Photoshop, Illustrator, and Sketch: Selecting a weapon of choice

For many years, Photoshop was my primary tool for comps. It was perfect for those early days of designing web sites and templates. And with some trickery, assets for dev teams could be produced. Though not often easily.

But as my work shifted to application interfaces, the volume of screens increased significantly. And often, these screens used the same components over and over again. I found myself managing far too many layers and smart objects, turning them on and off constantly for prototype exporting.

While working with some of the teams at Google in Mountain View, I noticed that more and more designers were switching to Illustrator, so I decided to give it a try. It opened up a whole new world, and a great deal of relief when managing assets.

Years later, while working with Merlin Entertianments in London, a member of the UX team asked me repeatedly why I wasn’t using Sketch. After some pushing, I gave it a try, and have found it to be incredibly strong for managing components and assets for consistency, not to mention export prototypes easily. I’ve completely converted once again, and couldn’t be happier.

In the end, it’s not about the tool, however. As designers, we use tools simply to communicate and deliver. So the best tool is the one that takes care of the fussy bits and allows us to spend time solving problems.