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How to Learn Sketch

Explore the world of UX design with Sketch, a user-friendly tool for creating complex, interactive UI layouts for webpages and digital applications. Whether you're looking to kickstart your career or just want to learn a new skill, this guide will help you navigate the various classes and training options available for mastering Sketch.

Key Insights

  • Sketch is a unique UX design tool that allows users to build interactive and complex UI layouts for webpages and digital applications. It's vector graphic designs are optimized for any screen size.
  • There are numerous learning options for Sketch, including books, video tutorials, classes, and more. The best option depends on the learner's style and personal preferences.
  • Different Sketch training options are suited for different goals. Career-focused training programs are ideal for those looking to use Sketch professionally, while introductory courses are perfect for those wanting to experiment with the program.
  • Sketch is an excellent skill for macOS users interested in UI design. It is a cost-effective program that is easy to learn but also includes comprehensive tools for experienced users.
  • Sketch offers different subscription options, with a monthly fee of $9 per editor or a yearly subscription available for $99 per person.
  • Noble Desktop provides a range of Sketch courses at their Manhattan campus, and also makes all its in-person classes available as live online course offerings.

Sketch is a user-friendly UX design tool for building interactive, complex UI layouts for webpages and mobile applications. As one of the oldest UI design tools still in regular use, Sketch has a massive library of resources that users can draw from to help them learn the program. The number of options for learning Sketch might be overwhelming at first glance. There are books, video tutorials, classes, and more to choose from; it all depends on your learning style and personal preferences. 

Here, we’ll discuss the various methods of learning Sketch so you can decide how you’d like to get started.

What is Sketch?

Sketch is a design tool for creating user interface (UI) layouts for webpages and mobile applications. Sketch is a vector-graphics design program, meaning that the assets created can be modified and resized for optimal performance on screens of any size. Sketch’s significant features include its easy customization tools, digital collaboration tools, and, most importantly, Sketch symbols. Sketch symbols let users create reusable design elements that can be modified individually, allowing users to build layout assets like buttons and drop-down menus, which all look the same but function differently as the design demands. Advanced Sketch users can use the built-in tools to make even more complex, interactive symbols to optimize their workflow and the functionality of their design.

Sketch originated on the macOS app store and is only available on machines that run off macOS. Therefore, the program can be slightly limiting but is built with the specific functionalities of this operating system in mind. Sketch has features common to almost all macOS native programs, such as touch bar support, Retina and non-Retina displays, and native font rendering. These features allow macOS device users to learn Sketch more efficiently and quickly pick up advanced skills. Web designers can also create layouts designed to operate on devices like next-generation iPhones. The functionalities of Sketch designs won’t be limited to these devices, but the program gives users the tools to optimize their layouts for specific platforms.

In recent updates, Sketch has added new features to make collaboration and prototyping easier for teams of users. Sketch lets designers work together to build clickable prototypes of their webpages that designers can distribute for testing and iteration, a crucial feature of any user-interface design software. And Sketch is constantly evolving to meet the needs of its users.

Read more about what Sketch is and why you should learn it.

What Can You Do with Sketch?

Sketch allows web designers to create layouts for webpages and mobile applications. Users can create vibrant, interactive webpage models for testing and development using text, images, graphic designs, and artboards. Because Sketch is a vector graphics illustration tool, these designs are easily reusable and scalable. They can be optimized to work on any-sized screen and used in multiple contexts in any design layout. Sketch also recently added advanced features for collaboration and prototyping, allowing team members to work together more efficiently to build model user interfaces.

Sketch’s most unique features are symbols and reusable digital interface assets that can be replicated across multiple pages. Sketch lets users define symbol characteristics to repurpose them as the design warrants. In addition, users can manually override the function of individual symbols, letting users give each asset a different interactive functionality without having to start from scratch. More advanced users can build complicated, multi-purpose symbols that make designing interfaces a breeze.

Sketch also has a robust community of designers and developers who are constantly building new adds-on and templates for Sketch. Users who learn Sketch can take advantage of these resources to make working with the program more straightforward and efficient. Since this community is so active, new resources are available daily.

In-Person Sketch Training

One option for students hoping to learn Sketch is enrolling in an in-person training seminar. These courses allow students to learn directly from expert instructors in a close, personal setting alongside a cohort of colleagues. In-person courses are ideally suited to students who want to learn Sketch in a distraction-free environment and interact directly with their instructors to receive assistance and feedback. Classroom courses also provide the technology needed to learn the program. The major downside to in-person instruction is that most providers have only one location, usually in a major city, which is inaccessible for some students.

Noble offers a range of in-person Sketch courses at their Manhattan campus. These courses range from bootcamps and seminars to in-depth career-focused certificate programs. Students who do not live near NYC can use Noble’s Classes Near Me tool to find the in-person Sketch training options available in their area.

