Sketch's in house prototyping tool - What does it mean?

over 5 years ago from , Twitter

This week Sketch dropped their in-app prototyping tool. This adds a new flavor to the wide pool of tools we already were having trouble navigating!


What does Sketch's update mean for other prototyping tools? Do you see yourself giving up the tool you were using? Or does this not affect your workflow at all?

Would love to hear any predictions and comments from y'all.


  • Marc EdwardsMarc Edwards, over 5 years ago

    What does Sketch’s update mean for other prototyping tools?

    As you probably know, Sketch’s in-built prototyping is of the hotspots-with-noodles variety. It’s a great way to build a prototype that demonstrates the different screens of your app, but not a good way to prototype interactions. It’s more about overall flow than implementation details. And that’s great!

    Given the wide range of prototyping needs and the wide range of prototyping tools, I don’t think there’s going to be a drastic change to the outlook of other tools.

    I suspect Sketch’s prototyping will continue to evolve and improve, and that will mean it’s more and more useful in the future. But at the same time, there’s always going to be things you need to use a specialised tool for — something that’s based on code, timelines or one of the other methods for building prototypes.

    Do you see yourself giving up the tool you were using? Or does this not affect your workflow at all?

    I use and like a bunch of different things for different reasons. I can see the value in hotspots-with-noodles, but I personally don’t need to build many prototypes like that. Most of mine relate to single and more complex interactions, so I’ve used Principle, Flinto, and Framer in the past. Or, just made GIFs in Photoshop that show off the behaviour (surprisingly effective).

    I like that prototyping is integrated into Sketch, but I also think it’s important to recognise that there is no one size fits all approach to prototyping. There’s a wide variety of solutions for a very specific reason — prototyping can be high or low fidelity, it can be used to learn or to demonstrate, it can be anything from the first pass of an idea, or to work out implementation details prior to writing code. There’s many jobs we hire prototyping for, and I don’t believe any single app can handle them all well, so having a few tools is good.

    It’s definitely nice to have another good option though. From some initial use, Sketch’s prototyping works and does exactly what it says on the tin. :)

    35 points
    • Samantha S, over 5 years ago

      mmm noodles

      3 points
    • Jeff French, over 5 years ago

      Ditto. I would love to see eventual support for transitions and animations. Protowire (Sketch plugin) has support for basic transitions but only certain types. With states and transitions being so integral to most interaction design, it feels like a no-brainer for Sketch to keep building towards supporting more interactive mockups. Static mockups feel like increasingly limited artifacts of the design process.

      0 points
  • Corin EdwardsCorin Edwards, over 5 years ago

    I'm happy to use craft/invision less. I've never been happy with that experience.

    24 points
  • Andrew C, over 5 years ago

    InVision has more functionality — which makes sense given they have a 4 year head start. But honestly? It's not that far ahead of Sketch's basic integration—simple "click this element to go here, or load this" stuff is working well. I think it's a tactical advantage for Sketch to be able to have prototyping so integrated—it's at the component and artboard level already with them (instead of only drawing hotspots). I anticipate this means they'll simply have more flexibility and options for adding great prototyping features in future. As I see it, at this point it's only a matter of time before Zeplin.io and Sketch in concert replace InVision for me.

    The one draw back is performance at larger file sizes. But in my experience a 250+mb Sketch file is an indication of bad housekeeping.

    The style guide at my company is about to get a shit ton better because of this btw. It made that portion of our Design System updated in real-time.

    6 points
    • Darren Treat, over 5 years ago

      Honestly, Sketch already made a big change for me, doing prototyping at the dartboard and component level meant that you can update designs and not worry about ruining hot spots and it makes it less of a hassle to use many more components. This is stupid amounts better than craft.

      They are just a 'password protected link + click to add comments' update away.

      I would pay $10/month more for this.

      2 points
  • Jakub FoglarJakub Foglar, over 5 years ago

    Ironically, Sketch’s prototyping made the app unusably slow for me, which made me finally switch to XD for production files.

    2 points
    • Ryan Hicks, over 5 years ago

      I downgraded the update and sent an email to them.

      Of course they played it off like they didn't even know. I'm pretty sure the sketch team doesn't even test their own app let alone use it to design with.

      2 points
      • Jakub FoglarJakub Foglar, over 5 years ago

        This is the exact feeling I get from it. I’m sure they mean well and work hard, but sometimes it unfortunately comes off as negligence / not enough love put into the app.

        0 points
  • Stefan Lechleitner, over 5 years ago

    I love Principle and I hope to see some news soon. I'm a little bit nervous (no news for quite a time) and hope they will continue their great development.

    1 point
  • Alejandro DorantesAlejandro Dorantes, over 5 years ago

    Bugwave incoming... sketch was finally feeling somewhat stable lately

    1 point
  • Jonathan SimcoeJonathan Simcoe, over 5 years ago

    It is fast, native and works very reliably for flows. This replaces InVision/Marvel for our team.

    0 points
  • Stephen Leung, over 5 years ago

    It seems they copied XD

    0 points
    • Darren Treat, over 5 years ago

      Nope, It's from Invision's Craft which was a Sketch prototyping plugin.

      XD is a wholesale knockoff of Sketch with remarkably little traction for an Adobe product. Some great work is there but too many were burnt and the price is just too high.

      3 points
  • Kristjan Gomboc, over 5 years ago

    As already mentioned in the comments: one will probably still need specialised tools for some things. But I definitely see Sketch covering the 80% of the needs. The rest, other tools just have to have a solid "handover" implemented, that a sketch prototype is taken as a start and then the designer needs to tweek the details he needs/wants.

    For me the bigger question is the future of all the cloud solutions like InVision, Marvel, Zeplin... to which extend will Sketch Cloud replace them or will there will just better partnerships/integrations.

    But would for sure love to be a bit less dependent on InVision!

    0 points
  • Tom STUTom STU, over 5 years ago

    It really makes me wonder how the craft plugin will evolve once invision studio will be available.

    Is it possible that invision stop developing craft to make their own product more appealing? Or do they have some kind of arrangement?

    In the worse scenario, the fact that sketch start to work on a native prototyping tool could make sense...

    I'm a heavy user of craft/invision, mainly because we use it as an interface between our creative team and our clients, and it would be painful to switch to another methodology of work :p

    0 points
  • Jan ZhengJan Zheng, over 5 years ago

    it's great for someone like me who doesn't like having a bunch of different tools to do the same thing. Sketch's prototyping tool is definitely #basic but it just barely satisfies the trick for me.

    I would love for it to output an overview/storyboard as well.

    0 points