We Don’t Need More Designers Who Can Code(medium.com)

over 8 years ago from Saneef Ansari, Consultant Designer & Developer

  • Paul BestPaul Best, over 8 years ago (edited over 8 years ago )

    When creating an "ecosystem of design", if the designer is skilled enough, it can save time and improve the final product to write basic code which can be passed to a development team for integration.

    Take Lonley planet's UI library as an example: http://rizzo.lonelyplanet.com/styleguide/ui-components

    A designer might write some basic mark-up and CSS or even JS for the components you see listed in the left column. The development team can then take the mark-up and integrate into their templating system. This process requires a lot of empathy, multi-disciplinary talent, and a defined style guide for coding (using same conventions, same pre-processor, working within existing markup structures, etc)

    0 points
    • Nick SloggettNick Sloggett, over 8 years ago

      You went from top-notch CSS and production ready code to, a designer could code up some basic markup. Fairly different things there. Knowing code, and writing enterprise top notch code, are wildly different things. I work directly in a development team, and completely agree with the empathy and the ability to jump in and sling some clean up code. Saying hey designer, we want you to design an ecosystem, from wires to visual, then break them out, have a firm understanding of modular development and write all the markup code for your design that is production ready, so we can grab-n-go that'd be great. Also while you're doing all that, you're not iterating, testing, or anything like that unless you're doing that iterating in-browser (not always bad). There is always a balance to be had. Good talk paul.

      3 points
      • Paul BestPaul Best, over 8 years ago (edited over 8 years ago )

        Yes, a designer might write top-notch CSS and production ready code. OR a designer might write some basic mark-up. That's the point I'm making. The reason this debate gets so tiresome is that the answer is not academic, but rather depends totally on the team/project at hand.

        For smaller projects that have limited functionality, such as a content-driven website, the designer may have to do exactly what you described. For others that same designer may have no place writing code as a deliverable (even if they write code to support their own workflow).

        The main takeaway from my thought is that as a designer, I am more versatile because I can code well for front-end web. This versatility has made me immensely more marketable and undoubtedly generated a lot of income for me. Summing it all up: I would never discourage an aspiring interactive designer from becoming an absolute expert in HTML markup, CSS layout & animation, and Javascript UI interactivity.

        4 points