Ask Me Anything (AMA) with Sketch founders Pieter & Emanuel

Hello, everyone!

We’re excited to be launching this community forum, and that you’ve decided to join us. As promised, we’ll be answering your questions, right here in this forum topic, on 2023-03-07T17:00:00Z to kick things off.

You don’t have to wait until then to ask your questions. In fact, you can ask them now! here are a few pointers on how to participate:

  • Please ask a question by replying to this topic one time only, using the Reply button at the bottom of this topic.
  • Before you ask your question, scroll down and take a look at the existing questions to make sure someone hasn’t already asked yours.
  • Please don’t reply to anyone else’s post as I’ll be using this space to answer their questions. If you’d like to discuss anything in more detail, you can always create a new topic in a relevant category elsewhere.

That’s it!

Drop any questions you may have about Sketch and our short and long-term plans in the replies below :point_down:


Hi Pieter and Emanuel!

Thanks for making time to answer our questions!

27% of respondents in the 2022 Design Tools Survey use Windows and 72% of people worldwide use Android.

I wanted to ask you: any plans to target Windows and Android?


Hi Pieter/Emanuel,
Thank you very much for doing this. I had a couple of questions -

  1. As founders/product owners, how do you decide on building out a specific feature yourself (vs) just providing the hooks and letting the community build it out?
  2. I’m sure you’ve been thinking about the onslaught of AI tools in the ecosystem. How are you looking at it from Sketch perspective? hint Is the Assistant feature going to get an upgrade?

Is there a roadmap you can share with us? What’s the next year look like for updates? What about the next 5 years?


Hello there guys. thanks for taking the time to do this.

In my personal experience using sketch the only place where I always fell short is in prototyping capabilities. Features like Overlaying Artboards, different interactions with hotspots or some more complex animations would be much much welcomed <3

Any plans on approaching those features?

I also noticed how InVision won’t let you do all of that stuff on the Mac App so maybe it’s not the place but since the Sketch browser experience is so improved….:wink:

Thanks Again.


Your [legacy] annual payment model was industry-leading, and a huge boon for designers in the early age of Creative Cloud. Now, with Figma having converted an enormous number of your previous customers, and [possibly] merging with Adobe, the pickings seem ripe to again capitalize on users that want to get into Sketch, but aren’t comfortable not owning their designs beyond a subscription.

Will you bring back your old payment model for non-cloud based users?

This, coupled with proper flex/grid responsive layout support and prototyping, will assuredly attract back a large group of dissatisfied Figma customers. It just has to actually happen, and in much closer to 3-5 months than in 3-5 years.

Always been rooting for you guys, but the wait is increasingly long and lonely.


Hey Pieter/Emanuel, thanks for doing this, I’m looking forward to your answers.

My questions:

  1. I’m a web designer and developer, and ChatGPT and GitHub Copilot are game-changers for my development process. Do you know of any promising AI design tools that either exist already or are being developed? Any you’d like to see? Thoughts about how AI may be used within Sketch?
  2. I love Sketch and have heavily invested in it as my primary web design tool. I worry when I hear any news about Figma gaining popularity. Going forward, what will it take for Sketch to reign supreme :crown: over Figma, or at least stand apart as the better design tool?
  3. My favorite aspect of Sketch is how it helps me create single sources of truth for all the components of my design with json data, symbols, styles, etc. Any plans you can share for making those features even better?

Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts with us!

Also, quick shout out to Sketch customer support, I appreciate their superb support over the years.


Hello! Thanks for doing this AMA, I am looking forward to it, and appreciate the transparency.

I have a question about the plugin ecosystem. I have noticed recently that a lot of really useful plugins are starting to get abandoned. The biggest one that comes to mind is Sketch Runner. The maker of it mentioned that his company has switched to Figma, so he doesn’t have a lot of time to keep Runner up-to-date with the Sketch updates. However, that particular plugin is almost as important as Sketch itself in terms of workflow, so if we were to lose that it would be a big loss.

Are there any thoughts or plans on how to keep the plugin community interested in working with Sketch? Thank you!


I really want to know, how to change the subscription payment model from monthly payment to annual payment?

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Hey, guys.

thanks for the opportunity to ask you questions. I’ve been a loyal user of yours since 2014, and back then switching to Sketch was a lifesaver from completely burning out due to having to work in PS.

A lot has changed in that time, and you have to admit that now Sketch is no longer the leader in design tools, and that Figma is winning the battle for most designers. In this context, how do you see your future in the next three to five years? Are there concerns that the situation might reach a point where it is no longer profitable for you to develop Sketch? And how has the fact that you reduced your team by 50% last year affected you?

Thanks in advance for the answers, and I believe I’ll be with Sketch for at least another decade!


Hello! I use and support Sketch for many years now. Love its openness, high quality native app, being focused and specialized (no bloat!) and attention to details. It is one of the rare alternatives to Adobe’s tools.

