Since I started working in this industry, I think this question was one of the most asked questions amongst designers that are starting out.
And even if the internet is full of comparisons like these. People still want to know what tools they should pick in 2021!
And it's a fair question. So that's why today we will try to see which tool is better for you.
So let's get started!
The pricing plan is slightly different for both Figma and Sketch and they offer different benefits for your money. Sketch starts at $9/month per editor which is equivalent to $108/year but they also offer a yearly plan which is $99, which basically will save you $9 a year or the equivalent of one month.
But at this price, you only get the actual editor. If you want to create prototypes (although Sketch allows you to create and animate prototypes inside the app) if you want to share these prototypes with your clients you will need to use other tools like Marvelapp, Proto.io, Framer, or Invision.
Or if you are working closely with the developers and need to export your design assets you will need tools like Zeplin to make your life a bit easier, and thus if we add all of these apps to your total monthly cost, we will get to a total of +30$/month.
Now with Figma on the other hand, you have all these extra tools included in the package, meaning that Figma offers you the possibility to create and share prototypes, give access to developers to design assets and a bunch of other cool features that, to be honest, made my designer life a lot easier.
In terms of price, Figma starts at $15/ month or $12/month if you buy the annual subscription and for that, they also provide Figma Jam for free until 2022 (which is a collaboration tool similar to Miro or Mural. But after 2020 you will need to pay $8 or $15/month I believe depending on the plan that you have.
I presume that if you are on the free plan you will need to pay $15 and if you're on the premium plan you will only need to pay $8 for this feature, which if we compare it to Sketch will be around the same price if take in consideration all the extra tools you will need to get for Sketch in order to have access to the same functionalities as Figma.
Now the advantage that Figma has is that they have a Free plan that you can start using to designing and learn to create some UI Designs, unlike Sketch that gives you access to their editor tool for only 30 days. In my opinion, giving Figma a slight advantage over Sketch for those who just started their careers as UX Designers or for those who just want to test the product out.
In terms of features, there are no huge differences between the two. Both tools provide the same features and functionalities when it comes to creating vector-based interfaces. Now when it comes to prototyping and animating your designs again Figma has a slight advantage over Sketch, as they provide a way for you to share your prototype just with a simple click while Sketch although they provide all the necessary tools for you to be able to prototype and animate your designs there is no easy way you can share that prototype with your colleagues or clients.
You can share documents but sometimes you just want to create a quick link that you can share with your clients and get some feedback or just use it for a user testing session, and because of that again Figma gets another point for this one.
Both tools provide an excellent user experience while using their apps. Both Figma and Sketch have worked extensively to perfect their user interface in order to make our life easier and help us speed up the design process, so for this one, I would say that it is a tie. Now depending on your background and what tools you previously used in your career, you may prefer one over the other, but from my point of view, I would say that no matter what tool you choose you will not be disappointed when it comes to its interface as they both provide an excellent user experience.
This is an easy one, the most popular plugins out there that everyone uses are on both platforms meaning that neither tool will provide you with an edge when it comes to plugins. So if you're worried about plugins don't be, both Figma and Sketch will provide you with all the plugins you need.
Regarding compatibility, Sketch is only compatible with macOS operating system. There is a Windows app through which it is possible to interpret Sketch files; However, you will need a MAC in order to work and edit design files.
On the other hand, it is possible to work with Figma on any operating system (macOS, Windows and Linux) that runs a web browser. Despite having greater availability than Sketch, Figma might be a problematic solution for designers that also need to work offline. Even though it is possible to work with Figma without an internet connection, not all the functionalities are available. Plus, designers have to be careful and remember to keep saving the file since it will not do it automatically (as it happens when the user is online).
Here things start to be a bit different. Although Figma is relatively new to the industry as it was released only on September 27, 2016, compared to Sketch which was initially released on September 7 2010, its popularity grew exponentially over the few years and although Sketch is dominating the market at the current moment I think that it won't be long until Figma will flip the stats.
The bottom line is that whatever tool you pick you will not be disappointed as they are both amazing tools and will provide you with all the necessary functionalities, features and plugins for you to be able to create stunning designs. Personally, I use both these tools and I switch between them depending on the projects. But because I don't want to end this blog post just like all other blog posts out there about this subject I will answer some of the most popular questions I've been asked in the past with my personal opinion.
"If I'm just starting out which tool should I pick?"
"Which tool is best for collaborating with a larger team?"
"What tool do you use with most of your clients?"
"What tool should I use if I want to work offline?"
"In which tool is easier to create and manage a design system?"
"Currently, I'm using Sketch, what other tools should I start learning?"
Hope this helps :))