• Josh Rio, almost 5 years ago

    This x100.

    We're in an era, where it's acceptable to be a 'non-technical' designer, but I believe that era is coming to an end. As a designer, you should want to carry your designs through to completion to ensure your design maintains its integrity as it's translated from pixels to code.

    I can guarantee you one thing. Learning to code makes you a better designer. You'll stop doing frilly bullshit because you'll know how hard it is to implement. By simplifying your designs and thus the associated code, is likely to make half the argument for you.

    The other half of course, is learning to code. The fact you guys are using React, shows they know the right approach to frontends. As a designer, you should be learning it because it enables you to build cross platform applications with a single tool. Reacts mantra after all is 'Learn one, write anywhere'.

    If you can learn React, then you'll be able to design, implement, then code applications for Desktop, Web, Android and iOS. From a developers perspective they're going to respect you a great deal more. From an employees perspective you're a unicorn.

    And in the odd case that the company or development team are actually fuckwits. You can pack up your bags and take your skills to a company that respects them and make more money.

    My advice is to learn React through Stephen Griders courses on Udemy. React is a great way to start actually learning more functional Javascript too. You'll realize that CSS/HTML isn't that hard, and now you want to figure out how to stop duplicating code and use data instead of static code.

    Once here, you're in good shape for the next 10 years.

    2 points
    • Johan Gunnarsson, almost 5 years ago

      I think we're moving in the opposite direction. All fields (design, ux, front end) are way more advanced today then say 5 years ago. To be a top tier designer you have to have a strong understanding of classic design principles, stay up to date with all the tools, all new frameworks, design processes, be great at communication your decisions and to sell your design (to clients or internally), etc.

      If you besides that want to be a skilled front end developer and write production ready code, well good luck with that. You can be average at both, or really great at one.

      0 points
      • Josh Rio, almost 5 years ago

        1,000,000% disagree.

        I have a feeling this is coming from a perspective where you haven't actually tried to code and so you think it's an unattainable skill. I could be wrong but I doubt it because I used to think the same way before I taught myself to code.

        I consistently hear this defeatist attitude on both sides of the aisle. Designers saying you can't be good at developing. Developers saying they can't be good at design. The truth is, good design and development share many of the same fundamentals such as simplicity, modularity, reusability, scalability, systems thinking etc.

        If you learn Javascript and a framework (like React) for even 6 months, you'll see that it's not that difficult. Is it hard? Sure. Is it a 'savant-only' skill? No way.

        You might also be in a position where you work in a large company or studio where specialists are all that people hire. Personally, I don't do that, I start companies or work on early stage companies where being a generalist is your only option.

        At early stage companies you don't have the budget to hire:

        • 1 x UX designer
        • 1 x UI Designer
        • 1x User Research
        • 1x HTML/CSS Developer
        • 1x Frontend Developer
        • 1x Backend Developer.

        You learn to 80% yourself or you're unemployable, or in my case unfound-able. If you're not a "specialists specialist" (i.e Erik Spiekermann, Massimo Vignelli) you're always at the risk of a person with 1 more skill than you stealing your opportunities.

        Personally, that's not a risk i'm willing to take.

        0 points
        • Johan Gunnarsson, almost 5 years ago

          Yeah we seem to disagree. I come from a code background and early in my career I did both design and development. But I have come to realise that this skill has little impact on how "good" a design is. Code illiterates can create amazing design, all you need is an understanding on how it works.

          I still code for fun but rarely uses it professionally. Mainly because my code is not as good as that written by a real developer. I think it's too hard for most people to be good enough in both design and code to make the stuff you produce production ready. If it's not good enough to use for real, then you might as well use a visual prototyping tool.

          My 2 cents

          1 point