What is Sketch?

Accelerate your career in web design by learning Sketch, a macOS-exclusive UX design tool used predominantly by Web designers, Digital Designers, and UX Designers. With features like vector graphic illustrations, functionality addition and active community support, it's a vital tool for creative vision implementation in webpage design.

Key Insights

  • Sketch is a macOS user design tool that helps users build vibrant and interactive web layouts with vector graphic illustrations.
  • It is widely used by Web Designers, Digital Designers, and UX Designers for webpage layout design.
  • Sketch, a recognized graphic design tool since 2010, is updated regularly with new features and has a robust community of developers designing new plug-ins and add-ons daily.
  • Noble Desktop offers numerous ways to learn Sketch, with in-person and online class offerings to fit various needs.
  • Sketch offers robust functionality, including a symbols tool for designing reusable interface assets, advanced features for collaboration and prototyping, and the ability to create assets with varying interactive functionality.
  • Sketch is a cost-effective tool, ideal for small teams or individual users, with a licensing cost of about $99 a year for a single user.

Sketch is a macOS user interface design tool that lets users build vibrant and interactive web layouts and designs for user interfaces. Using Sketch’s powerful vector graphics design tools, users can build layouts optimized for any screen size. Users can also take advantage of the symbols tool to design reusable interface assets that fit the needs of any project. In this overview, you’ll learn more about Sketch, what it can do, who uses it, how to learn it, and how to add this skill to your professional toolbox.

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.

How Do You Download Sketch? How Much Does it Cost?

Users can download Sketch directly from Sketch’s website. Sketch offers a 30-day free trial, during which users can experiment with the program and take advantage of various free tutorials and resources. Sketch is only available on macOS devices, so students must ensure they are working with a machine capable of running Sketch.

Once the free trial has expired, users will need to license Sketch to continue using the program and receive regular software updates. The price of licensing Sketch will vary depending on the size of the organization licensing it. But for a single user, Sketch costs about $99 a year. Students who wish to work as part of a team can buy multiple licenses simultaneously to let all the editors work together.

What Are the Benefits of Learning 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

Sketch Careers

Sketch is used predominantly by Web Designers, Graphic Designers, and other User Experience (UX) Designers tasked with building assets for handover to Web Developers when a team is building a digital project. Sketch lets these designers build and test web applications and interfaces to ensure that their layouts and outlines meet the needs of their teams and clients.

Web Designers: Web Designers create the visual design and functional layout of a client’s webpage. They guide the creative vision of a project and use programs like Sketch to produce prototypes that will be handed over to Web Developers to code and launch. This field works primarily with the graphic design side of web design, building assets and interfaces rather than programming webpages, so Web Designers won’t need to learn how to code. Sketch designers may also be tasked with designing plug-ins, add-ons, or templates for use by other Web Designers in different projects.

User Experience (UX) Designers: UX Designers ensure that a website’s user interface provides a positive user experience and is optimized for use and accessibility. UX Designers aren’t strictly invested in specific projects but perform testing and market research to observe and analyze user behavior. They use this data to produce models or philosophies of webpage design for other Web Designers to incorporate into their work. UX Designers use programs like Sketch to build prototypes for research purposes. They may also learn fundamental data science skills to test their interfaces better.

Digital Designers: Digital Designers are professional creatives who build the elements of webpages and other digital applications. Digitals Designers primarily work with tools like Illustrator and Photoshop to build digital assets, but they may find themselves tasked with building specific, interactive webpage components. In these cases, they will use programs like Sketch to add interactivity and functionality to the assets they are building. 

How to Learn Sketch

Students interested in learning Sketch have several training method options available: in-person instruction, live online instruction, or self-paced learning with on-demand courses or free online resources. Find Sketch classes near you with Noble Desktop’s course search tool that can help students find the right option, regardless of their preferred methodology.

Live instruction options are available both in-person and online, enabling students to earn in their preferred environment. Expert instructors teach all courses; even in an online setting, students can interface directly with their teachers to ask questions and receive feedback. Most live instruction courses boast small class sizes, meaning that students won’t be competing for the attention of their instructors. In-person instruction can be somewhat restricted by a student’s location, so students should explore the options available in their area.

Students who need or desire more flexible learning options may wish to consider taking an on-demand asynchronous course to learn Sketch. These courses are ideal for students with family or work obligations or whose schedule prevents them from attending a regularly scheduled class. Courses are available in various formats, letting students dictate their learning pace and giving them more control over when and where they study Sketch. However, these courses may require students to troubleshoot for themselves any issues that arise.

The final option is free online tutorials and resources for learning Sketch. These courses are more limited in scope, and while they are a good introduction, they likely aren’t sufficient for students looking to use Sketch professionally. Still, they are excellent starting points for new users. The Web Design and Development playlist on Noble’s official YouTube page provides users with many free tutorials, including an in-depth look into the functional differences between Sketch and its largest competitors, Figma and Adobe XD. The Sketch website also offers a handful of free training resources.

Read the complete guide on how to learn Sketch

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