About a year ago, I saw an article about Sketch and decided to download it and try it out. As much as I wanted to start doing my design mock-ups with it, I kept finding myself back in Photoshop until a few months ago. I had two development jobs come in as Sketch files, and it started coming up in more and more articles and discussions online. I also noticed that more job ads were listing it as a requirement, so I finally dove in and I fell in love with it.
Sketch is very intuitive. The interface is simple and clean and it’s not difficult to get up to speed very quickly. In all the years I’ve used Photoshop professionally, I still wouldn’t call myself an expert. To be fair though, the comparison between the two is really unfair. Sketch isn’t a photo editing app — you’ll want to stick with Photoshop for serious photo work. Sketch is great for mock-ups, wireframes, prototypes, icon design and vector work. The shape, gradient creation, and masking tools in Sketch are very good, so you can work directly on those in your Sketch files. As with anything, the best way to learn, is to dive in.
I started learning by doing these tutorials:
I also worked through the book Jump Start Sketch from Sitepoint.
Udemy has some good Sketch courses on sale right now. Look for the Sketch 3 courses, since it’s the most recent version.
It’s helpful to have some content in Sketch already when you’re first learning to use it. There are some excellent free resources out there that you can load up and use for practice.
- Invision offers an excellent free app UI kit.
- Sketch App Sources offers lots of Sketch freebies to experiment with.
Plugins that Make Sketch Shine
One of the huge benefits of using Sketch is all of the third-party plugins that are available to extend the functionality. Some of these are a must. Explore the plugin selections available here and create your own personal Sketch build that’s customized for the way you like to design. Personally, I love the Subtle Patterns plugin and the Craft plugin from InVision. There are more good suggestions in this post from Stephen Gates.
Sketch Tips Video Series
I like to learn as I work, searching for the answers to questions as they come up during my normal workflow. With that in mind, I’ve started a video series today that will offer very quick answers to the questions you’re likely to have as you start learning Sketch. This first one brought my attention to all the great keyboard shortcuts that are available. Once you start using them, you won’t know how you ever got along without them. This one will show you how to get the distance between elements in Sketch. Subscribe to the playlist on YouTube to be notified when new I post new Sketch videos.