Sketch once dominated the world of UI design tools. But these days, we have an array of Sketch alternatives that are on par with Sketch and even outmatch it in certain areas. This detailed guide will cover the best Sketch alternatives in 2020.
A couple of years ago UXTools survey revealed that Sketch was by far the most used tool for designing UI, wireframing, brainstorming, and creating user flow.
But over the last few years, the landscape of design tools changed dramatically.
As competitors grew in size and quality, the field of /UIUX tools became much more diverse, and the latest survey reflects just that: product designers are using various tools — each with their own strengths.
We have Sketch alternatives that are lighting fast, cross-platform, highly-collaborative, and asset-rich.
So how do you choose which UI/UX designing app to use?
Let’s go through the best alternatives to Sketch.
Platform: web (works in your browser)
Pricing: free for 2 projects or $12 per month for unlimited projects
Summary: an all-around web-based UI/UX design platform with a growing ecosystem of plugins and assets
Figma currently holds the top spot as the most popular tool for design and prototyping: 66% of designers use Figma for UI design, double of what was just a year ago.
One of the reasons for such vast success is the tool’s accessibility: you can use Figma on almost any platform (Mac, Win, Linus) as long as you have an active Internet connection. Figma works within your browser, so you don’t need to install desktop apps and bother updating them (although Figma has apps for both Mac and Windows).
Figma covers a wide specter of design operations: screen design, prototyping, design system management, and handoff.
With features such as auto responsive layout, arc and pen tools, and intuitive grid system, you can quickly build production-grade screens from scratch.
Micro-interactions such as click, hover, and button press will help you turn static interfaces into an interactive experience. At the same time, dynamic overlays and animated GIFS can bring even more life to your projects.
Even though Figma has its own library of templates and UI kits, you can easily import your own design assets directly into the projects. Just recently, Figma launched Figma Community, which allows users to browse and search through thousands of project files and assets published by other users.
Unlike Sketch that runs as a desktop application, Figma facilitates real-time design collaboration: multiple people can work on the same project. In addition to that, Figma facilitates the creation of design systems for the whole company. Using Figma, you can create and publish libraries with searchable design components, shareable styles, and reusable components.
Handoff workflows are also optimized: the ability to share projects and rich development data via a link replaces the need to use Zeplin or any other handoff solution. Figma mirror allows you to preview prototypes on mobile devices, whereas sharing projects with clients is as easy as sending a link.
Lastly, Figma boasts a rapidly expanding library of plugins that enhance the design process: easily insert images from photo stocks, expand animating capabilities, or generate charts with thousands of community plugins.
- All-in-one web-based design solution
- Regular updates
- Expanding the library of community assets and plugins
- Requires active internet connection (some functions are available offline, though)
Summary: a lighting-fast Sketch alternative for Windows with a rich built-in library of assets
If you are working on a Windows machine and need a lightning-fast and intuitive Sketch alternative, Lunacy should be your top choice.
The app was released just a couple of years ago as a .Sketch file viewer for Windows, but over time grew into a full-fledged UI designing tool and a .Sketch file editor. Other supported formats include PNG, JPEG, BMP, TIFF, ICO, WEBP, SVG, PDF, WEBP, GIF, and SVG.
One of the core advantages of Lunacy is a vast library of assets directly integrated within the app. With Lunacy, you have direct access to a mighty library of all of the Icons8.com graphic assets, including hundreds of thousands of icons, photos, and custom vector illustrations.
The fully searchable library of assets and UI kits allows you to quickly design interfaces, whereas a library of presets helps target every device from the start.
Another powerful advantage of Lunacy is how fast it is. Lunacy opens files twice faster than Figma and ten times faster than Adobe XD, whereas memory consumption is twice lower.
Lunacy is getting regular updates in close cooperation with a community of its users who report issues and request features for the next releases. Going into its 6th release now, Lunacy is quickly amassing a community of enthusiastic users who can easily request new features and report any issues within the new releases.
Oh, and one minor detail is that Lunacy is completely free. So if you’re working on Windows, make sure to check the app out on the Windows app store or download Lunacy from the official website — it might easily become your next favorite UI designing tool.
- Rich library of assets
- Lightweight and fast
- Plugin library is still growing
- No interactions — only for static designs
Platform: macOS, Windows
Pricing: free for personal use
Summary: a regularly updated versatile UI/UX designing tool neatly integrated into the Adobe ecosystem
Adobe XD is an organic extension of the Adobe family into the UI designing niche. Although other Adobe products, such as Illustrator and Photoshop, could be adapted for designing interfaces, they were in no way comparable to the intuitive and focused experience that Sketch offered to UI designers.