Currently design tools are still more optimized for drawing interfaces than they are on generation. With new AI tools we are seeing potential for less manual work by designers allowing us more time to focus on thinking, exploring and focusing on the bigger picture. But even before that there are ways to make features and tools smarter.

I’m interested to hear how you see modern design tools evolving in the next couple of years and how you see Sketch in that context?

Thank you!

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Hello, Pieter and Emanuel :wave:

It’s a great opportunity to ask you questions. Thanks a lot for making this product that I love so much since 9 years.

My questions:

  • Why not organizing events/conference every year (or every 6 months) to give to your users (and all the world) a kind of roadmap and/or presenting new key features.
  • Lots of people are talking about the “war” between Sketch and Figma, are you considering it’s a war ? Sketch seems to have different strategy so I’m not really sure it’s a real war.
  • Why not making Sketch a different tool with its owns killer features, you don’t need to copy other but to innovate. Is it in your plans ?

Thanks for the answers, my heart is with Sketch since the beginning and it always be :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:


Hi Sketch founders,

Just a question on for how (much) longer will those happy with their legacy Mac-only licensees get to continue renewing such license?

As a software developer myself, I agree that subscriptions better guarantee sustainability, but I personally do prefer perpetual licenses, even if it meant higher prices, and reduced functionality.

Probably someone else will appreciate perpetual licenses too, as we see in the cases of Adobe CS6 and LR5/6 in the past.

If the founders don’t mind sharing, I would like to hear on their perspective on the Mac-only license.

Now, regardless of future licensing methods, I will continue to support Sketch, as it’s a great software for designing, just more of a, wanting to know about, kind of a thing.

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Hoi Pieter en Emanuel! Thank you so much for doing this Q&A.

Q1 - When will Smart Layout be brought to the Artboard level? From what I can see the new Group Level Smart Layout feature is amazing (Experimental feature: Smart Layout in groups - #5 by eurlichallan).
Q2 - When can (or if) we expect to see Symbol Variants?

Keep up the amazing work on this amazing application!

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We built Sketch originally because it was a tool that we needed ourselves. We always wanted to build a Mac app because that’s what we used ourselves, and building a good Mac app meant (back in the day) writing it in Objective-C, on top of Apple’s Cocoa and Appkit frameworks. Many years later now, we’re still working on the application that we want to use ourselves, and that tool is a native Mac app that is perfectly at home on Apple’s macOS and takes great advantage of the features it offers.

Expanding to other platforms is not a priority for us, for one, we believe strongly that to build a good tool you have to use it yourself, and rewriting Sketch on more platform-agnostic tools will make our Mac app worse and just allow us to make a Windows app which we would never use. We also just don’t know how to make a good Windows app, nor are we frankly, terribly motivated to learn. We love the Mac. :slight_smile:



Sketch itself made artboards, symbols, and multiple fills, among others, the mainstream features of UI/UX apps they are today. As we mature as a tool, we’ve taken a more long-term, careful approach to deciding why a certain feature is needed and how to best incorporate it to Sketch in a way that adds value to all sorts of workflows our users employ on their day-to-day work. Community feedback is important to us, and a huge driver in a decision, hence this forum, to maybe improve on the back and forth as many times as necessary to validate a feature.


The various AI tools are a very exciting technological development that we will surely want to explore within Sketch as well. I can already say though that it won’t be built on top of our Assistants feature, the feature hasn’t met with the popularity we had hoped, and indeed it’s always been too hard to write Assistants. In the next update we will officially sunset the feature. Indeed maybe in the future AI will, in part, replace it.


There’s a lot of things we are working on, but we’re always hesitant to share roadmaps out too far. The design landscape is currently moving fast and we’d be kidding ourselves if we said we know what we’ll be working on in 5 years – just look at the sudden emergence of AI to know that things change. Also, Apple has the fun habit to throw a curveball our way every couple of years.

But, looking less far ahead, we’re working on wrapping up our work on Annotations across Mac and Web, and we’re testing a Runner-like feature internally. We’re also at work on improved Prototyping, Smart Layout outside Symbols among other things (check it out!). You can also expect this forum to become the official platform where we expect to at least discuss the next 6 to 12 months of improvements and share early versions of features we’re working on.


Hello Lucas,

you’ll be pleased to know that Overlays are already a feature supported in Sketch as of somewhere halfway last year! I can point you to a blog post to get started, it has some really nice touches we think:

We’re working on adding more features to prototyping beyond Overlays, and I hope before too long we can start sharing more details here.

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Hello Phy,

While Sketch today is indeed a subscription, we still offer all the benefits of running a native application on your Mac, such as saving your files offline, while also providing an open file format that provides you full ownership of all your work, unlike any other offering on the market.

As subscriptions go, in order to offer collaborative tools such as document storage, real-time collaboration, and handoff, there are substantial operating costs that made the previous model unfit for us if we wanted to run a sustainable business.

As for Layout features, It’s in the Sketch 96 beta behind an experimental Labs feature flag, go to and give it a try!