#codeweekeu, should designers know how to code?

It’s CodeWeek EU from 6th to 21st October 2018. This initiative is all bringing code to all, making it fun and engaging. Supported by the major tech companies like Apple, it’s for all ages.

One of the key aims has been about developing skills and I guess leads to the question, does a UX designer need to know code? It’s not an essential requirement as there are developers who do but for me, I think it should be a language we use depending on what area of design a creative may work in. Since UX is part of my skills set I have learned the basics and here’s why:

  • It means that we can understand the limitations and possibilities of the designs we create and how code can add new features we hadn’t thought of.

  • We can prevent reworking our projects by understand the cause and effect of our requirements and how this impacts on the coding.

  • Speaking the same language as developers means a better working relationship.

  • It means we can get behind the software and repair if necessary. Code is the background for all programmes.

  • Design can be improved by understanding the complexity and maintenance of code.

  • Designers don't have to know everything about code but we can provide support and be a partnership.

How do you learn code?

I got my skills by joining Women Who Code. I also love Codeacademy. Start small and use your design know how to animate, bringing in all you know about good design fundamentals.

You can also explore code that others have created, Stack Overflow is a great way to connect with the community. Finally don’t be afraid to ask. Developers are happy to share their expertise too. Collaboration is one of the best ways to make sense of what can feel like a very difficult skill to master.