I am in situation where I would like to understand how to correctly organize design project symbols/symbol page to reuse them in design file later by different person.

For example, I am making a web design in Sketch and currently I am in Home page where are different sections like what we do, out works, our members etc. As an example I would like to mention members. There is a picture of member, heading text, body text and social profile icons. As a symbol I can create the picture and later use the override option to change it, I can create all these social icons as one symbol to reuse them later during the design process, OR I can select all this information (picture, texts and icons) and make it as symbol.

Can I choose between these methods and are they both correct for end user that will work with this file?

In addition to my question I would like to understand what counts as one UI element in Sketch design file. For example, it is one icon as one element or group of icons also can be as one element?

  • Better is subjective; what's better for me might not be for you. As such your question is opinion based, which goes against the format of questions for GD.SE. Check graphicdesign.stackexchange.com/help/how-to-ask
    – Luciano
    Aug 10, 2017 at 9:17
  • Changed my question to more precise. The main idea what I want to know is that can I do both of these methods and are they both good to choose from. In addition to my question I would like to understand what counts as one UI element in Sketch design file. For example, it is one icon as one element or group of icons also can be as one element?
    – istoby
    Aug 10, 2017 at 9:26
  • I still think this question is still far too subjective - I'm tempted to say do what you want, it's your call - there is no "correct way". Do what you think is best for your situation.
    – Billy Kerr
    Aug 10, 2017 at 11:49

2 Answers 2


First, I think this is a good question and it shows that it is a bit tricky to understand the nesting of symbols, to create a good workflow for an fast and intuitive workflow as a designer.

Second, let me give you a brief introduction to nesting symbols. For example. You create one image for an avatar. Create a circle, place the image, make it a mask and your restult is a rounded profile image. Select the group and click "Create Symbol". Your Symbol is done.

After this you do the same steps with your icons. "UI element" is a very big word and can mean almost everything (buttons, listitem, tooltip, etc.) When you created symbols out of your icons we go to the next step.

Now you create your "user-card" element with the avatar symbol, the icons and some text. Select everything and click "Create Symbol". Boom, you created your first "nesting symbols"-symbol. This leads us to the very interesting part of "nested overrides". Lets say you copy your "user-card" the times and want to change the avatar, icons and text. If you select an element sketch-app is showing you the list of possible "Overrides" in the right sidebar.

Added this screenshot:

enter image description here

Read list for more information!

Never stop learning Have fun! Sketch is the perfect tool for this workflow.

  • Gerrit, thank you for this! This answer almost everything! Talking about UI elements, does the avatar symbol counts as one UI element, each icon as one element or the user card symbol counts as one UI element?
    – istoby
    Aug 10, 2017 at 13:23
  • Happy that my answer helps :) So basicly everything you build an interface with counts as an UI element because its sum is the UI (sounds logic) maybe those lists will make it more clear: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_graphical_user_interface_elements ; semantic-ui.com/elements/button.html (see the list in the left sidebar)
    – Gerrit
    Aug 10, 2017 at 13:36

I would say One symbol of all elements. that way you have everything in one area combined into one thing. As apposed to multiple things of Multiple elements.

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