Here are the tips to speed up and improve your design process in Sketch.

Despite being available for iOS only, Sketch has been a designer’s favorite to create beautiful designs for websites, apps and more since 2010. Thanks to its simple yet powerful features and easy interface.

Even one of the best designing tools is not free from annoying issues. For example, Sketch works slowly and eats up a lot of HDD space. Many designers are not happy with the mess over the artboard panel. Lack of collaboration is another woe to go through.

You need to eliminate such issues so that you can make the most of Sketch.

In other words, operating the tool as smoothly and efficiently as possible will help you stay on the top. This way, you not only design better and faster with tools like prototyping but also manage the things more efficiently. And here are the tips for that…

Share Your Designs with Other:

Sharing your artworks with your team can benefit your project. While other designers can access your designs, project managers or clients can give feedback. And Sketch can help you with that.

There is a feature called Sketch Libraries where you can store your symbols, text styles, and layer styles. The file will be created with an extension like .sketch file. Once the file is made, you can drop it to Google Drive or Dropbox where it will be accessible to the authorized team members.  This will improve collaboration among the teams. You will get a notification whenever the Sketch Library is updated.

Use Shortcuts:

Shortcuts help save time with many mundane and repetitive tasks in designing. Here is a list of keyword shortcuts for Sketch tasks:

•    Rectangle: R

•    New Artboard: A

•    Slice: S

•    Rounded Rectangle: U

•    Oval: O

•    Line: L

•    Vector Point: V

•    Pencil: P

•    Text: T

•    Increase Font Size: Alt + Cmd (+) +

•    Decrease Font Size: Alt + Cmd (+) –

•    Align Left: Cmd + Shift + {

•    Align Center: Cmd + Shift + |

•    Align Right: Cmd + Shift + }

•    Zoom In: Cmd (+) +

•    Zoom Out: Cmd (+) –

Use Sketch Mirror to Preview your Designs and Prototypes:

With a previewing tool like Sketch Mirror, you can preview your art boards across iOS devices to test their look and feel.

All you need to connect your iOS device via Wi-Fi to your Mac or with a USB cable.

Once the connection is established between the devices, launch Sketch Mirror on your iOS device and click the notification on the top-right corner of the Sketch’s window to set your connection. Afterward, you will see an overview of Artboards on your device. Tap to see them one by one. To return to its overview, swipe down on an Artboard.

Save the Space:

Let’s accept it. Sketch files are heavy and consume a lot of space on the HDDs. To deal with this concern, here are some fixes…

•    Remove the sketch cache using apps like Sketch Cache Cleaner.. It deletes all hidden obsolete Sketch history files that eat up a lot of space on your computer.

•    Reduce the file size. Just click on the image and select Layer—Image—Reduce Image Size. To reduce the size of all images, select File › Reduce File Size.

•    Use symbols to replace the excessive copies of the same object.

Install Plugins:

There are many useful Sketch plugins that have made the designer life easy over Sketch. Thanks to the diverse and skilled communities working to improve and enhance features and functionality of Sketch. As an added bonus, most Sketch plugins are easy to update and manage. Here is a list of some essential Sketch plugins every designer should have

  • Prism to create attractive color palette into artboard.

  • Paddy for automated padding and spacing for Sketch layers.

  • Symbol Organizer to organize the “mess” of the symbols.

  • Craft to create duplicate layer and arrange the layers into a grid.

  • LaunchPad to convert sketch designs into static HTML webpages.

There are many more plugins available HERE.

Connect with Sketch Community:

This point may be looking odd on this list, but it’s actually not. After all, joining Sketch community means sharing your knowledge with others and learning from the experts at the same time. Sketch has its own official community of over 31,000 members across the world. It is a great place to learn, get your queries resolved, discover the latest plugins or meet the designers.

Apart from it, there are other online forums of Sketch designers available at…

Converting Text to Outlines:

Converting text to outlines comes handy if you are creating labeled designs with text. Text items that are required to be assigned to the developers but aren’t in SVG format may be problematic, as the developers have to work hard to install and apply the texts. It is even cumbersome to adjust text with media or press content. Converting text to outlines can save such hassles.

And it is easy to do that. Just right-click on any text in Sketch board and choose Convert to outlines to turn the text into vector shapes. Here is a keyboard shortcut for that—Shift-Command-O.

I hope these tips would help you create better and faster designs over Sketch. The point is here to organize and streamline your tasks so that you can focus entirely to create appealing designs. What do you think? Please speak your mind in the comment box below.

Author Bio: Athar is a co-founder of Savah App, a product that helps teams with all-in-one platform for prototyping, design collaboration, and workflow.

 

Published by Johanne Cosihan