m talking one click of the button, and everything you needed to change is done. What more can you ask for?!
So many design systems are open source and allow you to add their components to your personal Sketch library too. Shopify’s Polaris is one of my favorites because of how detailed it is. It’s incredible because you don’t have to recreate the wheel. You can just soup it up a bit.
So while I still love XD, especially as a beginner because it’s free, I am sold on Sketch based on this convenience alone.