The A List Apart Blog Presents:

Design Tools: What Are You Using?

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Back in June, our friend Khoi Vinh launched a survey of tools used by designers over on Today, he shares the results from 4,000 designers working in some 200 countries. The findings contained a few surprises for our team:

Interface design

As anecdotal experience may already have suggested, Sketch has pulled into the lead for interface design, edging out Photoshop by 5% among survey respondents. Clearly Photoshop is not dead. And the results might skew differently if the survey had been limited to design studios and agencies, where Sketch weighed in at 27-28% (depending on size of studio). Still, there was a time before responsive web design when no one could have imagined Photoshop winning anything less than the whopping majority of designer desktops.

Version control and file management

No surprise here: Dropbox leads the field for version control and file management, followed respectably closely by Github. As you’d expect, Github fares best at startups, but it even does respectably well at small design studios.

Some classics are tough to beat

When it comes to brainstorming, the industry overwhelmingly favors that lo-fi classic: pencil and paper. The usual suspects in other areas of the survey (Sketch, Illustrator, and Photoshop) lagged further behind here than you might expect.

Check out the full results (beautifully designed by the fine folks at Hyperakt and powered by Typeform), and let us know what surprised you in the comments.

4 Reader Comments

  1. Sketch looks interesting but I’d never invest in it. I paid for several font apps from those guys and they just kind of abandoned them every time they got bored. Third time was one too many, I don’t trust them. Photoshop does everything I need and when I need more I just design in the browser.

  2. Wow! Survey is such a powerful tool! Either way I would never guess that Photoshop isn’t the first design tool right now.
    Would be great to know about UX Designers as well.

  3. I was looking at some of your posts on this website and I conceive this web site is really instructive! Keep putting up.
    Fine post. Interesting to read.

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