Every couple of weeks we see a new commodity come up that tries to answer the good old question: should designers learn to code? Our industry is assuredly extensive a point where we are able to step back and reframe that catechism altogether.

There are two axiological arguments used by those who defend the fact that designers who learn to code become more admired than others:

  • First, by creating prototypes that are as close as accessible to the ultimate intent of the adapted experience, it becomes more likely that it will be accomplished by others appropriately — if not by the artist itself.
  • Second, the more a artist can speak the accent of their developer peers, the better they can coact to get to a stronger final product.

Of course designers should know how to code. This is about being a good artisan and alive the abstracts you’re ambidextrous with.

Of course designers shouldn’t spend all day creating code. This is as inefficient as asking an artist to build a wall herself.

However, it turns out we were asking the wrong catechism all along.

As Dave Malouf points out in “To code or not to code? OMG! This is absolutely the wrong question,” while both of these arguments are truisms and accurate in their framing, they also abide to ignore all of the data that suggests there are after-effects to these truths — creating a unique absurdity of logic.

Relying on designers to be able to code can be a evidence of systemic abuse in the workplace. “As a designer, I will go out of my way to speak the accent of those who hold power, to assimilate, so they will trust me.

At the heart of this [contradiction] is the foundation of anthropology and the notion of acclimation the alien and cabal perspectives to bring compassionate through comparison. I am only as admired as a artist as I am able to advance antithesis amid the alien and cabal perspectives and to hold the mindset of student/apprentice.” — states Malouf.

In alongside to this amaranthine discussion, we have been celebratory an advancing change of the design tools we use accustomed that enable designers to go back to absorption on what they are really good at: designing (big surprise).

In 2018 we have seen a few transformations that approve that trend:

  • Principle has become one of the most accepted UI prototyping tools, acute almost zero ability of coding and native coding languages;
  • Companies like Airbnb have developed centralized workflows that allow designers to sketch a UI on paper, and spit out code in a matter of seconds, bridging the gap amid designers and engineers alive on design systems at scale;
  • New tools like Framer X and Modulz have acquired to be able to automatically construe UI patterns into React components, which means in most cases developers can build upon designs instead of replicating them in production;
  • Tools like Hadron App have started to unify Design and Dev workflows into a single UI that has two audible “views”.
Hadron App: one tool, two audible views

Our tools shape the way we think. While alive how to code absolutely helps designers ensure they are coming up with technically achievable interfaces, there is a new wave of tools that are gradually taking on the albatross of making designers think in terms of apparatus and design systems.

Design tools that are absorption on the design-dev accord have a aggressive advantage over the ones that are solely absorption on fancy animations and gimmicks — or other things that will only account the designer–designer-please-like-my-dribbble-shot need for validation.

In 2019, we will see more instances of design tools that “know how to code”— designers putting machines to work for them, as against to having to learn an absolutely new conduct that is adopted to their craft. It will also be the year when we stop cerebration in terms of “dev handoff,” and start cerebration in terms of chip workflows.