Has It Become Imminent For Web Designers To Learn Coding?
In the old days when companies did not have many specialized roles given to employees, it was still debatable to learn coding. By 2016 however, things have changed and people have ridiculously specialized roles to perform, like “User experience Analyst”. So it’s not like it’s gonna be a one man job who’ll be designing your entire website. We have better tools and efficient best practices at place.
But taking both sides into consideration, let’s examine first why you don’t need to code?
Why you don’t need to code?
As said above, by 2016 designers have got so many powerful tools that they simply don’t need to learn how to code to build a beautiful, functional and responsive website. Most designers, don’t want to code. And there’s nothing wrong with that. In the past, it was a mandatory task for designers to code and there was nothing they could do to get around the website’s development process.
Task of a designer today is not limited to creating static wireframes and mockups. With the help of awesome tools like Macaw, designers can easily create live websites by using simple drag and drop principles. Another example is Webflow, which generates clean, W3C compliant, HTML and CSS styles that are even better than what most of the professional developers write by hand. It is based on Twitter’s Bootstrap framework, and works really well. That’s not it, the discussion is not limited to functionality here. The websites that are developed in Macaw or Webflow can be exported off the platform entirely so you can work on it in the comfort of your IDE to develop it.
Why you should learn to code anyway
It’s not entirely good to not learn coding. Think about it. If you are going to be ignoring all the concepts that are inherent to web development, you’re worse off for it. To learn coding is important if you’re going to be working with the developers and you can properly understand their needs. Conversely, if you need to explain your ideas to the developers you should atleast have the basic skill set and vocabulary to best express yourself to them. You should know the technical sides involved in the ideas of which you speak.
To add-on to the discussion, you will be a better designer if you had the understanding about why certain programming languages are used and how they restrict or expand your abilities to design your ideas, and how the development process really works. When you have that technical understanding of what can be realistically implemented among your ideas, then you won’t waste your time and would focus your energy in the right direction.
Plus, the idea of keep-on learning cannot be left behind to keep yourself updated with what’s new in the industry. If tomorrow some new language is introduced and some new design idaes could be implemented that you are not aware of, then you’ll quickly fall behind in this fast moving world.
Taking the discussion to conclusion, let’s see what designers really want.
What Designers really want
As is the general trend among the designers, they just want to create their own website and not necessarily code them. The two driving factors are such:
#1. Offering consolidated services to clients
Most of the freelance designers do not have such deep pockets that they could afford a developer who translates their work into a functioning site. Meanwhile, the client also does not wants to take the headache to hire a designer first, then look for a developer who could code the design idea, and the client also needs to manage communications between you two. Whoa!, that’s a lot of work. Therefore, if you can both the task as a designer using the professional tools, you and your client are happy. Hence, we come back full circle to those professional design tools which are worth your while.
#2. Gaining greater control over their work
A designer is just like an artist who wants his complete ideation to be transformed into a masterpiece that he thought it be. Unfortunately, a lot is lost in translation from the designer to developer. Adapting a PSD into a HTML and CSS is not a one-for-one process in the era of responsive design. When designers are able to develop their own sites, without having to code it, they are in-charge of the entire product flow and the site benefits from the unification of two- designer and developer found in one person. This way, designers are better able to respond to client change requests on the fly.