January 21, 2021

Figma vs Sketch - Which is Better?

Two titans of the design industry with vastly different approaches

As a designer, it’s important to have access to the best design tools for your projects. The right tool for one designer might not be the best tool for another. You cannot take a one-size-fits-all approach to design tools.

Figma Vs Sketch is a hotly contested debate. These two design applications both have loyal user bases, each with an army of designer advocates. In recent years, Figma and Sketch have become go-to tools for designers. Despite being the new kid on the block, Figma has given Sketch a run for its money with its cloud-based infrastructure.

A designer’s tools need to work for them. When design tools start to hold your creativity back, the clients you work with will ultimately suffer. Tools like Figma and Sketch need to have features that push your projects further and help you to break new creative ground. When you’re using design tools, you shouldn’t feel too comfortable.

Design tools are at their best when they challenge you to experiment and think outside the box. With a vast range of features inside both Figma and Sketch, these design tools are well-equipped to support you on your journey as a designer.

We will be answering the following questions in this article on Figma Vs Sketch:

Should I learn Figma or Sketch?

More designers are currently using Sketch than Figma. This statement, however, requires some context. Sketch has been on the marketplace for far longer. Figma only emerged onto the market in 2013. You can think of Figma as still being the new kid on the block. Although, Figma has gone from being a challenger application to a major competitor for Sketch.

Designers are flocking to Figma for a variety of reasons which we will cover in this article. The truth is, nothing is stopping you from learning both Figma and Sketch. YouTube is flooded with tutorials on how to use these design tools. The pricing of Figma and Sketch is competitive so you could easily take both tools for a test drive and see which one works best for you.

If you want to increase your appeal as a candidate applying for roles at design agencies, we would recommend having Figma and Sketch on your resume. These tools were developed with ease-of-use in mind. The basics of using Figma and Sketch can be mastered in just a few hours. Hands-on experience with both tools could help to expand your design career prospects.

Figma screen
Figma (seen here) is an in-browser application and offers a suite of collaboration tools

Figma Vs Sketch - which is better?

The biggest difference between Figma and Sketch is how they are accessed. Figma is an in-browser application, while Sketch is a desktop application for Mac. This really makes the two applications look like they’re from completely different eras - and in some ways, they are. The era of cloud computing has revolutionized how we create and collaborate.

Figma and Sketch both offer a free trial. As a designer, this could allow you to try out both tools and see which one works best for you. Beyond the free trials, Figma and Sketch have slightly different pricing structures. For Sketch, you are required to pay $99 for an annual license. Figma has a starter plan for beginners. This gives the chance to have up to 3 projects on the go at one time. The professional package enables you to have unlimited projects.

When it comes to user interfaces, Figma and Sketch are actually rather similar. If you’ve been using Sketch up until now, the transition to Figma should be relatively easy with the strikingly similar interface. As a cloud-based application, Figma is perfect for teams. The application offers real-time collaboration facilities, so you can see edits being made by team members as they happen. In a world of remote working, this is incredibly advantageous.

Sketch offers a vast range of third-party plugins, helping to expand the possibilities of what can be achieved with this design application. There’s so much more to Sketch than meets the eye. This design application can be built upon with layers and layers of third-party plugins to build the tool you need to successfully execute on projects.

Sketch app screen
Sketch (as seen here) offers a native Mac application. They both have familiar UIs.

Can Figma open Sketch files?

Yes - Figma has a feature that enables users to bring their Sketch files onto their Figma account. This is particularly useful for those who are in the process of migrating over from Sketch to Figma. After the Sketch file has finished importing, you will be able to see all of the shapes, layers, and pages from the old file. This means you can pick up where you left off!

Is Figma easy?

You don’t need to be an experienced designer to successfully navigate Figma and make this tool work for you. This application is accessible to all designers, no matter what their existing skillset looks like. At the same time, Figma offers a range of advanced features to meet the demands of those looking to use this in-browser application for prototyping projects.

If you do get stuck using Figma, you can simply share your project with another member of your team who will be able to guide you through any challenges you are faced with. Real-time collaboration can be a lifesaver, especially when you have tight deadlines to meet. There’s also no shortage of professional designers on forums ready to answer your questions about Figma.

Is Figma free?

As discussed earlier, you can sign up for a free account on Figma to explore the functionalities and features of this design tool. With a free account, you can have up to two editors and three projects. For a beginner, this gives you plenty of room to find your feet with this application before making any real commitment to using it further.

One of the most incredible aspects of this free starter plan is the unlimited storage offering. All Figma users can access unlimited storage, regardless of what plan they’re on. This means the three projects that you work on can be as complex and detailed as you need them to be. The sky’s the limit! The free starter plan also comes with 30-day version history, helping you to navigate between old and new versions of projects with ease.

Which companies use Figma?

As you may already know, a wide variety of blue-chip companies are actively using Figma as a design tool to take their products to the next level. Companies using Figma include Microsoft, Uber, Zoom, GitHub, Airbnb, Deliveroo, and many more. We have also been excited to see many SaaS companies embrace the features of Figma for prototyping.

DOJO app design
Your end product is likely to be the same, regardless of what you choose. Pick the tool which you fits your use-case better.

Figma Vs Sketch - Final Thoughts

The answer is to use whichever platform you prefer. Whichever resonates with your use case. Do you spend a lot of time collaborating? You'll prefer Figma. Do you love 3rd party integrations and tweaking your applications to meet your taste? Sketch is your tool. Clients may have assets built on Sketch and may want them moved over to Figma or vice-versa, so it doesn't hurt familiarising yourself with both.

We hope this article has helped you to understand more about the potential of both Figma and Sketch. If you have any further questions about either design tool, do not hesitate to contact us. There’s nothing we love more than diving into conversations about design with the wider community.

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