I want to learn Sketch. What the hell should I do?

6 years ago from , Conceptual Engineer. Dribbble.com/numecca

Update: Just want to thank everybody for their thoughtful replies. Oh my God, you guys/gals/others are the best!!!

I have a confession to make...

I am lazy and I never transitioned from photoshop. I want to, but I don't know where to start.

I love Pablo Stanley. He has a crash course on Sketch, but I know we are past the version of Sketch he's using.

The problem is the paradox of choice. So many places to go, and I have no idea where I should start.

Any recommendations would be appreciated "mightily."

Thanks guys/gals!


  • Jimmy HookerJimmy Hooker, 6 years ago

    I wanted to redesign our app (which was previously done in Photoshop), and so I just dove in and did it with Sketch. Instead of starting with tutorials first (which to me is a bit like putting the cart before the horse), I just started the project, and when I hit problems or didn't know how to do something, I looked up solutions.

    This has it's positives and negatives: - Pro: You dive in and learn quickly on a real project without doing boring studying - Con: You can often miss out on best practices that might save you a lot of time

    You ultimately have to decide what works best for you, but I'm a trial-by-fire type of person.

    For me, the increase in my speed of designing interfaces by moving to Sketch was pretty wild. I was slower at first, but quickly gained momentum and familiarity. The file sizes are much smaller than PS, it uses way less memory, and it's very forgiving. There are a ton of actions that take a shorter amount of time to execute, and these stack so that the overall feel of working in Sketch is just way, way better.

    There will probably end up being comments in here about just using Figma instead. I can't speak to that, but I honestly can't imagine most design shops switching tools again in such a short time. Everyone moving to Sketch actually took a long time (the perfect execution of the 'slowly, then suddenly' principle), with a lot of hesitation on a lot of teams (and there are still plenty of holdouts). Whole workflows and expertise were built around Photoshop, and it's not a small switch to jump tools. Now it's considered almost backwards to do interface work outside of Sketch. Predictions are for fools, but I don't see Figma being the tool of choice anytime soon, even though it has some compelling features.

    12 points
    • Arthur Simon, 6 years ago

      Some people just don't like subscriptions so I don't think there will be a mass exodus from Sketch to Figma anytime soon.

      0 points
      • Ktrn DsrsKtrn Dsrs, 6 years ago

        I agree on this. No local files is a big deal to me…

        0 points
        • David SvezhintsevDavid Svezhintsev, 6 years ago

          I do see your points there, but if we're talking about solo work or a very small team, I'd pick Figma any time. It's free. You don't have to download cracked versions if you're just starting out. You don't have to spend $99 or starting a trial, just to find yourself hooked to a tool and having to pay to continue using it. It does lack some features that come out of the box with Sketch, but you can say the same the other way around.

          Filesize is non existent hence the cloud, and not having "local" files aren't that big of a deal in our age of technology and wi-fi spots in every corner. I'm talking about US of course so your experience might be different.

          I do see the problem with subscription, but, sketch license has it's downfalls because it has one license, which costs $99 and only takes care of one person. So in all you have to add "seats" and that costs grows up big time. Figma is using $12/person/month, so it might actually get more expensive, I can't tell. You can also have a team of two people in Figma for free.

          Have been using Sketch for 3 years, and then within a day I switched to Figma. Never looked back.

          I only miss some plugins, like Looper... But honestly, it was just for play more than anything. I don't see myself using Craft plugins at all because instead of using dummy data I started caring for content, where it goes and how it will look like in the end. There's always lorem ipsum for help, so why bother making it more "prettier".

          1 point
      • Ktrn DsrsKtrn Dsrs, 6 years ago

        On the side of communication and innovation, Figma is 1000x better than Sketch and I think it will only get better.

        I have few question where I keep scratching my head on:

        • If there is any plan for a possibility to work offline on our file
        • Most of the time native apps are far more reactive than browser apps, a benchmark file or use case to see how stand Figma against Sketch on big project would grab my attention
        • Custom shortcuts
        • Any feature that act like "Auto Layout" by Anima, probably my best plugin on Sketch so far…!

        Thank you for your awesome time!

        0 points
        • David SvezhintsevDavid Svezhintsev, 6 years ago

          I'll agree that a test file, a file that is identical in sketch & figma would be an interesting way to see which is better performance wise. Now, how do we determine what is "big project" though. What that "big project" needs to utilize that gets both tools to the limits.

          0 points
          • Ktrn DsrsKtrn Dsrs, almost 6 years ago

            This is quite random since a file would have to be made specifically on each platform. The reason is that Sketch is coming with a external library feature like Figma and at the moment, there is no way to import Sketch with included libraries in Figma yet since it is quite new…!

            0 points
    • Numecca ., 6 years ago

      Thank you so much for you thoughtful comment!

