PS vs Sketch - Whos winning the battle now?

8 years ago from , Head of Design

Since PS's recent updates has sketch started to loose the battle? If this is the end of Sketch, I still thank them for kicking Adobe up the bum and getting them to make changes.


  • Marko VuleticMarko Vuletic, 8 years ago (edited 8 years ago )

    I'll never go back to Photoshop for designing UI's again. Photoshop basically integrated Sketch in their interface by copying their best features.

    Why I'm not switching back:

    • Sketch is designed for UI design. Interface is simple and intuitive without clutter.

    • It's 100% vector. Exporting and upscaling assets is easy.

    • The community is amazing. You can find plugins for basically anything!

    • The team is small that actually listens to the customers. Which means the feature releases/bug fixes are going into production much faster than in Adobe's big corporation style management.

    Go Sketch!

    49 points
    • Dan WilkinsonDan Wilkinson, 8 years ago

      Spot on.

      I haven't used Photoshop for any UI design for over a year.

      I solely use Photoshop for editing imagery.

      Sketch FTW

      15 points
      • Sam Willis, 8 years ago

        100% agree on this.

        Photoshop for tricky photo manipulation that Sketch can't do (but was never built for).

        Sketch for everything else!

        4 points
      • Matt HallMatt Hall, 8 years ago

        Same here. Switched to Sketch in January and haven't looked back. As far as I'm concerned Photoshop still has it's uses but no longer for UI design.

        2 points
    • Mathias AdamMathias Adam, 8 years ago

      Basically Photoshop is a photo editor. Whatever they will doing, Sketch will win, because this is made for UI Design.

      One more thing, Sketch is a smart and good community, this is why the tool evolve faster than Adobe, They are small and smart team, listening their users.


      3 points
    • Ollie BarkerOllie Barker, 8 years ago

      While I agree with all your points I had one issue with Sketch that's stopped me using it for a while.

      I tried to pull in a vector world map and it completely died. It refused to handle that many shapes while Photoshop didn't have a problem.

      1 point
    • Brett JonesBrett Jones, 8 years ago

      For me, on top of all that, is the fact that in an effort to add Sketch-like features at a faster pace, Photoshop CC 2015 feels incredibly bloated and sluggish performance-wise, and many little irritating bugs are appearing.

      Bohemian Coding sometimes gets a bit of criticism for the stability of Sketch, but it's remarkable how stable it is when you consider the size of the team and the pace of development, when a monolithic team like the Photoshop team fall into the same pitfalls and arguably ship an even less stable product in the process.

      0 points
  • Daniel AdamsDaniel Adams, 8 years ago

    What a needless discussion. Just use what suits you best.

    Oh, by the way, there's a slight difference between lose and loose.

    25 points
    • Kyle CaseKyle Case, 8 years ago

      somebody is grumpy

      11 points
      • Daniel AdamsDaniel Adams, 8 years ago

        Not at all, I'm just saying the obvious. No one is capable of answering the question and we've way better things to seriously talk about than this.

        Also, I don't think it's the right place for passive aggressive insults.

        5 points
        • Sean LesterSean Lester, 8 years ago

          "Also, I don't think it's the right place for passive aggressive insults."

          "Oh, by the way, there's a slight difference between lose and loose."

          5 points
          • Daniel AdamsDaniel Adams, 8 years ago

            I see the point but it was meant to tell the author that in the voidness of his question there's still a difference in those words. So in case he's reading it, he can look it up, see the difference, benefit and avoid it next time. While "somebody is grumpy" is just the attempt to provoke someone.

            2 points
  • Dominik LevitskyDominik Levitsky, 8 years ago

    This debate can go on forever, but being a designer on Windows, there are not that many options left for me, except Adobe.

    12 points
    • Philip AmourPhilip Amour, 8 years ago

      Designers who use Windows are masochists. I know way to well as I had to use Windows + Photoshop for over 5 years because emulating Windows programs on Linux was terrible.

      3 points
      • Dominik LevitskyDominik Levitsky, 8 years ago (edited 8 years ago )

        Well, I tried Mac OS. I really wanted to love it. I really did. But somehow I just couldn't. After Windows I just felt that my every action was guided and somehow restricted. I don't know, maybe it's just me. But anyway, I really like Windows as the OS by itself.

        4 points
        • Giovanni HobbinsGiovanni Hobbins, 8 years ago (edited 8 years ago )

          I want to make the switch over but I am afraid of this very thing. But I'll probably bite the bullet purely for Sketch. I use Fireworks and Sketch looks like next-gen Fireworks.

