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Sure — Sketch has been a great tool because of its focus and simple stature. It focuses on the digital aspects of design and cheerfully invited others to build out other functionality it wasn't interested in pursuing. This was all possible because Bohemian coding made sure Sketch files were very parse-friendly—one of the most parse-friendly files you'll ever meet in fact (it's basic XML, designed to align very strategically with actual HTML and CSS attributes). That opened up a market of tools related to making designs.
From basic behavioural plugins directly in Sketch (close all layers, unlock, etc), to entire product ecosystems like Zeplin and InVision. And even emerging tools like which lets us animate Sketch files on a timeline. Things got much better VERY quickly due to Sketch's smaller ambitions and its dev-friendly file format.
So when I say closed, it's mainly because I worry (somewhat unfounded) about companies like Figma and InVision and their locked web apps. They might have APIs for people to build stuff on to their ecosystems... but are they realistically going to allow you to move out of theirs? It seems like a one way street. InVision (being a web app) inherently CAN'T let you download a prototype out of its system. Their tech stack AND business model is predicated entirely on them holding your "files" (for lack of a better term). Can you honestly imagine them building a Sketch export? Me either.
If InVision owns Designing, owns Prototyping, and owns Hand-off like they want... in the skeptical part of my brain I worry we're backsliding from the multi-service model of disparate companies we have now into another monolith with InVision. They're thirsty beyond belief. It reminds me of the way Adobe used to own the market. I'm not sure that's better for us.
I can understand your concern but it’s a little unfounded. In case you haven’t noticed, Sketch is also moving towards the same direction as Invision, except they’re doing it from the other way round. (Framer, Adobe XD and Figma are all doing same)
Think about it, what do you think would have happened to Invision if Sketch decided to one day add hands-off and protyping to Sketch ?
With Sketchcloud and now prototyping. built in, their aim is to box you into their ecosystem. And quite frankly I think that is the best way to go. Having different tools for designing, protoptyping and handing off makes very little sense. It’s time consuming and costly.
Regardless the market now is far more matured and diverse than 5 years ago, we have Figma, Adobe XD, Sketch, Framer (?), and now Invision .
I suppose I disagree. I like the idea of each tool and their developers can focus on only their use case in a broad ranging market rather than a monolith. Adobe stagnated for years before Sketch shocked them. We'll see how the market responds (that's ultimately what counts anyway).
I would also point out I don't think Sketch would've touched prototyping had InVision and Figma not entered their space so vigorously over the last 18 months. This seems like a "well, if you want to play it that way" kind of reaction to me.
Well history has shown that is not the case and it’s not financiallly viable either because the sreen design market is a very very small market.
Consider the Office market as an example, Microsoft didn’t just make Word and went to bed, they added Excel and Powerpoint (so has apple)
It’s not just invision though, Framer and Figma were moving in the same direction even before Invision annouced their efforts.
I also disagree that Adobe stagnated the market, it’s not their fault that people started using Photoshop (a tool desiging for editing photos) for designing apps/websites and even today a good chunk of users still use it.
If you’re worried about plug-ins don’t be, they’ll mostly will be ported over, the same way most photoshop plugins were ported over.
Well even if the screen market is small (though I doubt it)—Sketch as a company is relatively tiny so their ambitions can tailor to me and my use case. There's no stockholder looking for 200% year over year hockey stick growth. That's what ultimately opened up a foothold in a market dominated by Adobe—the pursuit of quality.
People used Photoshop & Illustrator to design for screens because that's really all there was. Illustrator was a general purpose illustration tool—and I suppose you could fit screenshots/UI in as "illustrations".
It wasn't until Sketch came along and gave us symbols and export for screens without the 100 other use cases in the way that things got good. Again, their decision to use a parse-friendly format, to me, showcases their willingness to do something that may be prohibitive to them for the sake of simplicity (app developers can just build plugins as they please, or build services right on top of Sketch).
There is a massive difference between the Microsoft "take all" mindset and Sketches "we do this, and well" mindset. You're 100% right that it's more profitable and desirable as a business. But as a USER? I'm not convinced. And I think that's why I like Sketch as it is—focused on helping me every day.
But InVision isn't Adobe. They may pull it off. We'll see.
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