Talk: “Should I Really Bother Learning to Code?” at Web Directions Design 2018
I spoke at Web Directions Design 2018 at the Arts Centre Pavilion in Melbourne, exploring the perennial question of whether designers should learn to code.
It was a fantastic couple of days, and an absolute pleasure to be a part of such a wonderful event. The Web Directions team know how to put on a show, covering everything from the space, food, and swag to a really inclusive and insightful event. For a taste of it, check out the #design18 hashtag and the Web Directions Twitter account.
Here are the slides from my talk:
Links and resources
There are heaps of resources to learn more about code in design and design for developers in these projects:
For everything else I referenced in the talk, here are the links.
Everything designers “should” do
Designers are often told about all the things they “should” do (as if design isn’t enough), so it can be hard to know where to focus your efforts and energy. Here’s a sample:
- 6 Reasons Why Graphic Designers Should Learn UX Design by Adobe Creative Cloud
- Why UX Designers should embrace data by Stephanie van Baaijen
- Why UX Designers Should Influence Customer Experience by Chris Avore
- 10 Reasons Why All Designers Should Start Writing More by Alana Brajdic
- Why Designers Should Invest Time in Their Social Presence by Dennis Covent
- Designers shouldn’t code. They should study business. by Joshua Taylor
- Why Designers Should Code by Ryan O’Neill
Evolving design roles
The role of the designer is constantly evolving. Some industry leaders share their views in these reports:
- Design in Tech 2018 report by John Maeda
- Design in Tech 2017 report by John Maeda (video)
- InVision’s 2016 Product Design Report
Designing in the Browser
To make the text on any site editable, enter
document.designMode = "on" into the console of your browser’s developer tools. To design in browser, tweak text as you please and take a screenshot. You can drag that screenshot into your design tool of choice to combine it with your existing design workflow.
CodePen makes it easy to prototype standalone code prototypes that need high fidelity, such as testing smooth animation rendering.
Personal projects: the trickle list
Personal projects are an excellent place to put code to use for yourself. For example, I built a trickle list:
Where to start
To learn the basic of code for web pages, start here:
- Don’t fear the Internet by Jessica Hische & Russ Maschmeyer
- The Elements of Typographic Style Applied to the Web by Richard Rutter
- Designing in the browser by Kayce Basques, Google
Where to go next
With a little bit of coding skill, try these:
- Next-level Prototyping for Web Design by Ling Zhou
- Passion Projects (Procrastiworking) by Jessica Hische
- Sketch plugins by Sagi Shrieber
And, of course, these projects:
If all of this interests you, I suggest subscribing to the design and development topics of the newsletter.