As part of trying to figure out what I’ll move to now that Adobe is ending support to Fireworks, I’m looking at alternatives. First up was Sketch, partly because lots of people use it and like it, so I decided to try it out. From past lives, I’ve found the best way to learn a new application is to grab a project, set a deadline and try to make it happen in the new software. This can be painful. Since I didn’t have a personal project to toss at it, I decided I’d just create something.
I took a JPG export of the Teehan+Lax iPhone OS7 template, dropped it into the background, and off I went. (Those people, by the way, are significantly amazing. I’ve used their iPhone templates for as long as they’ve been making them. I’d convert them into Fireworks files and jigger them around to create what I needed. I have a lot of respect for what they’ve done. If you use Photoshop or Fireworks, use their stuff.)
My goal was to completely recreate that file in its entirety all as vectors. No bits were mapped in the making of this project. Every icon, gadget, and everything else are either vector images or Sketch objects. (Do not try to deconstruct the settings gears icons, I’m letting you know ahead of time, that one’s a pill.) As a result, you won’t see shiny iPhone cases and dreamy space scenes as background images, but nobody really uses them when designing applications anyway. You also won’t see perfectly constructed icons, either, but they do have usable ones. If you use them, your mom won’t be embarrassed for you.
What I discovered as I finished all the screen components, the Apple application screen samples, the two iPhones, the AirDrop, table views, new message screens, and then started in on creating the underlying home screen they had as an image under the control center, is that Sketch seems to have a limit on the number of objects one file can handle without repeatedly crashing and burning. It just stopped letting me make objects, period. They aren’t huge files. It happens.
As a result, I broke out the components into one file, and kept working. Then it stopped a second time and I couldn’t add anything else. As a result, I have three sketch files, the screen components, the screens sets within the applications, and a third file with the two phones, the home screen and the Control Center overlays.
What these do also include that T+L didn’t include (and I don’t blame them. That was a pain.) a fully rendered vector version of the home screen, including all the icons but not the space background image.
What these files do not include: The lock screens. They’re nice looking, but I don’t create lock screens when I design applications. It also doesn’t include the two notification screens for the same reason. (Oh, and I’m tired as well. There were five of these screens.)