Raise your hand if you are using an Adobe product.
Raise your hand if you are satisfied with that product.
Hmmm, less hands up the second time around. We felt the same way.
As UI designers the Adobe pallet has not been working that well for us lately. We have been creating layouts, wildly jumping back and forth between Illustrator and Photoshop and have spent precious time waiting for the gianormous master PSDs to become editable. Edge Reflow seemed quite promising at first and might actually will be a good solution in a few versions to come. We could never chime into the gospel of Fireworks because it kept crashing on us.
<3 Sketch App & Affinity Designer<3
But then we found Sketch App and fell in love immediately. It is way more efficient when designing UI. Text styles and symbols are edited just as fast as in code and allow you to design in an UI designer logic. Optimizing your design for various screen resolutions is a stroll in the park! And do not get me started on the party that is asset and CSS export!
Our newest crush is Affinity Designer. It is the best of the two worlds of Illustrator and Photoshop. We have been working with vectors in Photoshop for quite some time but some tasks are simply solved quicker when done in Illustrator. And that is the moment the jumping begins. If you start the project in Illustrator the jumping begins as soon as you have to work on pixel graphics.
The drizzle on the parade
The problem? When we start raging about these new options to our clients or project groups we get the “but” talk.
Yeah, sounds awesome…
but we don’t know the program.
but we won’t be able to open the files in our programs.
but we don’t use Macintosh and can’t buy the programs
but these programs are made by smaller companies, who knows how long they will be around for.
Those might sound like some valid arguments but – except for the “we don’t use Macintosh – they don’t hold up. Sketch and Affinity operate very similar to Adobe products and the orientation phase is very brief. Affinity is even working on compatibility of their documents with the Adobe pallet and when it comes to frontend developers, we have never actually seen the necessity for them having to open files with visual design. Isn’t that what a style guide and asset hand-over is for?
Quo vadis design tools?
The big question here is: When did design become all about what software is used?
There are many tools to create code, many to create wireframes. Why can’t it be the same for visual design? Maybe these new tools are the beginning of getting back to more choices for visual design. Maybe they will be swallowed by Adobetron some time in the near future. We don’t know, but why not save time (and money) in the mean time by using them while they are what they currently are?
For us they are currently the better choice. We will keep on working with these new apps and see how many clients and project groups we can convert. If you have not tried them yet: DO IT TODAY!
And as Journey says:
“Don’t stop believing.”
We sure wont!