Designers regularly debate the merits of Figma vs. Sketch. It is common to stumble upon discussions like which User Experience/User Interface design tool is best in the design world. The most popular products are Sketch, Adobe XD, and Figma. These discussions typically lead to comparisons of the best design systems. Before your business decides which tool to use, compare two of the industry leaders, Figma vs. Sketch.
Choosing the best design tool for your company can be difficult, and searching online can yield confusing and contradictory results. One of the hottest debates currently in visual product design is which design tool is the best. So, which of these two vector tools, Figma or Sketch, is best for app designers to work with?
If you want to figure out whether the Figma or Sketch design system is what you need for your app development project, you’ve come to the right place. In this post, we will compare Figma vs. Sketch, discuss their similarities and differences, cover all of the features that matter to designers, and pick which one is best suited for app design and development.
Hopefully, this post will help your company clarify which product design tool is best suited for your needs. The truth is Figma and Sketch are both excellent tools, but one is likely better suited to meet the needs of your business and its projects than the other. Let’s explore this issue in greater detail below.
Vector Graphics Editors
A vector graphic editor is a powerful prototyping tool designers use in most design projects. They enable designers to layer styles, design software with unique text styles, and more. Sketch and Figma are used in various projects and are particularly helpful for anything related to the visual side of software development. One of the most potent uses of this type of software is web development, but it can be used to design mobile app User Interfaces, fantastic web apps, and more.
There are few digital development projects that these design tools can’t be used on. The best design and development teams create stunning prototypes and mockups to visualize the project’s direction. It is exceedingly rare for a development team to begin working without a visual prototype to reference.
No matter what the purpose of your project is, whether you want to build a web or mobile app, or another type of digital product, a vector graphic editor is the perfect tool. These tools help app designers build app layouts for a wide variety of mobile devices and can also be used to design mockups. In addition, these designs help project managers and other team members get an idea of how an app will look once finished, facilitating user testing and feedback loops. Feedback is convenient, especially when testing your app’s UX design.
The User Experience of your software solution should not be underestimated. A poor UX will drive users away from your app or website faster than anything else. This is because there are too many options available to people. They will not continue to use a digital product with a shoddy User Interface and poor User Experience when so many apps and websites deliver on these fronts.
Although most app design tools offer the same essential functions, they differ in certain aspects. In these similarities and differences, we can determine which one is best for building your digital product. First, let’s take a look at what designing an app demands.
Guaranteeing users an engaging experience has become necessary for any type of app. As a result, development teams are giving user data a closer look and placing a greater emphasis on an app’s design elements. This can be explained for various reasons.
For a start, it is impossible to conceive of a world-class app that does not focus on UX/UI. Additionally, visually appealing apps have better chances of engaging users. We know that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but in the case of apps, this doesn’t apply. Users want to use products that look great and perform intuitively.
Figuring out these two design aspects requires app development and design teams to work together to achieve outstanding results that users will love. This becomes even more relevant if a development team focuses on an Agile work methodology.
Developers and designers need to be able to communicate clearly. Collaborating on design enables teams to share ideas and find solutions in effective and impactful ways. This becomes helpful during sprints, especially when you have to make the most out of project deadlines.
Figma and Sketch: The Differences
One minor difference between Sketch and Figma is the wording. Although they have the same essential design elements and tools, they are referred to differently. For example, Sketch’s symbols are known as components in Figma. This shouldn’t be an obstacle if you know your way around design tools. We like Figma’s components because they allow you to make changes directly to your work; Sketch, on the other hand, requires you to go to the symbols panel. Again, this sounds like something minor, but it can save you a lot of time working.
Another important difference is that Figma is a web app, while Sketch is a desktop app. This allows Figma to run on a browser, helping you place the computing workload on the server-side of the app without affecting performance; this means your computer will reduce its workload. Additionally, you will be able to share a design file easily with your team members and stay on the same page in real-time, like collaborative Google docs.
On the contrary, Sketch Cloud is more of a folder than a real-time collaboration feature. In other words, it can be pretty restrictive for collaboration. But, on the other hand, this restriction can benefit projects on which you wouldn’t want an entire team to share their thoughts.