      0 points
    • Numecca ., 6 years ago

      Thank you. Can't see my comments. At an airport and in a rush. If this gets repeated, then fuuuukkkk :)

      0 points
  • Richel TongRichel Tong, 6 years ago

    Once you use Sketch, you'll never go back to PS. I can guarantee that. Learn it, and your developers and fellow designers would love you. ;)

    5 points
  • David SvezhintsevDavid Svezhintsev, 6 years ago

    How I started:

    1. Opened Sketch.

    2. Asked myself if I can design same website I just have designed in photoshop, only using Sketch tools.

    3. Familiarized myself with all shortcuts along the way.

    4. Figured out key-functionalities like Masking, flipping, type changes.

    5. Learned more about artboards and how to use them.

    6. Learned about importing and cropping images in Sketch.

    7. Embraced components one step at a time.

    Within a full day of playing I had a grasp of Sketch, it's key functions. I felt the speed of Sketch. Speed and freedom I have never felt before. That is until Figma came out and I transitioned to Figma within a day by creating Rick and Morty art with my friend live: https://www.figma.com/file/bi8iUVZx3f125iLiWeLTCU5d/FigmaWins

    Also we need to understand what Sketch is being used for: Web / App interfaces. Image editing is very limited in Sketch/Figma, so I wouldn't recommend to use it for that purpose. I find myself constantly launching Photoshop/Illustrator to make image adjustments needed to Photos or textures I'm working with, so it doesn't replace that part. Also Vector editing is limited in Sketch & Figma, so I also fire Illustrator all the time to clear up SVG's for export.

    4 points
  • Johan MichelsJohan Michels, 6 years ago

    Recreate a design you've already done before. So you can focus on your new tool (Sketch) instead of making design decisions. And after +/-2 days you'll be rocking your new Sketch skills :)

    2 points
  • Andu PotoracAndu Potorac, 6 years ago

    Just delete Photoshop.

    2 points
    • Clay MacTavishClay MacTavish, 6 years ago

      I use Sketch mostly but I find Photoshop is still very useful.

      0 points
    • Interested Curious, 6 years ago

      it's so fascinating that no one does any sort of photo manipulation in design anymore. If it was strictly interfaces and vector based work being done i can't fathom why the designer type in question would use the one raster based choice of the adobe set, and not illustrator or indesign, which were far and away stronger choices for layouts and type.

      2 points
  • John PJohn P, 6 years ago

    It's honestly not difficult in the slightest, stop being lazy and open the app.

    1 point
  • Roberts Ozolins, 6 years ago

    If you have used any design software before, there is not a lot to learn about Sketch. It's all self-explanatory. There is a lot less functionality than in PS. Just watch a few YouTube videos and you should be ready to roll.

    1 point
  • Lu Na, 6 years ago

    Read this book: http://www.sketch-handbook.com

    1 point
  • Account deleted 6 years ago

    I don't think there is something to learn. Just read about symbols and common tricks and that's it.

    1 point
  • Alex ChanAlex Chan, 6 years ago

    The best way would be to just make something in Sketch. Take a design you've completed in Photoshop and re-make it in Sketch. Once you run into a scenario where you aren't familiar with in Sketch (e.g., how do I mask a layer?), Google the answer.

    1 point
  • Adam RasheedAdam Rasheed, 6 years ago

    Shameless plug: Watch my YouTube channel :)

    1 point
  • evan kosowski, 6 years ago

    Listen to Jimmy Hooker. I tried it twice and hated it until my third try. Once I made it an imperative, I became comfortable. It was the best decision of my career. Yes. Sketch is that much better for product and web design. I am happy and thankful everyday for knowing it. Do it. It's just a necessary evil that will turn into a necessary best friend.

    0 points
  • Jake HaugenJake Haugen, 6 years ago

    I agree with the "just dive in" method. I've worked with many designers who picked Sketch up super quickly. I found it fairly easy to pick up as well. Having said that, there are a ton of small things that will make you way more efficient that you won't learn if you don't ask a ton of questions or follow tutorials. I think it's best to find someone who is an expert and will let you ask questions as you learn. If you don't have one of those people around, following some tutorials may be a valid option.

    Here are a couple random tips that come to mind:

    • Symbols can be amazing or a huge pain in the ass. Start by using them all the time and figure out how they fit into your workflow.

    • Sketch has a built in "versioning" feature (File > Revert to). I never got in the habit of using it but I wish I would as it's a lot easier than saving a million versions of your file.

    • Avoid importing crazy, complex vector graphics. It will slow things down. Just import them as an image and edit them in Illustrator.

    • Download InVision's "Craft". It's awesome.

    Good luck! Sketch is great. You'll never go back. I throw a hissy fit every time I have to open up Photoshop now.

    0 points
  • Pete Schirmer, 6 years ago

    don't do it! switch to affinity designer instead ;p

    0 points
  • Jared KrauseJared Krause, 6 years ago

    I learned by recreating my existing Photoshop design in Sketch, and googling tutorials for things I couldn't figure out. My Sketch version ended up even better.

    Took me only a few days to fully transition. Highly recommend. I was also stubborn in switching, but Sketch has made my life so much easier. I can't imagine going back to PS anytime soon.

    0 points
  • Zsolt Kacso, 6 years ago

    Not trying to be funny, but start by using it. It's really not rocket science.

    0 points
  • Jordan Simpson, 6 years ago

    I found InVisions course on switching to sketch quite useful.


    0 points
  • Spencer HaizelSpencer Haizel, 6 years ago

    Install Gravit instead.


    0 points
  • Mark JenkinsMark Jenkins, 6 years ago

    I find it's a good idea to apply learning/new things to an actual project, rather than copying a desing/making something random.

    You can then see how Sketch might fit into your workflow and ways it can improve (hopefully) the speed at which you work.

    Roll up your sleeves, get stuck in and enjoy it :)

    0 points
  • Jason Kanzler, 6 years ago

    find a website you like and try to recreate it in sketch. its a VERY easy to learn program and if you are at all familiar with design programs you should be able to pick it up in less than a few hours. once you start using it you'll never go back to designing in ps

    0 points