When it comes to web design, Photoshop is traditionally the application that comes to mind since it has dominated in the UX design agency space for decades. But a new player, Sketch, has challenged this domination by offering a fresh new take on the offerings of a web design tool. Codal is one example of a UX agency that weighs the benefits and deficiencies of application programs in order to decide what to use.
Let’s take a look closer on the differences, both positives and negatives, of these two tools. These aspects are based on both the direct applications and the user experience.
Photoshop: Why we still love it
Photoshop is not only a tool for photographers to edit their images, but a lot of web and app designers use photoshop for their UI designs as it offers compelling features that allow web designers to create beautiful and useful websites.
Such features offered by Photoshop that Sketch seems to not be able to measure up to or develop include: providing shortcuts, incorporating a library, having great color management, offering multiple levels of zoom, and having “smart objectives.”
Photoshop: The drawbacks
The aspects of Photoshop that has really allowed Sketch to emerge as a competitor include an array poor features. Those include having poor web-style rendering, the need to build your own grids, a relatively slow application, only having a single artboard, and only having standard measuring.
Sketch: Why it is growing popularity
UX agencies that have made the switch over to sketch are claiming that it has improved their overall design flow, making them more precise designers and put an emphasis on efficiency.
Some of the features that has allowed for this improvement are providing built-in grids, being a faster application, providing “Sketch Symbols”, offering the ability to have multiple artboards, having advanced measuring, and having non destructive tweaking.
Another key benefit of Sketch is the ability to create wireframes. At Codal, we use Axure to craft our wireframes, but more designers are starting to use Sketch for wireframing capabilities. Thus, Sketch allows you to go beyond UI design and use it for part of the UX process.
Sketch: Areas that still need improvement
Although Sketch gives off the impression of being the bright young start to compete against Photoshop, there are still aspects of the application that need improvement. Some of those features include not providing shortcuts or a library and still being a little buggy for its various applications.
Overall Photoshop is a great photo editor but makes it a poor app for web design. Sketch on the other hand was created for web designers but in the end cannot replace Photoshop completely.
Looking towards the future, UI and UX design agencies are going to choose an application that meets their needs best. Thus, I would argue that Sketch or other future applications to emerge can overcome the powerhouse of Photoshop by providing aspects that contribute to the overall betterment of the user experience.
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