What the actual heck is Sketch doing?
over 2 years ago from Andrew C, Design Director
I have to vent a tad about Sketch. It makes me sad because I really like Sketch as a company. So, sorry about that everyone.
For the last couple of years I've been a big fan of Sketch. I switched my team over from Illustrator about 5 (or so?) years ago. I really respected the way that the Sketch team released features that were intentional and worked well. Once in awhile early release was buggy — but I could roll back and wait a week while bugs were ironed out. No big deal. Intentional features are still very much true to this day — prototyping off of artboards is much more convenient than hooking up screenshots in InVision. And IMO auto-layout is more intentional to use than the clown show Figma provides (to be fair, it's more flexible, I just like that Sketch pushes designers to think more comprehensibly about the structure of their components a bit more).
Recently though Sketch's roadmap has felt like a blackbox sliding through sticky molasses. I thought there was a video released at the end of 2019 showcasing improved prototyping, multi-user editing, and better handoff features. I'm still kind of waiting? It's Sept 2020... what's the scuttlebutt? So far the marquee things released aren't really all that aligned with what my design team actually needs help doing. Don't get me wrong I think Assistant's is neat, but micromanaging my designers' folder naming conventions is not nearly as helpful for my team as walking through a prototyping that supports hover states, web-friendly interactions (like drag), and timers to approximate loading states. "Oh I didn't realize that was on-hover!" says the engineer.
At this point my team has demanded we try out Figma for some of the above reasons. Hand-off is good enough, and Prototyping is marvellous in it. One key blocker for us is that the act of designing in Sketch still feels much much crisper. Your UI gets out of the way. It's not minimalist... it's system. Still... it's quickly becoming not enough. I care about my team's happiness, and see the window closing on my ability to use you. Before I give up on Sketch I thought I'd post this to... kind of let you know that you're losing people. I see it with all of the new young hires on the team. Sketch is the older slow program. I don't particularly like that. Especially given that Figma behaves like a thirsty VC-backed startup which I don't really love. I always appreciated your choice to keep your file format interoperable. It has truly helped the design industry grow its toolset.
What my team needs to do every day is manage our front-end library, work out design challenges with PM/Engineering, and occasionally articulate a harebrained idea they love to stakeholders via prototypes (also run user testing sessions, but those are better as a coded thing anyway).
I would really love it if you could please focus on making these things better.
Sincerely, ~ Your fan that is falling out of love with you
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