Talking about Sketch

Interview by

This interview was originally posted on This version is a cross-post for the readers of my blog.

Please introduce yourself and how you got into design.

Hello, I’m Ivo, an interface designer from Germany who is currently living in Bangkok, Thailand. I’ve been running my own little design studio for the last three years, but since January 2015, I’ve worked full-time for everchron, designing a case management application for lawyers.

I started to design (really ugly) things at the age of 15, when I got my hands on Macromedia Fireworks. I’ve never received a formal education in design – I just learned it by doing.

Do you still use Adobe products or is Sketch your single weapon-of-choice?

I avoid Adobe products whenever possible, and I could actually uninstall the whole Creative Suite, but from time to time, someone sends me a PSD or Illustrator file that I need to open and then convert into SVG, if that's possible.

Which other tools do you use?

  • Pen and paper whenever I need to sketch something really quickly
  • Coda for anything code related
  • framer.js for prototyping animations
  • Slack to communicate with my team
  • iA Writer Pro for writing longer texts in Markdown

What is your favorite part of Sketch?

It’s lightweight and truly native. Whenever I open Photoshop or Fireworks, it feels like I’m clicking myself through a jungle of buttons and sliders in an UI layer that was just stacked on top of another interface.

Sketch, on the other hand, just feels like a fast, native and well-thought-through OSX application.

Where does it fail?

For any project that is bitmap editing related—but that’s fine. Pixelmator fills that gap. I just wish there were better compatibility between these two great design applications.

Do you sometimes feel that the Sketch team should fix the bugs rather than working on new features?

I think the latest stable releases (3.1 and 3.2) fixed a lot of the old annoying bugs. Recently, I very rarely come across critical bugs. Besides that, who doesn’t love new features? I’m happy to see new functionality in future releases, as long as they are well tested and not introducing more bugs.

I wish they would do better testing and quality assurance before pushing out new versions to the public. I’ve noticed a few times that for a resolved bug, a new bug gets introduced. That’s totally fine for beta versions, but toxic for stable releases since designers need a reliable application that does the job.

If there was one thing you could change about Sketch, what would it be?

Nothing particularly about Sketch, but more in terms of customer support in general. I know that the people at Bohemian Coding are usually replying to questions via email, but apart from that, their whole support and community management approaches are rather obscure. Instead of a messy Facebook group, I would really prefer an official portal for bug reporting (and tracking!), feature requests, etc.

Did you come across any other app lately that could follow in Sketch’s footsteps?

Pixelmator and Affinity Photo are very interesting and much better for doing bitmap editing. Every few months, some interesting application pops up that's aimed to fill the gap that Fireworks left. For me, Sketch already provides the best possible (at the moment) solution for my design problems.


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