So I Finally Tried Out Sketch 3…

Last updated: September 18, 2014

It seems all the designers over at LayerVault News aka Designer News talk about on an almost daily basis is Sketch 3 by Bohemian Coding. This product is touted as a successor to Adobe’s now discontinued Fireworks application. I am a massive Fireworks fan, in-fact, I still use it over Photoshop.

Things that Sketch 3 gets right…

  • Ability to export SVG files
  • Everything is a vector, so you can resize all vector items to your hearts content without them losing detail
  • The UI is quite nice to look at
  • It feels a lot more stable than Adobe Fireworks for most things (in the short few days I’ve been using it)
  • Effects are all based on CSS. Unlike Photoshop which ships with numerous effects that aren’t easily replicable in CSS.

Things that Sketch 3 does not get right…

  • SVG export functionality is buggy and sometimes the result SVG file is wrong
  • Inability to work with Fireworks PNG files (for an app pretty much shopped as a Fireworks alternative, this is a big deal)
  • Inability to work with PSD files (they open, but they’re flattened)
  • Grid system creation feels limited and not as flexible as Fireworks which allowed me to move individual guides around
  • Source files for designs can’t be handed over to developers on platforms other than Mac OS who have a copy of Sketch 3 on their machine. Some argue developers shouldn’t get source designs, as a developer, I disagree as it makes getting font sizes, colours and spacing much easier
  • Lack of option to export a Photoshop PSD file that can be imported into Photoshop and edited

Understandably, Sketch is new on the scene and Bohemian Coding has significantly smaller team working on Sketch, a smaller budget and hasn’t had the luxury like Adobe to work on the product for 20+ years.

I think Sketch is very promising and it will only continue to get better, but for fully-blown design, from idea to development, it still has a while to go just yet before we can replace Photoshop with it. The support just isn’t there to cover the entire design to dev workflow, especially when it comes to providing source files for developers on other platforms.




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