Sketch: An App to Build Websites

30 March, 2016 | Design

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A couple of weeks ago we wrote a blog about an app called Sketch which we recently started to use. Now we wanted to show why our use of it would be beneficial to our clients.

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What is Sketch?

Sketch is an app that has been created to assist graphic designers in the creation of websites and icons. There has been a lot of talk within the creative industry about the app with many saying that it now rivals other design programmes such as Photoshop.

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Our designers already have a vast knowledge of how to use design programmes such as Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. They learnt their trade through these and have become adept at creating website designs and artwork within them. However, as the needs of both our clients and the websites we design evolve, so do our methods.

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Sketch has not only helped us streamline our process but it also has a positive knock-on for our clients. Here’s how:

  • In the past we have found that without planning out exactly how a visitor will use a website, sites can be a little clunky which then translates into unresponsiveness for visitors when they go live. It was for this reason, among others, that our designers began to use Sketch.
  • We wanted to show our clients exactly what their website was going to look and function like across devices before we executed any design. Design, by its very nature, is in your face and can be so visually arresting that when a client comes to review their site before the build, they become blind to any issues with functionality and simply become hung up on design. We have taken this by the horns and to make sure the whole process is entirely transparent, we use Sketch in the first instance to create something called a wireframe. Put simply, this is just the bare bones of site before design is added. Once a client is happy with the layout, functionality and user journey, we then use Sketch to design all the elements on the pages.
  • Much like its predecessors Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign, the app allows web designers to manipulate images and in essence, design. However, it is clear from the reduced number of tools that Sketch has been made to specifically design websites. This makes the process quicker and easier for everyone involved.
  • Unlike other design programmes, Sketch is purely focussed on UI and UX – something of huge importance to us and our clients (whether they know the process by this name or not), when designing any website.UI Design or User Interface Design is how a user and a computer system interact. In simple terms, this comes down to the software and tools a user employs within any given programme including buttons, text fields, drop downs, search fields, notifications, tick boxes and icons to name a few. UX Design is also known as User Experience Design is about improving the usability and customer journey between a user and product i.e. a website or app. To take an example, imagine designing on a train. The seating arrangement and walkway are thought about first in order to suit human behaviour and help facilitate how we use trains. After we are happy with how a person will use the train we can then start to think about how we want the furnishings to look and what seat covers to use to give an overall feel to the train.Both UI and UX work very closely together to create a seamless product.
  • Sketch is used by big names such as Google, apple, Paypal, Fitbit and Groupon among others. The standard of these brands shows just how cutting edge and useful the tool is.

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