When choosing between Sketch and Figma, you need to consider your computing power. If your computers are not very powerful or are running several other programs and applications, you’ll likely want to use Figma since it is an Internet app. On the other hand, if you have available computing resources and want to keep work more private or isolated from other work, the Sketch Windows or mac app might be the best choice for your project.
Figma and Sketch: The Similarities
In general, both Figma and Sketch have the same UI design tools. As a result, the UI designers who know how to use them properly can get amazing results. But, ultimately, achieving great results depends on specific design skills and experience, not on the tool you use.
Another similarity is that both programs were designed and developed expressly for designers. Whatever you do with these tools, you will be able to scale and adapt them to the needs of your team or client. Both are good for Agile working environments.
It is worth noting that, for some projects, using Sketch can demand that you use other programs like InVision or Zeplin. This becomes relevant if you want to collaborate and share in real-time. However, this real-time collaboration issue is not a problem with Figma. With it, you can do everything in your product design workflow. This includes creating, collaborating, prototyping, sharing, and getting feedback.
Using Figma’s Strengths
If we had to sum up Figma’s strengths in a few words, it would be real-time design. Because of how it is built, it has a very strong creative focus on team collaboration. Sharing, placing comments, and viewing changes are very straightforward, even for users who don’t know the app. This makes us wonder if the web version is the future for many other apps. Only time will tell, but it looks so, and this might make a lot of users switch from Sketch to Figma.
In terms of app development, using an online app and being able to share information easily in real-time is a game-changer. Don’t just think of this feature as something nice to have. In reality, it can help improve team collaboration and the quality of the process with which you build top-quality design pieces. Lastly, consider that, most likely, you will not need any additional programs working with Figma. It is complete, easily updated (like any good Internet app), and constantly being improved. Plus, Figma’s free version has a lot to offer for businesses that want to try it before buying.
Vector Networks in Figma
Unlike Sketch, Figma is a free-form vector tool. As a result, Figma’s vector networks can diverge in different directions. Other design tools use a fixed direction which creates paths in a loop; this makes vectors try to reconnect to the initial spot. Vector networks in Figma allow users to design complex structures within one object, using the same properties. This feature saves time and makes Figma stand out among competitors.
The ability to have divergent vector networks might seem like a minor capability. However, if you have ever extensively used a design application, you know how frustrating and time-consuming it can be to constantly correct and work around fixed vector paths.
Using Sketch’s Strengths
One major Sketch strength is its plugins. Sketch plugins have been on the market for some years now, making it a favorite for plugin developers. Even if updating its desktop app is not as easy as an online app, Sketch plugins can help you add new features and stay up to date with any important changes.
We can’t go through every Sketch plugin in this post, but there is a wide variety of different tools and features that you can access via a plugin. In addition, businesses can customize Sketch’s capabilities to meet the needs of the design project at hand.
The second most important strength is that a Sketch file can be easily accessed offline. Because it is installed directly on your computer, you don’t have to worry about having access to the Internet to work with Sketch design files. This is something that users who are constantly on the move will surely appreciate.
Today, more skilled employees are working remotely and on the go. Desktop apps like Sketch work offline. If your team uses Figma files, you might lose availability if the Internet is inaccessible.
Figma vs. Sketch: Final Thoughts
Figma and Sketch are two powerful design tools that any app development team needs, no matter what operating system you are working on. They are easy to use and help improve your team’s work, making the project pipeline leaner. In conclusion, they can be used to build amazing digital products.
When it comes to choosing the best of them, we believe that collaboration is key as an app development company. For the time being, we consider Figma to be better suited for building apps. Figma’s easy sharing, collaboration, and prototyping features help teams get work done in smart ways. Thanks to this, the app can be easily integrated into Agile-based projects. For any app development team, this is very important.
However, this doesn’t mean that you couldn’t use Sketch successfully to design a stunning application. The key is to weigh what aspects are most important to your business. For example, you might prefer Sketch to Figma after experimenting with both. Do you want to encourage collaboration, or do you want offline access at any time?
At Koombea, we take design very seriously. We make sure our designers and developers have access to the best tools in the market. This philosophy has allowed our team to complete over 1000 projects and products that our customers love, making the process fun and, more importantly, collaborative. So feel free to share with us which design app you think is the winner in the Figma vs. Sketch debate