Live Online Sketch Training

Live online training is an excellent option for students who live in an area without many in-person training options. These courses offer many of the same benefits as in-person classes, most notably the ability to interact directly with a live instructor who can answer questions and provide feedback. From the comfort of their own homes, students practice Sketch with guided exercises, live explanations of concepts, and practical projects. Courses are taught live, requiring students to attend on specific days and times, which may be a drawback for those who need more flexible scheduling. Students must also supply their own technology, which may be difficult for programs like Sketch that have specific requirements.

Noble makes all its in-person classes available as live online course offerings, maintaining the small class sizes and direct access to instructors. These courses are available to students anywhere in the country, allowing them to learn how to use Sketch without demanding that they commute to a major city. Students interested in learning about and comparing online Sketch training resources should consult Noble’s Classes Near Me tool to find live online Sketch classes.

Free Online Courses & Tutorials

Students who want to learn Sketch but are undecided about investing in an immersive training course may wish to consider exploring the free online options available. While these courses won’t replace professional skills training for those looking to build a career using Sketch, they are great for familiarizing users with the program in preparation for an in-depth training course.

Noble offers free seminars and training courses through the free seminars page on its website and the Web Design and Development playlist on its official YouTube channel. These videos guide users through the basic principles of user interface (UI) design, user experience (UX) design philosophies, and the differences between Sketch and other major UX design platforms. These tools are ideal for students just entering the world of web design as they are built to give new users necessary background training in advance of more in-depth skills instruction. Noble also provides blog posts, interviews, and other articles through the Sketch tag on its official blog.

Sketch also offers free tutorials through their website. These micro tutorials and blog posts will help users get a handle on the Sketch interface and set them on the right path as they begin designing their first UI project. These tutorials are ideal for students who aren’t familiar with navigating design interfaces or aren’t sure what kinds of projects Sketch is optimized to build.

Free course options are also available through other service providers, such as General Assembly and Udemy.

Read about more free Sketch videos and online tutorials.

On-Demand Sketch Classes

Some students may find that live training options simply do not fit their needs. They may have work or family commitments, prefer self-paced learning options, or are simply unable to attend classes regularly. For these students, on-demand Sketch training may be an ideal alternative. These courses let students control their education, giving them the tools they need to learn and practice Sketch in a focused and informed manner. The drawback to on-demand courses is that students must be self-motivated to keep in practice and are responsible for troubleshooting any obstacles, which can be difficult for those unaccustomed to online classes.

On-demand courses are available individually or as part of a subscription fee to a service provider like LinkedIn or SkillShare. Some courses provide students with exercise materials, while others are strictly video recordings that students can access after purchasing the course. Since these courses are so diverse, interested students should turn to Noble’s On-Demand Classes page to find and compare the available options.

Which Learning Method is Right for Me?

Once a student has decided that they want to learn how to use Sketch, they will be confronted with several different training methods. Students can learn through live instruction, self-paced learning, or free tutorials; each method has benefits and drawbacks. Students will have to consider what kind of training they hope to receive and weigh the costs and benefits of each learning method.

In-person learning options can be ideal for students who live near big cities and have the time to enroll in these courses. They tend to be the most expensive, but live instruction lets students take advantage of interfacing directly with an instructor who can answer their questions and provide them with direct feedback. However, classes are also restricted to specific places and times, ruling out the ability of some students to attend the classes that they feel would best suit their needs; for example, a daytime class is impossible for a student who works full time.

Live online classes are an excellent alternative with many of the same benefits of in-person learning and the added benefit of allowing students to take the courses from places other than the service provider’s campus. Students can still interact directly with their instructors and receive questions and feedback, but they miss valuable networking opportunities and working alongside colleagues. These courses also require students to provide their own hardware and software, though the free trial version of Sketch is likely sufficient for some students.

Both options require attendance at live, pre-scheduled classes, which may not be an option for students with other obligations, like work or family. These students may prefer on-demand Sketch training courses, which enable students to control their learning pace, letting them move faster or slower as needed. On-demand classes also let students learn at their most convenient times so that night owls can work in the evenings. The drawback is that students may find learning roadblocks challenging to overcome when lacking a live instructor who can help.

Finally, students looking to become comfortable with Sketch or to start experimenting with the program may wish to consult free online tutorials and resources. These resources are designed with beginners in mind and can help them learn how to navigate the interface, start simple projects, and understand the tools at their disposal. Like on-demand courses, they have the advantage of letting students control their learning pace. They are also free, meaning students don’t have to worry about a significant monetary commitment. However, these courses are only deep enough to help students get a basic understanding of Sketch. Students who hope to use Sketch professionally will need more advanced training.

