Part of our day as UI/UX Designers is to make lots of explorations on a challenge we’re working. As a consequence, we might end up with Sketch files that we are not proud of, messy artboards, layers and groups without a proper name, duplicated symbols and more.
There’s also the challenge to use our time the best way possible. And doing repetitive tasks and doing a few things manually is not the way to go.
Luckily we have methods and tools that can help us. Today we would like to share the must-have plugins that will help you and your team go to the next level of productivity.
1. Automate ⏤ Keeping the files organized when you are working in a distributed team is hard. If you are looking for a fast and automated way of doing this, this plugin will help you organize folders, layers, symbols and the entire project, keeping what is necessary to share with other teammates ⏤ they’ll cry of happiness opening your files.
2. Sketch Runner ⏤ I never was a guy who works with the keyboard shortcuts but, with Sketch Runner, you use commands directly from the keyboard to install plugins, create symbols, go to specific pages, apply styles and much more. Very recommended when you are working on a massive project or if you are using symbols states (more than twenty symbols as a sample).
3. Launchpad by Anima App ⏤ This plugin, in my humble opinion, is a fresh start of a kind of new era in tools to help designers create sites visually ⏤ with no code or developer required. If you are working as a freelance designer or need to share your design live instead of prototyping first, this was made for you. It not only works for static sites but they also let you add animations, generate menus and a bunch of other standard styles. It’s a promising tool. I predict this is going to be huge in the next few years. Stay tuned.
4. Confetti Plugin ⏤ Created by YummyGum studio, this plugin makes it very easy to create random patterns with symbols, bitmap images and more. We’ve used this plugin a lot in recent projects. It makes it easy to create fast patterns on Sketch.
5. Perfecter ⏤ Sometimes finding the correct line height for the Headings or paragraph texts sizes by eye is a hard thing to do ⏤ and also not good practice. Perfecter helps you to be sharp with typography, making better adjustments on the space between type lines based on proportions like Golden ratio, Silver ratio, Pi, and more. Plus: There’s a similar version of this plugin called Golden line Height.
6. Auto-Layout by Anima App ⏤ Responsive sites are no longer a trend, but rather an obligation. With this plugin, you can be much faster resizing your designs while seeing an overview of all screens available. Like they say “It’s a piece of cake.”
7. Sketch Measure ⏤ Handing off our designs to a developer here at Startaê is something we take very seriously. Studios and other designers usually share those specs with zeplin.io or Invision ⏤ that we agree on, are the perfect tool for that ⏤ but keeping the same design spec on both files (Sketch, Zeplin) helps everybody find those specs easily. Last year we had a major delivery for the design team of Evino, where we designed the components in an Atomic Design System and created all design specs with this plugin. We have some screenshots of it in the Case of Study. PS: This plugin also lets you share the Specs directly from the Sketch app.
8. Social Artboards ⏤ A easy way to find and create new artboards for social media profiles. This one in question lets you have Facebook, Twitter, and Dribbble artboards just on a click. Very helpful if you’re working on a branding project and don’t have any idea about the artboards sizes.
9. Sketch2AE ⏤ “It’s Magic, it’s the most Beautiful plugin ever” by Bruno Gonçalves. There’s a huge discussion nowadays about making animations to represent how a design will work on real screens. Some people say that beautiful interactions will never work in the real world, only on the Dribbble shot. Opinions apart, this plugin makes prototyping animations easy to come alive. We have also been using it a lot on recent projects.
10. Icon Font ⏤ Working using font icons is a common pattern, we know that. SVG is always a requirement from the developers, and they have won this battle. About icons, we sincerely recommend customizing yours owns. But, to get the most of your productivity, I also recommended working with this plugin. IconFont allows you to select the icon from a Grid — supports FontAwesome and the Material Icon font. Specially useful if you’re are working on wireframes. You can install the font-bundle as you wish, and if those icons are not the final option, you can convert them to SVG later as well.
So, is there any other plugin that we forgot to list here? Let us know in the comments. Thanks a lot to Renato Carvalho, Renato Contaifer, Bruno Gonçalves and Rafael Frota for sharing their secret sauce here on this post.