What Happens When Designer Knows To Code

Along with the long history of digital product, front-end technology has been surprisingly evolved. The evolution has been brilliant especially recent few years, in the meantime, designers are always suffered from the question:

Should I learn to code?

I’m here to talk about the actual changes when designer knows how to code.

1. Whatever You Think, Just Make.

Let’s be honest. Visual designers can’t make working product by themselves. Yes, many prototyping tools are coming, but not enough you know. Designers need developer at the end, without them, designers are able to create just great plans.

If you are an experienced designer, you might know the way you have grown. When the product you designed has been released, you can observe how user use it, and you might have been learned from the result. Before to release a product, it’s really hard to imagine the full product and the result from users. So more release-result-learn experience brings you steeper learning curve.

If you know how to code, you can get the experience by yourself. The experience realizing what you think makes you see the result and learn from the real feedback. I don’t mean you to be a full-stack-designer-developer. Just make what you think in anyway. You don’t need to make product having perfectly optimized performance. All you need to do is just make what you think, test it and learn from it. I guarantee that, by accelerating running this cycle more, you will be the one who experienced multiple times then other designers who don’t.

2. The Shift of Design Job Focus

Many designers would agree with that, they consume a lot of time to prepare for better delivery to developer. But is it really needed task?

Who loves more Pixel-Perfect Product?

Few years ago, most duty of front end developers was to publish. So the keen eye was one of the best ability and creating pixel-perfect product was in charge of them. But in these days, they are being requested to consider about client-side-rendering, framework, performance and so on. Which means, the pixel-perfect-product is not the only focus of them.

In the other hand, designers always have been thought about pixel-perfect product. They love visually perfect product, and have been in charge of designing pixel-perfect. So they have strived with front-end developers to finalize the product as pixel-perfect.

Don’t waste time for better delivery to developer.

Then should designers fight with developer to get pixel-perfect product? Actually along with the evolution of front-end technology, the way of publishing has evolved too. Amazing IDEs reduce unnecessary repeated jobs, SASS reduced a lot of confusion in writing CSS and a lot of Javascript libraries are being spilled out everyday.

A bunch of helpers is letting designers able to code easily. So don’t waste time for better delivery to developer, just make. As you might know, already many designers are working on their own coded product.

Focus on designing better experience

As a product designer, I recommend to see these products to study product quality. These show what happened when designer knows to code.

  • Listener’s Playlist (Link)
  • Notion (Link)
  • Framer (Link)
  • Apple XS Introduction Page (Link)
  • (And please add other awesome works on comment. )

If you are the designer, who doesn’t know how to code, are you even able to imagine how you can design these products? As a designer, knowing to code let you imagine more experience practically. More you know, you can imagine more, it’s the key. Then you can design digital user experience in enhanced dimension.

3. Don’t Flounder No More in Graphic Design Tool to Manage Components

Many design tools such as Sketch, Adobe XD, Figma, InVision and Framer are fighting in this age. With the tools, symbol feature and other plugins are leading this age. But we still need to struggle with data component management issues. Also version control systems like Abstract and Kactus need to go a few years more to be satisfying products.

These issues are already handled from developers. component management issues designers suffers are resolved by IDE, variable and other data structure. And version control issue will be handled by Github and real-time HTML rendering. So if designers know to code, they can mange core design component as code, then they can create much better workflow by using tools developers currently use. The design tools I mentioned at the first of this chapter might be the movements from design coders to change this inefficient workflow of designers.

Conclusion

Let’s grow the culture of designers. Learning to code would not letting you down, it might be definitely improvement. Unleash yourself, don’t flounder in restricted tools.

Also the team I’m currently in, Pluto Network, is looking for great members. If you agree with the content or want to work with me, please let me know. We have strong teamwork and talent.

Especially front team is changing our workflow like the way I wrote. We work as front-end technical engineer and front-end designers. The designers adjust CSS code by themselves and make prototype as they want. If you are a designer how to code, and want to utilize your skills fully, we are the team you are looking for. Or if you are a good UI designer and eager to learn to code, you are also good candidate of our team. We are open to discuss your career, so feel free to contact for any discussion.

Thanks for reading this article.

Facebook: facebook.com/onlymytho
Email: onlymytho@gmail.com

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