Sketch 101: How to Use It for UI/UX Design
The word design is quite vast, and there is a lot to explore and know about it in detail. There are many areas of designing, and one can easily find skilled designers having expertise in a specific area like UI, UX, product designers, graphic designers, interaction designers, information architects, and many more. Being a designer is not easy, and it includes various responsibilities like continuously finding problems and creating solutions for them. Also, in today’s time, when a website is the backbone of any business, especially for start-ups, having a good UI UX designer is a must. If the website is hard to navigate, and users need to make efforts to look out for something, then you may be turning your customers away without even knowing it. Good web design helps keep your leads on the page and let them not to divert to other competitors.
According to a survey, within three seconds of being on a website, users decide whether or not they want to take services from that website. And here, the design and content play a major role. If there is no effort done in designing a web, it is clear for the user that the business won’t make any effort in helping them even.
Thus, the customer’s footfall, which is ultimately the success of your website/app, entirely depends on User Interface and User Experience. And the work of UI/UX designers depends upon the tools they use. Photoshop, Sketch, Illustrator, Fireworks, InVision are a few of the known names. Previously when just Adobe products were being used for design, in recent times many new apps have come in trend and one of the popular names in between them is “Sketch.” And with time, it has become an essential part of any modern UI designer’s toolkit. It's an indie design tool that is much easier to use as compared to Photoshop and Illustrator.
What is Sketch?
The Sketch is a well-known digital design app for Mac and is mainly used in UI and UX Design of mobile, web, desktop, and wearables. It was first released on 7 September 2010 and is primarily known as a vector graphics editor for macOS. It is very lightweight and does not need a huge monster PC to run it. It is much easier compared to other design apps, and anyone with a design background can easily switch to Sketch. Also, the graphics are easily scalable, thus its license model is just a one-time with one year of free updates after which the user can purchase the license for the next year of updates or use the last version. It takes into account whatever we visualize, and a problem visualized is a problem halved. With the new feature inherited, one can easily use Sketch for wireframing, prototyping, and collaboration.
The only drawback observed is that it is a bit expensive. Still, the benefits like gain in productivity have made Sketch now been used officially as the application of choice for most website design and development companies. It is a perfect software to design for multiple devices.
The above benefit explains why Sketch is undebatable the best tool for designers, let us now discuss in detail a few truly great features of Sketch and how to use it as a UI/UX Designer.
The first screen that you see when you open up Sketch is a clean interface. Sketch lets you focus just on the design and cuts out all the fluffs.
Code Friendly Designs
Anything you create through Sketch can be reproduced with CSS, and hence, it works for both website and mobile app developers and designers. Being on the same page with the developer is quite beneficial, especially when they start coding up your designs.
Sketch has both pages and an artboard. For UI or UX design projects, multiple pages get in use like onboarding flow of an app, another for the core actions, one more for settings, and so on. Sketch lets you jump onto various artboards easily on a single window hence, you need not open up multiple design files while working on the project. Also, it helps you keep these together and organized.
Grids and Layout
Sketch lets you layout grids easily for each artboard, and the good part is that as soon as you set the total width, number of columns, and gutter width, a nice red translucent grid is overlaid on your design instantly. These designing responsive layouts boost productivity.
Symbols and Styles
The symbol is the most powerful feature of Sketch, it allows you to group many elements like Buttons, Navigation, Headers, Footers, thus helps you to reuse these throughout the project. This saves the time of yours and the team.
Sketching for UX/UI is all about: -
Getting Ideas Out
The first step for a UI/UX designer is to sit back and get the ideas out. Discussing with the team and creating an outline before jumping straight into the tools is beneficial in the long run. Brainstorm every possibility that you have in your minds to select the best design to use. It is always recommended to visualize the idea so that you can understand how something should look or work in detail. Out of numerous ideas you need to decide which is the most efficient in the context of your task and the various constraints of the project.
Agile Designing Process
Inside the Sketch, some plugins come nicely integrated with hotkeys. By the time Sketch has introduced native prototyping, it is in great help with organizing and documenting your project. This makes the navigation styles and symbols much faster. The symbol has become an even more popular feature of Sketch as it lets you reuse elements — like buttons, icons, or even much larger components — easily across your document.
A good design is an essential part of every website and app. These days more and more companies are moving towards digital transformation for which they are always in need of a good enterprise mobility solution provider that can help them create their own digital presence, and reach more and more people via mobile apps and websites too. Designers use multiple tools and approaches, out of which some workout and some not. The Sketch is a powerful tool and has become a crucial one for today’s UI and UX designers. The regular feature updates improve the workflow considerably. Hope the above excerpt will help those who are just getting started in a UX career, or who are making the shift to Sketch for a design workflow.