Yelp Facebook LinkedIn YouTube Twitter Instagram

Classes available in-person (strict social distancing) or live online with an extended free retake period. See details.

Noble Desktop Blog | Tutorials, Resources, Tips & Tricks

Articles on: Sketch

Adobe XD, Sketch, Figma, & Photoshop for Web, UI, & UX Design

When designing digital products such as websites and apps. there are many apps to choose from. Which one is right for you? In this article we’ll talk about Adobe XDSketchFigma, and Adobe Photoshop.

Adobe XD

XD is the newest of these apps, and Adobe is putting a lot of effort into developing it quickly. Updates are released every 1–2 months, and XD has come a long way since the first beta versions.

XD aims to be the all-in-one solution for UX/UI design from wireframes to visual design, visual prototyping, voice prototyping, animation, and more. Despite XD being a relatively young app, it has some features (such as voice prototyping and repeat grid) that are not found in its competitors. While it is more advanced in some ways, it does lack some essential features. For example, there is no color management so on Display P3 monitors (like iMacs and Mac laptops use) the colors are not accurate, you can’t add multiple fills/strokes, and text styles are merely a find/change for formatting, just to name a few. Not having true styles severely limits their use because you’ll accidentally change things you didn’t intend to. There are no graphic/object styles, and exporting features are poorly implemented. Keep in mind that each app in this list has pros and cons, so none of them are perfect (Sketch and Figma also have their own set of limitations with styles for example).

Because XD came later to the game, it can open up Sketch, Photoshop, and Illustrator files and convert them into fully editable XD files. This makes it easier to switch to XD from those other apps. Being an Adobe app, it also integrates better, allowing you to edit photos in Photoshop and send an XD file to After Effects (if you need something beyond the animations you can create within XD).

XD has gained enough features that designers and companies are now starting to use it. Especially on small projects, some of the missing/poorly implemented features won't be much of an issue. However on larger projects, those limitations might become a bigger issue. Adobe has been rapidly fixing things and adding features, so we’re seeing more and more people choosing Adobe XD.

Overall XD is quick and easy to use. We like the integrated design approach Adobe is going for, and we look forward to seeing XD continue to improve. It’s especially strong in UX design, prototyping, and animation when compared to the other apps.

You can use XD for free to see if you like it. The free version of XD gives you the full app, but with some limitations such as only one shared link (for prototypes and design specs) and no ability to save local files. If you need any of the premium features (such as multiple shared links or the ability to work with local files), you can get XD for $9.99/month (USD) or XD with all the CC apps for $52.99 (USD).

Learn more in our Adobe XD classes.

Web Design UX Design UI Design Sketch Adobe Adobe XD

Optimizing SVG Files

What is SVG?

SVG stands for scalable vector graphics. It’s an XML-based coded file format that enables us to use vector graphics in webpages.

Why Should You Optimize SVG Files?

Design apps such as Sketch, Adobe XD, and Illustrator code SVG files differently. Some produce cleaner code than others. Regardless of what app codes the SVG file, it’s likely that the code can be further optimized, offering cleaner code and a smaller file (which downloads faster). Loading speed is important because website speed is one factor that affects your website’s Google ranking.

Optimizing SVG files can have other benefits. Once we had an SVG file that Illustrator didn’t like. The SVG was exported from Sketch, and we were trying to open it in Illustrator. We got an error message and it appeared wrong in Illustrator. After optimizing the SVG file, it imported without error and looked correct!

Web Design Web Development UI Design Sketch Illustrator Adobe XD

Variable Fonts: Exciting for Designers & Developers

What are Variable Fonts?

Variable fonts are a new kind of font that allows for amazing new levels of flexibility. With just one font file you can alter thickness, width, or just about any attribute you can think of... all while keeping the file-size small (important for websites).

Do not limit your thinking to the standard options that you’ve seen before (bold, italic, extended, condensed, etc.). Font designers can make variable fonts do all sorts of cool things!

example of adjusting a variable font

Web Design Web Development UI Design Sketch Adobe Photoshop Illustrator Adobe XD

Choosing a Web/UI/UX Design App: Sketch, Photoshop, and Adobe XD

IMPORTANT: The information in this post has since become outdated. Read our more current article on this topic.

When designing digital products such as websites, apps, etc. there are many apps to choose from. Which one is right for you? While some people use Figma, InVision Studio, and others, in this article we’ll focus on what we consider the three industry front-runners: Sketch, Adobe Photoshop, and Adobe XD.

Sketch

While some designers are just now making the switch to Sketch, it’s been around since 2010. Sketch is a Mac only app, which is fine with most designers, but PC users will need to look at Adobe XD or Photoshop.

Sketch is great for UX/UI design. You can design wireframes or finished visual designs, and turn those into clickable prototypes using Sketch’s recently added prototyping tools or InVision’s Craft plugin.

Sketch has very powerful symbols and styles, which enable you to easily create complex design systems that are flexible and manageable across large projects. It also has decent exporting options.

Sketch costs $99 (USD) and you get a year of updates as well as Sketch Cloud. After the first year, you can continue using your last update for as long as you want with no other payments. However, if you want another year of updates and Sketch Cloud, you must renew your license for $69 (USD).

Sketch is a great option for Mac users that want an affordable and powerful design app.

Learn more in our Sketch class.

Web Design UX Design UI Design Sketch Adobe Adobe XD

Video Tutorial: Designing for Mobile

Learn about designing for mobile websites and apps. In this free class, we’ll cover numerous resources and info.

Want to learn more? Check out the following classes we offer:

Photoshop for Web Design & UI
Sketch in a Day
Adobe XD in a Day
Web Design Certificate
Responsive HTML Email
Mobile & Responsive Web Design

View the Presentation Slides

Free Classes Web Design Sketch Adobe Photoshop Adobe XD