          1 point
  • Paul TrottPaul Trott, 8 years ago

    Photoshop vs sketch? What an odd comparison. Personally, I use illustrator for UI design; have since early 2002. Combine illustrator and photoshop. Boom. That's a powerhouse package right there.

    I've tried sketch quite a few times, but found it quite clunky and buggy. Probably heaps better now, but I've upgraded to windows and can't try it out anymore.


    11 points
    • Mattan IngramMattan Ingram, 8 years ago

      Same here. I seriously don't get why people prefer Photoshop over Illustrator for UI design. The only valid complaint is Illustrator's poor bitmap output but since pretty much anything I mock up in Illustrator can be built with CSS or SVG on the web it doesn't actually matter.

      Photoshop is for PHOTOS.

      While Illustrator is probably for illustrating, it does a fantastic job as a UI editor. I'm tempted to switch to Sketch, but performance issues and some missing tools have prevented me thus far.

      Only downside of Illustrator is the idiotic line/point snapping that NEVER works right.

      Why Adobe chose to UIify Photoshop instead of improving Illustrator or bringing back Fireworks is beyond me.

      1 point
    • Noah C, 8 years ago

      Illustrator and Photoshop was created. It was call fireworks. It was a failure. We don't need tools that are decent at multiple things but a tool thats great/phenomenal in a specific area. Sketch does so. Their product was for the use of UI design etc. and has gained a supportive community.

      I design UI in illustrator and I'm not a fan. It's easy to get lost in layering and its not as pixel perfect at Sketch is. Sketch is the best when it comes to exporting assets to size etc.

      0 points
  • Amazing RandoAmazing Rando, 8 years ago

    Looks like no one has pointed out another obvious difference between Sketch and Photoshop—you own Sketch while you are only renting Photoshop.

    6 points
    • Marko VuleticMarko Vuletic, 8 years ago

      So true!

      1 point
    • Philip WeberPhilip Weber, 8 years ago

      You have a perpetual software license instead of a term one. Not a huge difference, but you don't own any of the software you didn't create.

      2 points
    • Cristian MoiseiCristian Moisei, 8 years ago

      You own Sketch 3, when Sketch 4 comes out you'll have to pay for it again (or pay for the update, depending on what Bohemian decides).

      I'm not defending Adobe's model but let's keep things accurate.

      0 points
  • Christian Poschmann, 8 years ago

    another sketch vs. PS discussion >.>

    5 points
  • Afonso MartinsAfonso Martins, 8 years ago

    PhotoShop, as the name indicates, is a photo editing application. It has the ability to do other things, like interface design, but it's not tailored for that.

    A fairer comparison would be Sketch vs Illustrator & InDesign. And Sketch is still missing a lot of basic features in typography and layout control that the Adobe apps offer. Working with baselines in Sketch is a nightmare, and character styles doesn't exist.

    5 points
  • Kyle GillenKyle Gillen, 8 years ago (edited 8 years ago )

    Sketch is still the better app for UI design (which is where I spend most of my designing time).

    In all honesty, Bohemian Coding would have to make some pretty huge missteps for me to consider a competitor, and I would exhaust all other options before returning to PS.

    I can't pinpoint the exact moment it stopped being 'fun' to do things in Photoshop, but I recall having a fully-spec'd out MB in 2012 and CS6 just sucked to run for any lengthy period of time.

    I'm not a fan of the subscription-only model they run either.

    To top it all off, Affinity Designer & Affinity Photo handle everything that I used to do in PS & Illustrator. God willing, they create some DTP software that allows me to open up InDesign files, then that would be the trifecta for me. I'm trying to go #AdobeFree ASAP.

    EDIT: Oh shit! Just realised DTP software is on their roadmap for the year, Affinity Publisher (scroll to the bottom). I don't work for these guys BTW, just really excited to finally have a company giving Adobe a run for their money (and not tying users to a subscription model).

    2 points
    • Chris Aalid, 8 years ago

      Totally agree with the last part — I'm really excited that there are these companies that are finally forcing Adobe to step things up.

      0 points
    • Josiah DJosiah D, 8 years ago

      This is exactly what I was wondering! I love Sketch, but their vector editing still leads me to open Illustrator every now and then.

      I'd been wondering if Affinity vector/photo would be a good replacement for PS/Ai, but was afraid to get rid of InD. Sounds like Publisher might solve that!

      How do you feel about the jump from PS/Ai to the Affinity programs?

      0 points
      • Kyle GillenKyle Gillen, 8 years ago (edited 8 years ago )

        Afinity Designer

        The performance of the Affinity apps are second-to-none. They have a really bold claim on their Designer page that reads:

        We don’t do spinning beach balls. Working in Affinity Designer is always live – pan and zoom at 60fps

        I was skeptical. Promising 60fps consistently seemed pretty ballsy - but it delivered. And haven't encountered a spinner yet.

