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Product Design @lightspeedsys Joined over 7 years ago
The last survey of designers I saw was reporting numbers at something like 56% Sketch and 44% Photoshop.
Fwiw, I have the new Macbook Pro and have been loving it. But starting out you can get going much, much cheaper to see if MacOS is a good direction for you. If you have a monitor, you could start with a refurbished Mac Mini: http://www.apple.com/us-hed/shop/browse/home/specialdeals/mac
I made the switch to Mac 8 years ago and used Mac and Windows side-by-side for a few months before switching completely. It felt like a big risk at the time and there was certainly a learning curve getting used to a new OS, but I haven't looked back. For me the value has little to do with the differences in operating systems and everything to do with the software available. Over the years that has ranged from screen recording software to front-end editors (MacRabbit Espresso!) to design and even stuff like rails/git/npm. The best way I can recommend evaluating your decision is to look at the software that's central to your daily work and base it on that. Good tools are worth the investment.
Of course as mentioned, you always have Affinity Designer and Figma. I will say though that once I started using Sketch alongside Photoshop in my workflow it didn't take very long at all till I went all in.
I've used tools from Notepad++ to Brackets to Sublime Text to Atom (w/ Gulp), but it's hard to beat the value live styling adds to a workflow. Because it works with "live" sites it speeds up coding significantly when working on a web app or CMS in a way that I've never been able to replicate with other tools.
I had to stop using Espresso when SCSS became part of my environment, so I'm glad to see that's been added and am looking forward to trying it out again. Hopefully an Autoprefixer plugin will follow before long as that's also become a standard part of our team's build pipeline.
Key takeaway: there is still a huge lack of understanding of the role design plays in software development, as evidenced by the consistent use of the term "graphic designer" in a survey of 64,000 developers by an industry-dominating developer resource like Stack Overflow.
Depending on what feedback you're looking for, A/B testing might not be the best tool.
A vital concept of A/B testing that often gets overlooked is that you're going for statistical significance. Without statistical significance results are often little better than guessing. The catch is that it often requires a larger sample size depending on the variables involved, which is why they are commonly conducted with a live audience. There's a great overview here.
But sometimes it's incredibly helpful to just get a quick read on preferences, potential trouble spots, what stands out to visitors, etc. A couple of tools I've found really useful for that in the past are:
Same thought on #1. Also a way to remove/lock/hide a Freehand?
Those things aside, this is an awesome tool which is likely to get immediate and regular use in our workflow. I was skeptical until I checked it out because I've never quite been able to wrap my head around collaborative design tools, but this is more about collaborative communication with anyone on the team which is a need I run into all the time. Also love that it's not competing for voice bandwidth so we can stick with the voice tools that we already use and are comfortable with.
Same here. Worth every penny! Already got a ton of free value during the beta and have been looking for the opportunity to pay for it, especially with the quality of the beta being so high. A refreshing change from products that get rushed out the door half-baked.
Same question. Clearly there must be a lot of value here since so many people tout it, but I've never understood the advantage in light of Spotlight.
Wish I'd asked this starting out; would have made my life easier.
Contracts have been mentioned. I didn't think I needed them because I didn't want to deal with legal stuff. But they are important because they convey a sense of professionalism that puts your clients at ease, not just for legal protection. Let's face it, if you're small you probably couldn't afford to go to court anyway, but having a common sense foundation for a relationship still makes good business sense.
Not sure where you're coming from, but as a freelancer I eventually ended up modifying this contract to the shortest version I could that made both me and my clients feel comfortable. One thing I did was specify that copyright ownership transferred to my clients only upon receipt of the final payment. This made me happy because I almost always got payed promptly after that, and made my clients happy because it removed ambiguity and allowed them to feel in control.
Probably the biggest mistake I made starting out was thinking of myself as a designer, not a business owner. When you are self-employed, you are also marketing, sales, accounting, and support, so you have to learn to enjoy developing the business. If you can't, it's going to be tough to find the motivation to keep it going over the long haul. Being a great designer alone is not enough. You have to:
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The gradient tool could (and should) be improved, but I'm very much on the other page as to how tuned in Bohemian is to their audience and how Sketch provides value. My absolute favorite thing about Sketch is that the updates so consistently improve my workflow in meaningful ways. Figma's co-editing feature may be the cool new thing in town, but I've never actually needed it. Making symbols more powerful and at the same time easier to use? Yes, please!
As for picking gradient colors, Figma & Adobe XD (and others) do handle this better. They might even be a better fit for your workflow. There are (now) a bunch of design tools and they all have some good concepts, but for my money it's all about the big picture and I still find Sketch does that better than anyone else. So in the meantime I'm willing to wait for these types of improvements, and if Bohemian's track record is anything to go by they'll keep coming.