3 Creative Software I'm Digging Right Now / by Olivia Penero

I think it's not far-fetched to say we're all familiar with the Adobe Creative Suite - especially Photoshop and Illustrator. Regardless of your background, you may have heard these words being tossed around at conversations, and talk of how one is easier to use than the other.

As a designer, I have my own favorites, ones that I use on a regular basis at work and for other projects. Today, I'd like to list three creative tools I'm super into at the moment. 

 

1. Sketch App

What It Is/Does

Calling my fellow UI/UX peeps! Sketch was designed to make creating web and mobile interfaces with ease. You can create prototypes via integration with InVision, and even view your creations directly on your device with the free Sketch Mirror app (iOS). Sketch is currently only available on the Mac (OS X 10.11+). 

What I Use It For

Aside from doing UI/UX designing, I use Sketch to create posters, logos, and vectors. It has replaced Illustrator for me, and it's quite lighter than the Adobe app. I also use Sketch to create PDFs, Flyers, and other documents where I need full control of the layout. I also use it to create memes, hahaha. If I need to design something quick, I open Sketch instead of Photoshop.

How Much Is It?

It's priced at $99 - and yes, it's worth every penny. It might look like a steep price to pay for a software at first, but once you realize the amount you can do with the app (and the awesome resource library available for you to download), $99 won't seem so bad. 

I've been using sketch for almost two years now, and I don't regret anything. It's SUCH a good application. If you're still skeptical, Sketch offers a Free Trial to help you decide. 

 

2. Adobe XD (Experience Design CC)

What It Is/Does

Adobe XD was created for UI/UX Designers who want an all-in-app solution, from design, to UX, to prototyping. People have hailed this as the long-awaited competitor for Sketch, and for good reason. With Adobe XD, you can prototype right within the app, something Sketch is yet to offer. This is still in Beta, and is currently available for Mac and Windows. Like Sketch, you may also preview your UI/UX project on your Android or iOS device.

What I Use It For

Strictly UI/UX, for when I want to test my design but have no internet access. The internet connection at home is sometimes unstable, and if I use Sketch, I'll need the internet to sync my design to InVision. I originally designed the Liza App in XD when it was still in its early stage (with less functionalities), then switched to Sketch to finish the process and sync with InVision. 

I've updated Adobe XD on my Mac and it's going very well. Adobe is doing something awesome and I can't wait until it's fully completed.

How Much Is It?

Since it's still in Beta, Adobe Experience Design CC is free for download as of now. Once it's done though, it'll be included in the Creative Cloud, in which you'll have to pay the monthly or yearly subscription service to a suite of Adobe apps (like Photoshop & Illustrator).

 

3. iShowU Studio 2

What It Is/Does

This Mac app by Shiny White Box is amazing. Their tagline states that iShowU Studio 2 is "screen recording & video editing for mortals", a description that is incredibly accurate. It allows you to record the screen, it's audio, use your Mac's camera to record your face, and your mic's audio. Simply put, iShowU is the software for gamers and people who upload tutorials/how-to videos. Once you're done recording, you can directly edit from the application itself, so there's no need to import it into a video-editing software.   

What I Use It For

Apart from being a blogger and graphic designer, I also game. So, I tend to use it for recording my play-throughs (though I don't really post them online, haha). I also record tutorials and song covers using iShowU. I love the fact that it's very versatile in the editing department as well. 

How Much Is It?

IShowU Studio 2 costs $79 for the Standard edition, and while there are other software that could easily compete against the price, it's still a really good software to invest in. I'm not sure if they offer a free trial, but you can download iShowU Studio 2 here

 

I hope you get the chance to try at least one of these out for yourself. Maybe you could try Sketch or Adobe XD for your personal projects? If you do, please let me know what you think. I'd love to hear what you think!