Why Learn Sketch?

Web Designers looking to build interactive prototypes of their layouts will need to learn a user interface (UI) tool to create their designs. Sketch is ideal for experienced designers and novices who aspire to become Web Designers. It is an accessible, customizable program that lets users build unique and functional prototypes using an array of tools. Sketch symbols enable users to create a customized collection of reusable interactive assets. And Sketch’s website boasts approximately six thousand add-ons and plug-ins for the program, with more being added daily.

Additionally, even though Sketch is among the older dedicated UI design tools on the market, it is constantly updated with new features and functionality. So, a growing number of designers are picking up Sketch, particularly now that it has more robust collaboration features. Sketch is among the more cost-effective tools relative to its market share and features list, making it ideal for small teams working on individual projects or for individual users hoping to break into the world of web design. Finally, because Sketch is native to macOS, it is an excellent skill for aspiring Web Designers who are mac users since they will have a leg up with the program’s features and tools.

Read more about why you should learn Sketch

Level of Difficulty, Prerequisites, & Cost 

Sketch is an accessible program that is reasonably easy for new users to become familiar with and use. Sketch has a lightweight interface, and new users will find themselves able to experiment with designs almost immediately. However, many of the unique features of Sketch will require significantly more training to optimize, particularly the Sketch symbols. The program is, therefore, ideal for beginners experimenting with a user interface (UI) program and aspiring Web Designers looking to learn a program that they can use professionally.

There are no formal prerequisites to learning Sketch. However, users should be familiar with macOS and the basic philosophies of UI design if they hope to use the program professionally. Since Sketch is only available on macOS devices, users must be sure that their device is compatible. Additionally, as a UI design program, a background in user experience (UX) design is not required but is strongly encouraged.

Sketch is available for users and teams for a monthly subscription fee of $9 per editor. Yearly subscriptions are also available for $99 per person. New users can take advantage of a 30-day free trial of the program. Large organizations (those with more than twenty-five editors) can contact Sketch to get a quote on the cost of a Sketch Business subscription.

Read about how difficult it is to learn Sketch.

Learn Sketch with Hands-on Training at Noble Desktop

Students looking to master Sketch may wish to consider any Sketch classes and bootcamps offered through Noble Desktop. These classes, which range from short seminars offering students a basic understanding of Sketch to in-depth career skills training courses, give students the tools they need to use Sketch in their personal and professional lives. These courses are available in person at Noble’s Manhattan campus or live online from anywhere in the United States. Courses are taught by experts with whom students can interface directly, and class sizes are kept small, even online. So, students can ask questions and receive timely, personalized feedback on their work. Plus, courses include a one-year free retake option. Students can repeat the course to review a lesson that gave them trouble, attend a seminar they missed, or just get more hands-on practice with Sketch.

Students seeking in-depth training in Sketch should consider Noble’s Sketch Bootcamp. This intensive skills training course teaches students to use the basic and advanced features of Sketch, such as its layout design tools, interactive elements, and prototyping capabilities. Students get hands-on instruction in building web layouts using text, shapes, and images, all built with Sketch’s vector graphics illustration tools. They then learn how to optimize those illustrations for web and mobile viewing, including Hi-res and Retina displays. Finally, students receive hands-on training in using Sketch symbols, including how to override symbol functions to make them work differently and how to alter their functions universally after they have been implemented.

Noble also offers Sketch training as part of its immersive, career-focused UX & UI Design Certificate program. This course is designed to help aspiring Web and user experience (UX) Designers receive comprehensive career training and mentorship. Students learn to use an array of design tools, including Sketch, Figma, and Adobe XD, and receive hands-on training by working through practical exercises that reflect the work they will do professionally. Students also learn the best practices of UX design and how to best conduct user research and analysis. By the end of the course, students get the opportunity to have one-on-one career mentorship discussions with trained experts in the field of UX/UI design, and they will have built a sample design portfolio to take with them into the job market.

Key Insights

  • Sketch is a user-friendly UX design tool for building interactive, complex UI layouts for webpages and digital applications. Using various tools, users build vector graphic designs optimized for any screen size.
  • Many options are available for students hoping to learn how to use Sketch, ranging from career-focused training programs to introductory courses outlining Sketch basics.
  • Students should consider the Sketch projects they are interested in when considering training options. Students wanting to use Sketch professionally will need more intensive training than those looking to experiment with the program.
  • Sketch is an excellent skill for mac users interested in UI design. The program is relatively inexpensive and easy to learn but comprehensive enough that experienced users won’t find themselves needing more advanced tools.
  • Regardless of how a student opts to learn Sketch, Noble Desktop can help aspiring Web Designers find the program of study that is right for them.
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