However, a lot has changed and in recent years, and the creative and design community has seen a lot of new apps enter the market. Some never received much attention, while others are becoming more and more popular – to the point of some designers foregoing Adobe applications in favor of new tools, like Sketch and InVision.
In today’s post, we’ll take a look at what those two apps bring to the table and explain how they are slowly phasing out Adobe Creative Cloud.
What Does Sketch Offer?
Sketch markets itself as the complete toolkit built for modern-day designers. It offers tools and features that make it easy to create design concepts not only for web pages but also mobile apps and software. You’ll find artboards that are pre-sized for different devices as well as the ability to create your own library of design elements, called Symbols, that you can reuse again and again. Those same libraries allow you to collaborate with other designers on your team and share symbols across documents.
Sketch also supports non-destructive editing, vector editing, various export presets, and much more. The application has fewer features than Adobe’s Photoshop or Illustrator — two go-to programs for designers — however, this results in a faster design process and more efficient workflow.
It’s also worth mentioning that there are quite a few extensions available for Sketch such as apps for font development, icons, syntax highlighter, and more.
Sketch is available for $99/year. Bear in mind that you’ll receive a year’s worth of updates after your initial payment but once the year is up, you aren’t required to renew your license and you can keep on using the last version of Sketch you downloaded.
What Does InVision Offer?
While Sketch excels at making your design process faster and easier, InVision will bring it to life. Thanks to this app, you can upload your design files and add animations, gestures, and transitions that will turn those static designs into interactive prototypes.
You can then send a link to your InVision prototype to other designers on your team as well as your clients and get their input. On top of that, your clients can give feedback using freehand drawing and InVision does a great job of integrating with some of the most popular tools like Evernote, Trello, GitHub, and others.
InVision has a number of different pricing plans depending on the number of prototypes you’re working on. They also have a free plan which allows you to work on 1 prototype. The rest of the plans start at $15/month.
It’s worth mentioning that recently InVision launched the InVision Studio app, created specifically for designing responsive apps and sites and keeping the workflow from start to finish within one app.
InVision Studio combines tools found in Sketch with those found in their parent app InVision and hopes to attract and keep their user base by offering those features completely for free.
Why Is Adobe Falling Behind?
Sketch and InVision are tools made for designers who are working on user interfaces, apps, and web pages who also need a fast and reliable prototyping tool. Here are the biggest reasons why Adobe’s Creative Cloud is losing its edge against these two apps.
Adding More Complex Features to Already Bloated App
Adobe had a worthy contender in the interface and prototyping arena with their Fireworks app. However, once Creative Cloud launched, Adobe announced they would stop supporting further development on Fireworks.
Since then, they’ve tried to push Photoshop into this role and fill the gap for interface designers by adding smaller improvements over time. But, features such as artboards, improved export, Smart Guides, and others created a new problem. Photoshop was already considered a bloated app by some and the addition of new features only added to the bloat.
Joined The Interface Design World Too Late
While Adobe was busy adding more features to a general purpose tool, companies like Bohemian B.V., InVision, Figma, Serif and others were focused on creating their own versions of specific Adobe apps. More often than not, the end result was a lighter app with a more focused feature set. Apps like Sketch and InVision also filled the market gap and the need for a tool meant exclusively for interface design.
Adobe realized too late that a separate app in the interface design arena was needed and launched its own version, Adobe XD, in the early 2016. Adobe XD borrows from the Sketch and InVision apps when it comes to available features and the overall look. Despite that, it is still a long away from offering the same level of maturity as the aforementioned tools, not to mention, both Sketch and InVision are already an integral part of many a designer’s workflow.
Finally, Adobe received a lot of backlash when they switched to a subscription model. Even though the yearly subscription to Creative Cloud was cheaper than the price of the entire Creative Suite, the design community was outraged.
The biggest reason for this was the fact that if you stopped paying for the subscription, any app that was part of your Creative Cloud subscription would stop working. With Creative Suite, any program that was a part of it would still work even if you didn’t pay for the upgrade to the next version.
Pair that with the fact that their subscription plans can get a little confusing depending on the number of apps and the type of individual buying the licenses and it’s easy to see why a simplified monthly or yearly license is part of the appeal for apps like Sketch and InVision.
Adobe has long been considered the industry standard when it comes to design tools. However, their late entrance into the interface design niche allowed others to pick up the slack and create viable tools that have become the go-to solution for design and prototyping. Given that apps like Sketch and InVision are an integral part of a designer’s workflow, Adobe has their work cut out for them with Adobe XD if it wants to remain competitive and reclaim its position as the industry leader.