Should designers code

10 April 2019 | 2 min read

Oh no, this question again.

There’s a recurring debate in our industry over whether or not designers should write code. Everyone has an opinion. The answers always depending on who is asking.

I have been doing both in my career. I have been both a developer and a designer. My short answer is, they can if they want to.

If you ask, should developers design? Again my answer would be, they can if they want to.

They both would benefit from knowing how others work.

Just like they would benefit from knowing how to manage a business, do bookkeeping or build a house.

The real questions here is, how do we work?

Building successful products more often than not is a team effort. The design is a tool. Development is a tool too. They both allow us to create.

It’s very rare to build a product with only one tool. It’s possible to eat a bowl of soup with a fork but that’s not what the fork is for.

Development and design is a relationship. And like in any good relationship it’s good to be empathetic and feel each other pains. Rather than point a finger at the other side if something doesn’t work or when the deadlines are missed.

A lot of software gets built every day in the world, but that doesn’t mean all the software is good. Some products work well but are hard to use. Others are easy to use but unreliable.

Designers should learn to code if they think that this knowledge would help them design better products.

Developers should learn to code If they think that this knowledge would help them write better code.

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