From Photoshop to Illustrator to Sketch (or how I overcame my Photoshop addiction)

A couple of years ago, after wrestling with and becoming frustrated with Photoshop for use in web design, I was inspired by a colleague to try using Illustrator as an alternative.

After about a day I was completely sold and said goodbye to Photoshop as a UI tool. I still use Photoshop, however I keep it in my toolbox for when its required to do its intended job: edit photos (ok I still use it to do some graphics manipulation, but this is mainly when I am trying to create some sort of photorealistic effect).

So Illustrators art boards, the use of vectors, the fact that I could forget about layers and also the speed were just a few of the great benefits. However there were things that bothered me about Illustrator, mainly:

  • Its assortment of palettes are completely overkill
  • It slows right down when working on multiple art boards with lots of graphics and images
  • Its export process is painful at best

So one day along came my new best friend Sketch. A tool for creating user interfaces.

Sketch gives you the power, flexibility and speed you always wanted in a lightweight and easy-to-use package. Finally you can focus on what you do best: Design.

So whats so great about Sketch? Here are a few highlights that make Sketch THE tool to use when designing for web or apps, (Sketch is also awesome for creating logos and icons, but this post is about finding the best UI creation tool).

  • Infinite workspace
  • Multiple art boards
  • Super simple palette configuration
  • Excellent, simple export options
  • Speed Plugins Colour sampler tool
  • Easy shortcuts
  • Transform tools that aren’t hidden away
  • Ability to edit, crop, colour etc photos pixel perfection

The switch from Photoshop to Sketch can be quite daunting to the Photoshop addict, but don’t worry there are some nice people out there who have created some great tutorials to help you get over the addiction:

http://blog.mengto.com/photoshop-users-how-to-switch-to-sketch
http://hackingui.com/sketch-design/why-i-moved-to-sketch/
oh yes and of course http://bohemiancoding.com/sketch/

Post by Rob Suckley Digital Architect at Creature Digital