Which One is Better: Axure or Sketch?
Axure RP and Sketch are both powerful, intuitive design tools utilized by designers all over the world. Each with their own impressive features, these two programs are quite different, while still retaining some similarities. We’ve mapped out the features of each so you can make an informed decision on which is better in the Sketch vs Axure argument.
Do They Do the Same Things?
While Axure and Sketch are both design and prototype tools, they don’t necessarily perform the same tasks. Sketch is more focused on visual design aspects of software and web applications, whereas Axure RP is more involved in the interactive design and functional prototyping aspect.
Essentially, Axure helps you make your designs function well, whereas Sketch is more focused on the aesthetics of said designs. While both are important, we’d like to note that a design that does not function well but is aesthetically pleasing likely won’t perform as well as one that’s less visually stunning and more focused on usefulness.
Storage and Collaboration
Axure makes storing and collaborating on design projects simple with cloud storage. Multiple users can access the same files, and Axure Cloud makes integrating with your favorite design tools like Adobe Illustrator simple.
Sketch also offers a similar experience through Sketch for Teams. While the software is in its Beta testing phase, you can still give it a try and access all of your team’s shared files and designs within one centralized location. You can comment and preview designs, automatically save documents to the Sketch Cloud, and even view your projects from your iOS device app.
Both Sketch and Axure boast some impressive arsenals of design tools. To discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each tool’s features would take another article entirely, so we’ll list some of the best features of each program for your consideration.
- Flow Shapes Library
- Adaptive views
- Dynamic Content
- SVG Import
- Animation Effects
- Automated Redlines
- Code Export
- Sketch Integration
- Cloud Storage and sharing
- Artboards and Animations
- Wireframe to UI Elements
- Cloud Storage and sharing
- User Flow Diagrams
- Code Export
- Non-Destructive Editing
- Export Presets
- Vector Editing
Ease of Use
One of the drawbacks of Axure RP is its learning curve. While the software isn’t necessarily complicated to the point of being too difficult to learn, it may take a few sessions before you truly get the hang of how all of the features integrate and function. Sketch is fairly easy to use, with a simple interface and design tools for quick learning and teaching.
Each tool has unique tools that you may not have used before, so there may be something you’re unfamiliar with that you’ll have to train yourself on. Both interfaces are pretty intuitive, however, so self-teaching shouldn’t be too difficult; especially if you’ve used any kind of design software in the past (which you likely have).
Endlessly handing designs back and forth between designers and developers can be time-consuming and frustrating. Sharing and collaboration are easiest within Axure, since its cloud service is already established and specifically designed to make collaboration as simple as possible.
Sketch is well on its way with Sketch for Teams, but for now, collaboration is a little less simple if you’re using this software.
The prices of both of these design tools are vastly different and will depend on what you’re looking for in terms of features.
Axure has a Pro Version which starts out at $29 per user per month, and grants you access to wireframes and diagrams, advanced prototyping, mobile prototyping, notes and documentation, and free hosting on the Axure Cloud. If you choose the Team package, you’ll get access to everything the Pro package offers, plus co-authoring tools, revision history, and team project hosting on the cloud. This package is $49 per user, per month.
Sketch takes a relatively simple approach to its pricing structure. For just $99, you can obtain a personal license for one year; granting you access to all of the great features that Sketch has to offer. After your year has concluded, you can choose to renew your license or simply stop receiving updates. You can also choose the Volume License for two devices, which is $89 per year and provides the same benefits.
Sketch is a MacOS-based software program, so you won’t be able to use it if you’re a Linux or Windows user. With frequent updates, your software will constantly be updated to the latest version so as to keep it running seamlessly and keep your design process as streamlined as possible.
Axure is available across all platforms, being a web-based design tool. You can use Axure even if you’re a Linux user, and you’ll always be updated to the latest version automatically.
The Bottom Line
Both tools are effective at what they do; whether you’re focusing on the aesthetics or the functionality of your design, Axure and Sketch can both be used to ensure you’re creating your best designs. Sketch is more focused on the aesthetics of the design, whereas Axure is the tool you want to ensure your designs function well.
With integrations for several design programs, an affordable price tag, and the ability to integrate with Sketch itself, we’re giving Axure the number one spot in our comparison. Each program has its own unique set of features, but Axure has the most overall features for the price; and includes the cloud storage and collaboration option that makes team projects that much easier.