Need advice about my UI/ UX Design workflow / software

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by pookitoo, Sep 24, 2017.

  1. pookitoo, Sep 24, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2017

    pookitoo macrumors regular


    Apr 16, 2015
    Hello everyone,

    I’m asking myself a lot of question about my workflow and the software to use.

    I’ve starting to learn web design 5 years ago (HTML / CSS / javascript / wordpress / SEO / web marketing / Web design etc …). Since 1 year I’m working with other freelance and I realized we can’t be good on everything, we need to be a specialist in 1 field.

    The very good part to have learned everything is I can lead a project and know all the step of the project (budget / techno etc …).

    So, I decided to specialize myself in UX and UI design (before this work, I’m a creative who do some drawing / music and other creative things). So for me it’s an obvious choice (and I think a UX designer is perfect as project manager). In web design, the photo is a huge part of design, so I’m starting to learn photography too.

    So here you have a list of software I use :

    Project management :
    • Slack : discuss with the team
    • Trello : agile / scrum management
    • Dropbox : shared file
    UX Design & UI Design :
    • Since 3 years : Sketch App + Invision (free for 1 project) but since some month, it’s difficult to work with Sketch : more expensive than the beginning : 99 $ / 1 computer (I’ve 2 computer) and to have the yearly update : 99$ / computer . The other things that boring me : to work with remote worker : they don’t have a Mac, they don’t have the last version so they can’t open my files etc .. So I decided to go with Adobe XD, and it’s a good software but lack of function compared to sketch but it’s a beta. And more easy to share my file with other freelancer but I still wonder if it’s a good move (sketch is a very good software)
    • Affinity Designer : for some print work, logo design, icons
    • (Little software like SIP for color, Zoommy for free photo, Right Font for fonts management, lorem builder for generating lorem text)
    • I’m starting to learn After effect to show in GIF the effect I want for the design (like in Dribbble)
    • Astropad with iPad Pro (like a Wacom tablet) but I don't use it very often
    • Photo app (Apple) to manage my photo and do some light retouching
    • Affinity Photo for more heavy work
    At the begining ( 5 years ago) I started with photoshop and illustrator but quickly move to other software (I don’t like the monopoly of Adobe). But now, I think it created a lot of problems : for print I need to export in PDF and Affinity designer is not very good for that (I can’t send a affinity designer file to my printer)

    Like I said , sketch app is not very good for collaborative work.

    For photo, Lightroom is better than Photo app

    Right Font is not very useful for font management

    So I’m asking myself if I don’t need to go to full Adobe workflow ? Have you some advices to give me ? I’m skeptical on my workflow and the app I use ;(
  2. jtara, Sep 24, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2017

    jtara macrumors 65816

    Mar 23, 2009
    I would rule-out any designer that insists on delivering anything other than Adobe source files and using oddball tools.

    And I must have the source files (.ai, .ps) in addition to any renderings to SVG or bitmap formats. Always as far back to original as exist. (e.g. if there are RAW photo files, need the RAW photo files.)

    Otherwise, it is possible for the designer to force a "lock in" to their services.

    I am an app developer, I can offer some insight into some of the other tools.

    - slack is annoying
    - Trello is useful during brainstorming, less useful later in the project
    - github or bitbucket Issues for features/bugs. Trello isn't very useful for this, and spreadsheets are absolutely the worst. (I've had clients that insist on emailing spreadsheet bug lists.)

    Artwork belong in version control (usually git) just like code. Dropbox or any other virtual-drive solution is a horrible way to get files back and forth.

    IMO you should have stayed the course with Adobe. They are the professional tools that are ubiquitous across the industry. Go back to my first sentence. ;) I am not alone on that rule.
  3. olup macrumors 6502

    Oct 11, 2011
    You should take a look at Figma, basically like Sketch, but it's also available for Windows. It's free for 3 projects and has version control for up to 30 days. The business version, which has everything unlimited for free is $12/month. It also has commenting functions.

    In terms of project management, there's, a free project management tool. I personally haven't worked with it, but lots of people do.
  4. pookitoo thread starter macrumors regular


    Apr 16, 2015
    @jtara Thanks for your precious advice ! You confirm what I saw with my freelances. I need to go back to Adobe (I admit with regret ;( When I was working alone , this tools was almost perfect, but now that I hire freelancers it's more difficult.

    - Why do you say slack is annoying ? Since I've made channel for everything, it's more organize, the subcontractors that I hire are more available and they answer quickly to my requests
    - Trello is very good with kanban way of doing is very useful, but hard to maintain and that everyone plays the games throughout the process
    - And for Dropbox, to share some document with my team in one place is very convenient, why you don't like this ?

    Thanks a lot again, it is very inspiring to have returns from professionals !

    @olup Thanks for the tip, I'll look for that
  5. dalailaptop macrumors newbie


    May 23, 2003
    Unless you're only doing web work, it's pretty hard to get away from Adobe Apps for print/display/packaging/etc.

    But I'd also second looking at Figma. I was using sketch for about 2 years but it was impossible to handoff to devs on windows machines. Figma isn't as full featured as sketch but it's worlds ahead of XD which hasn't improved all the much in the last 2 years. You can fully design in Figma (simultaneously with others even) whereas XD is still more of a prototyping tool and clearly still in progress.
  6. pookitoo thread starter macrumors regular


    Apr 16, 2015
    I've just test Figma (and heard about it very often) and it's crazy to have this tool in the browser !! But it's scare me to have all in the browser ;( but crazy tool !
  7. olup macrumors 6502

    Oct 11, 2011
    They also offer a desktop app for it! :)
  8. blaster_boy macrumors 6502


    Jan 31, 2004
    We use - it makes it VERY easy to hand over our sketch designs to the devs.
  9. ezekielrage_99 macrumors 68040


    Oct 12, 2005
    My workflow is Photoshop, Sketch, Figma, Framer, Atomic.IO and Macaw....

    Then deliver in Zeplin (developers LOOOOOOVE it).

    Agreed Slack can be annoying at times but is a must if you are working in digital.
  10. pookitoo thread starter macrumors regular


    Apr 16, 2015
    But do you think it's possible to avoid Adobe ?

    I think you are totally right with this ;( But maybe the future will be less Adobe centric ? And someone in my team said to me : "in a way you don't have to give the source files to other people : Invision to share your work for Developper or Zeplin , and PDF to the client (or Invision prototype link).

    Seem crazy but it's very hard for me decide to go with Adobe or stay with :
    - photo app + affinity photo VS Lightroom
    - Affinity designer VS Illustrator (and a little bit VS Indesign .. snif)
    - Sketch app VS Adobe XD
    - Apple Motion 5 VS After Effect

    But deeper in me I'm agree with you @jtara , if I want o be a good pro I need to go with Adobe
  11. lucidmedia macrumors 6502a

    Oct 13, 2008
    Wellington, New Zealand
    What do you think the Adobe Experience Design team used to design Adobe software before XD was ready for prime time? They used Sketch, like the majority of professional UX designers working today.

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