Sketch: In 2021 and Beyond


Real-time collaboration works with documents you share in your Workspace, but with the control and privacy features you’d expect from us; a drafts folder to keep work private until you’re ready to share, and a simple promise that we will not store, share or sell data about how you work. For example, neither us nor your manager can pull up a report that shows how long you’ve been working. Some products consider tracking like this a feature. We consider its absence a feature.

This is clearly a shot against Figma, a purely web-based rival app to Sketch, and an interesting angle to take. Figma allows for some truly invasive tracking of what your team members are doing — without them knowing that you (as a manager) are effectively standing over their shoulders watching them work (or not work). But I suspect such tracking — when used to micromanage — is really only a thing at big companies, and the people who agree with Sketch that the absence of tracking capabilities is a feature are not the people who choose the company’s design tools.

Figma has really taken off, with a lot of market and mind share, because their collaboration features truly are useful and cool. (It’s just a good design app in general, even if you’re not collaborating with anyone.) I know several designers who, in general, would prefer to use a native Mac app like Sketch but who really do love Figma because it’s a great tool. It’s great to see Sketch launch their own collaboration features. Sketch-vs.-Figma (vs. Adobe XD) is a rivalry that is good for everyone. Reminds me a bit of Illustrator-vs.-Freehand and QuarkXPress-vs.-Pagemaker from the early days of desktop publishing.

Tuesday, 25 May 2021