        If you're using illustrator for logos, icons, etc. AD is going to have you fully covered. Perspective drawing and the likes? Not so much.

        I've personally come to prefer the AD interface. Adobe's UIs always felt overkill to me (of course nobody's using it for any longevity without customising it anyways, so take this comment with a pinch of salt). Having colorful tool icons makes recognition just that little bit faster. The jump bar is clutter-free which is a nice change.

        There's a couple of tools I would like to see added:

        1. variable stroke width (this may be available in some form)
        2. gradient mesh
        3. image trace

        But nothing I can't live without given the use-cases I mentioned above.

        Afinity Photo

        I think the biggest pro for Photo came after I'd tried using Pixelmator for a long time to replace PS. Now, there must be something to that app because people seem to rate it pretty highly, but damned if I could see the appeal. The simplest things took forever with that app (why can't I resize the canvas on the fly?!)

        Photo takes on just enough of the Adobe UI to make it intuitive, and packs enough features so that I can uninstall PS. I don't do much Photo editing as it is, and that's the only thing I've used PS for in 2+ years. So if you're a power-user and using it for more than that - I won't be much help as to what is missing.

        But the filters in Photo are great. Again, the UI has the same plusses as AD. The performance blows PS out of the water.

        If you haven't done so yet, go ahead and download the beta. I think the app is currently an RC or GM so you've got a little longer before they do the MAS release.

        And no doubt about it, I'm hotly anticipating Publisher. But they've said no info until the end of the year.

        2 points
  • Scott Johnson, 8 years ago

    Using Photoshop for screen design is like using a sledge hammer to play the piano.

    I made the switch from Fireworks to Sketch about a year and a half ago and am quite happy.

    2 points
  • Andrew LeeAndrew Lee, 8 years ago


    1 point
  • Alex YakirAlex Yakir, 8 years ago

    Isn't me the obvious comparison is Ai vs Sketch?

    1 point
  • Bryan LewisBryan Lewis, 8 years ago

    I've used Sketch for UI design for more than a year now. Before that I used Fireworks. Both are product made for UI Design & Designing for the web. I haven't used photoshop for UI design in about 5 years. I still use photoshop pretty much daily but it's for things like photography adjustments and other work that is primarily bitmap rather than vector.

    Long live Sketch and PS!

    Also, that new UI that PS integrated is cute. For some reason there's lag in the app though and that makes it super annoying. All in all though, a step in the right direction.

    1 point
  • Ben HicksBen Hicks, 8 years ago

    It's Sketch for me - I've never used PS for web, UI etc; always preferring Fireworks as that's what it was built for. Sketch has it's downfalls but it's always felt like a successor to Fireworks.

    I wish Adobe had resurrected FW instead of trying to shoehorn features from Sketch into PS.

    1 point
  • Kyle MitchellKyle Mitchell, 8 years ago

    PS is a great companion app for sketch. I need a tool like PS that can edit and crop photography that goes into my designs on sketch.

    But that's all it is to me now. I've been exclusively on sketch for ui design for the last 3 years. My developers have loved it, and I'm super happy with it. Not sure I'll ever go back, unless they make a standalone app for ui design (fireworks?)

    1 point
  • Dean HaydenDean Hayden, 8 years ago

    A month in Sketch and I've had an epiphany; it's the equivalent of InDesign or QuarkXpress for UI/Screen design. It's equally rubbish at illustrative design as it is photo manipulation. You could create icons in InDesign and do (limited) image manipulation but you wouldn't want to.

    What Sketch is very good at is producing layouts for screen. Sure, it has its quirks (type, double clicking everything!, scaling… the list could go on) but as soon as you understand its constraints it's all good.

    I'm not going to ditch my CC subscription any time soon as I need heavy lifting from Illustrator and Photoshop, not to mention other tools in the CC suite.

    No one is winning, we just have more arsenal.

    0 points
  • Vladimir KudinovVladimir Kudinov, 8 years ago

    We made a list with best tools for designer. And for now Sketch has a third place among best tools for UI Designer. And it's freaking crazy how fast this tool grow! http://market.designmodo.com/tools/ Now Sketch is the best tool for UI Design.

    0 points
  • Vinod RamamoorthyVinod Ramamoorthy, 8 years ago

    I've been using sketch(exclusively) for the last three months. I don't miss photoshop much. I don't suppose I would in the future either. Go Bohemian Coding!

    0 points
  • Brooks HassigBrooks Hassig, 8 years ago

    FWIW, after the latest PS update, a staunch Photoshop user on my team asked if he should switch. So that's a signal.