Adobe XD filled that gap.
The tool is a powerful UI/UX design solution that allows creating static and interactive visual designs effectively and intuitively. Adobe XD provides designers with intuitive workflows such as content-aware layouts, repeat grids, and effortless micro-animations.
Compared to Figma, it’s more intuitive with a flatter learning curve, especially if you are already familiar with other Adobe products.
Being integrated into the Adobe Cloud system, Adobe XD facilitates collaboration for teams that rely on Creative Cloud to manage their assets. It’s worth noting that during the last year, the number of UI/UX designers who use Adobe XD for design system management grew tenfold.
Even though Adobe XD is a desktop app, it allows multiple people to work on the same projects in real-time and track versioning, which pushes real-time collaboration even further.
Adobe XD is regularly being updated with new features and add-ons, which is both a benefit and a drawback. While new features greatly enhance designers’ workflow, sometimes weekly updates mean forcing your colleagues to update their version of the app to work with your most recent project files.
- Free version for personal use
- Integration with Adobe Creative Cloud
- Regular updates
- Not many 3rd party plugins and community add-ons available yet
- The desktop app hence can’t be operated via web
- File open speed can be slow compared to more lightweight apps
Platform: macOS, Windows
Summary: a free-forever UI/UX modern prototyping solution
InVision once was the most popular UI prototyping web tool, but its popularity dwindled over the last few years. And InVision Studio seems never to take off.
There might be several reasons for that — the number of various tools InVision offers (Web app, Studio, Freehand) can overwhelm anyone. By the time InVision studio was brought to the market, it was already saturated by giants such as Figma and Adobe.
That said, there’s hardly anything that the aforementioned tools do, and InVision studio doesn’t. Responsive design, rapid prototyping, instant collaboration, and tight integration with the entire InVision platform easily put InVision in the same category as Figma and Sketch in terms of functionality.
However, unlike with Figma, you still have to rely on handoff tools and plugins to cover the whole specter of design work, and some advanced functionality is missing.
One of InVision Studio’s main advantages is how easy it is to share designs with clients and receive feedback. With the ability to share a link via email and even SMS, feedback client loops can be more rapid.
- Integrated with InVision ecosystem of apps
- You can’t operate the desktop app via a web
- Lacks plugins and add-ons to extend the functionality
Platform: macOS, Windows
Price: $19,99 per month
Summary: a feature-packed vector design application with decades of history
It might be a little unfair to feature two Adobe tools on the list, but such is the reality of the UI/UX design landscape — many designers are still using Adobe Illustrator as their primary tool for UI designing purposes. Even a larger number of designers prefer it as their secondary tool.
The reason is simple — Adobe Illustrator has been around for decades, and in a way, inspired many tools or, on the contrary, showed them where it’s lacking.
Illustrator is still a versatile solution for any vector development work. If you’re in dire need of creating custom vector graphics for your project, Illustrator is a great, albeit pricey, choice.
Where Illustrator comes short, however, are collaboration and animation. The desktop application does not allow multiple people to work on the same project simultaneously. And if you want to create micro-transitions or any animations, you’ll have to use other tools.
All-in-all, Illustrator is a good choice for people who work primarily with static design projects and want to use a solid tool that has been around for a long rather than jumping on a hype train for every new UI design tool out there.
- Advanced vector graphics creation tools
- Tight integration with Adobe ecosystem
- No real-time collaboration
- No animation features
- Steep learning curve
- Price is high
Less Popular Sketch Alternatives
Platform: web, macOS app ( on a paid plan)
Pricing: free up to two editors or three projects
Summary: a web-based, less popular alternative to Figma
Platform: macOS, iOS, Windows
Pricing: $49,99 for a lifetime license
Summary: Adobe Illustrator alternative with less advanced features and less developed ecosystem
Summary: an online vector editing tool for new designers without much experience
Pricing: starts at $8,25 per month
Summary: quickly create low- and high-fidelity prototypes in your web browser
Pricing: starts at $16 per month
Summary: a vector editing tool for new designers without much experience
With so many available Sketch alternatives, the choice comes down to your own preferences.
Have a steady online connection and don’t want to use too many extra tools in your design process? Try Figma.
Want a fast, intuitive Windows app that lets you edit and create .Sketch files with an easy learning curve and professional design assets available out-of-box? Give Lunacy a try.
If you and your teams are using Adobe applications a lot, then Adobe XD might have an edge.
We hope that this guide helped you to find a perfect Sketch alternative for your needs.
In case we missed anything, please, let us know in the comments. Good luck!