Every iOS app developer should stop now and start using Sketch. It’s not Photoshop (because life’s too short). It’s a gamechanger.
It’s got a massively healthy eco system for plugins, resources and third party integrations. Yep, it’s not a drawing tool, it’s a UI prototyping lifesaver.
It’s intended for designing digital products. Templates for iOS devices are standard.
Design should be borrowed or inspired by others. It should never be lookng at a blank screen and not knowing how to fill it. With a weatlh of Sketch resources available, the design inspiration is unlimited.
Time Saving Resources
Meng To has produced an iOS 9 resource kit, as has Facebook. These contain all the elements of a design that you should ever need. As all elements in Sketch are vector based, every element can be set to the required size, colour, opacity, tint, border, blur, anything, ever. From a developer point of view, this means never actually having to design any elements. Just arranging elements is enough to be able to create new screen layouts.
Although there are plenty of screen layouts included too. If you’re mocking up an app, you can easily use available resources to customise onboarding screens, login screen, tableview with content and a messaging screen. Within Xcode you wouldn’t even bother to attempt this.
Any design can be realised but a design based on iOS controls and principles can be created quicker.
It’s a simple canvas so the ‘limitations’ of device orientation and sizes with accompanying constraints are being ignored, which at the design stage is a good thing.
Any non standard UI elements within the design can be exported as code using the PaintCode plugin.
Project layout is important. It’s easy to get to a jumbled state of multiple pages, multiple layers, nested layers and duplicated layers. Refactoring will aid the whole process making for quicker iterations and maintainable designs.
Sketch plays to a lot of the strengths of a developer IDE. In fact, it’s almost an IDE for design. Maybe this is nothing new (Photoshop has had an eco system of utilities for a long time), but it’s that Sketch feels like it’s helping you. It has the same attitude. It’s helping you with your design. It wants to be part of your workflow so you’re not battling against it.
I got my introduction to Sketch through Meng To’s Design+Code and would recommended that you do too.