    On the other hand, I couldn't fully recommend that. Sketch is still buggy as sin. I love it, but only because I'm not as fast in Photoshop.

    0 points
  • Robert PaigeRobert Paige, 8 years ago

    So someone please explain to me how I'm supposed to hand-off my sketch file to a developer?

    0 points
  • Tom GurkaTom Gurka, 8 years ago


    0 points
  • Josiah DJosiah D, 8 years ago

    Adobe has become the Microsoft Office of the creative world, and their pricing is outlandish.

    My only hope for actually using Adobe programs is to try and get my company to upgrade to the latest model, and that's become more difficult now that it's an ongoing payment. I can't justify $50-$75 a month to rent software I may or may not use.

    I've loved Sketch since switching, and don't think there's any way I'd give it up to pay Adobe $600/yr (to infinity and beyond).

    I've been toying around with trying the Affinity programs. If they come through with the trifecta of vector/photo/publisher I may jump overboard from the USS Adobe.

    0 points
  • Surjith S MSurjith S M, 8 years ago

    This battle can start only after Sketch releases Windows version.

    Until then only few % of designers are using Mac.

    Little Big World dear. Not just US and UK :)

    0 points
  • Bruno MarinhoBruno Marinho, 8 years ago

    As far as I know there's no battle. But I believe that designers are winning by having one more option to choose.

    0 points
  • Chris MartzChris Martz, 8 years ago

    The battle for what?

    0 points
  • Nick SloggettNick Sloggett, 8 years ago


    0 points
  • Andy LeverenzAndy Leverenz, 8 years ago (edited 8 years ago )

    I use both. They are different applications with different strengths. I wrote about it here if anyone has interest - http://www.web-crunch.com/why-i-use-both-photoshop-and-sketch/

    0 points
  • Jonathan YapJonathan Yap, 8 years ago

    It's comparing apples and oranges, both are pretty sweet and they are both great if you want to make a salad. You just have to pick your flavour, whichever works for you.

    0 points
  • Kyle ConradKyle Conrad, 8 years ago

    It's not a battle. Both can (and should) be used in conjunction to design beautiful things.

    (Along with other tools such as Illustrator, AfterEffects, etc. etc. etc. etc.)

    0 points
  • vadim mikhnovvadim mikhnov, 8 years ago

    Uhm. No, not in the slightest. New “design” UI is a proof of concept, it's increadibly slow even on high-end Macbook Pro and if full of ridiculous bugs. Artboards are nice, but they are slow too, and in the end — not useable for everyday work. Then again, copying a few of Sketch features and adding them to the existing oversaturated feature-set won't work in the long run. They've still don't even have half of stuff from Sketch that UI designer needs, and obviously don't have other half which is not present in both PS and Sketch and which everyone designing interfaces craves for.

    0 points
  • Nicola GypsicolaNicola Gypsicola, 8 years ago

    I think in the end it all depends on what you using both software for. If you are using Photoshop to design UI or app (imho) you are already wrong. Photoshop wasn't create to do this kind of things, reason why (again imho) if you need to design an app or some UI, Illustrator was the best choice, previous to Sketch.

    Nowadays Sketch feels like the best choice when it comes down to app and UI as you can easily do most of the things you could do in photoshop and illustrator… it still bother me that sometimes is damn slow :(

    0 points
  • Philip AmourPhilip Amour, 8 years ago

    I agree to disagree. The latest version of Photoshop is more unstable and cumbersome (yeah, even more than before). I can't stress enough that Photoshop is bad tool for the job (if you're designing interfaces).

    It's an old dinosaur filled with unnecessary functionality and adding more functionality on top of something unstable is not really making it a better app.

    Sketch on the other side is pretty stable nowadays and it's also the best tool for the job out there. It's lightweight, fast and native to the platform. In addition to that it embraces and supports the platform functionalities. Compare that to Adobe that took over a year to add support for the retina macs, the fact that they don't support versions and resume (one of the most fundamental OS X features) and not to mention that Adobe 'malware' comes with the Windows-like installers that modify and create system files. Add required subscription and you got a recipe for poor user experience.

    0 points
  • Cosmin NegoitaCosmin Negoita, 8 years ago

    I guess it still depends from person to person. Personally I've always used PS. Sketch was and still is buggy as hell. At the end of the day, people use whatever suits them. If you feel comfortable using GIMP, then use it. The result is the important part.

    Sketch is playing a huge role in Photoshop's improvement, but in time Adobe could kill Sketch if they keep introducing its features (or even improving them). The best advantage for using Sketch is the price tag imo, the other things are expendable.

    0 points