The world of UI design tools is constantly evolving. There are a number of options out there, but not all will work for your needs. Figma and Sketch are two popular choices that can help you to create responsive designs with ease.
Let’s take a look at the differences between these two in order to determine which one might be best suited for your project:
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Figma is a browser-based, vector graphic design application that offers the ability to create mockups for webpages, responsive layouts, and more. It’s an excellent tool if you work on multiple platforms or collaborate with colleagues remotely.
Sketch is a powerful vector app that makes it easy to create wireframes, logos, and more. It also supports team collaboration so that you can have input on your designs regardless of location or position in an organization.
Both are available as apps through their respective marketplaces (Apple App Store & Google Play). You can access these apps online with Figma at figma.com and Sketch at sketchapp.com.
Figma is compatible with most major OS platforms, including Windows, iOS, and Android. Sketch on the other hand is exclusively available for macOS. Sketch developers have made it clear that they do not plan to launch an app for Linux or Windows.
Many professionals agree that both Figma and Sketch offer similar performance when it comes to the speed of their features (hierarchical layer navigation, grouping/ungrouping elements on the canvas, etc.). Both apps support key commands like CTRL+Z or CMD+Z for undoing changes, which is convenient.
The following are some of Figma features:
The following are some of Sketch features:
In addition to supporting layer styles (drop shadow, inner shadow, strokes, borders, etc.) both apps offer a variety of fills and patterns as well as ‘Styles’. A style is a collection of properties that can be applied with a single click to any element on a canvas.
Element properties include color, width & height which are all adjustable from one place. In Figma, these styles can also be adjusted using sliders.
Styles and Symbols are very similar tools that make it easy to create reusable elements like buttons, icons, or logos for your design assets (see image below).
Sketch does offer more customizability as far as the number of properties that can be included in a symbol; however, both apps do allow you to set variants along with adjustable parameters.
Another unique component that is offered by Figma is the ability to connect other teams working on the same project through their ‘Figma’ app. This way multiple designers can work together in different countries and still share information seamlessly.
If you’re not working with team members collaboratively, this feature would serve no purpose for you.
Sketch is by far the most popular platform for graphic designers with a large number of plugins being developed specifically for Sketch.
The following are some of the most popular plugins you can access with Sketch:
The following are some of the most popular plugins you can use with Figma:
Both apps allow you to build interactive prototypes; however, if you’re looking to prototype animation within your designs, Figma’s Craft app would be more beneficial (see below).
With that said, both apps provide similar performance when designing static elements like logos or icons. For detailed animations like transitions between scenes in an app design, it seems that Figma is better equipped at this time.
Collaboration is essential when you’re working with a team. Both apps offer collaboration features that make it possible for multiple designers to work on the same project at once while being able to keep track of all design changes in real-time.
The only difference here would be that Figma offers an environment where designers can communicate more directly, which allows them to build upon each other’s ideas and improve collaboration within their teams.
Figma comes in three different plans, including a “free forever” version. The paid versions start at $12/month per user up to $45/month per user. Sketch has a flat monthly rate of $121 and does not have a free version: only a free trial period.
It’s very clear that both Sketch and Figma are great tools for UI designers. If you’re working with other team members, Figma would be the better option to go for due to its ability to connect multiple designers together.
On the other hand, if you require an application where you can work independently without collaboration options, Sketch is still a good choice since it offers more customizability in terms of plugins available which will make your workflow faster.
The same goes when prototyping detailed animations within designs; however, if all you need is to build transitions between screens for simple apps, then both apps perform equally well at this task.
When it comes down to the price difference between the two the over $100 difference is huge, making Figma the obvious choice. But again, there’s more to UI tools than their pricing.
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