Do Designers Really Need to Know How to Code?


Designing interactive websites with motion graphics? Awesome. Coding them? Not so much.

Designing interactive websites with motion graphics? Awesome. Coding them? Not so much.
The fact that motion design is quickly becoming a must-have skill for any designer working today is nothing new. Nor is the fact that designers often find it difficult to communicate what they want to the developer coding the project. And many designers wish they could pull it all together themselves, but they simply don’t how to code even a basic site. Bring in motion, and the code gets even more complicated.
Fortunately, this predicament has ushered in a whole new era of design tools. Now there’s not just one app for that, there are an array of choices that enable designers to create motion without a coding skill set. From new updates on UI prototyping apps Invision and Framer, to Adobe Muse, a code-free website builder, designers now have some real options at their disposal. By investing up front on valid prototypes with built-in precision and motion, studios can save time, money, and headaches by doing away with unnecessary iterations with the developer, something we can all appreciate.
The latest tool getting legit praise from designers comes from Moscow based start-up Readymag. It provides users with a platform to create and distribute online publications, from microsites and magazines to photo-driven stories and portfolios. Most importantly, it bids its users to “forget about code” completely. Anton Repponen, a co-founder of the well-known design duo, Anton and Irene, has this to saw about his experience using Readymag for a personal project about airplanes: “This system is so great because it does not work solely on templates. You can make whatever you want.”
No templates, no code—sounds like the start of a great relationship. While tools like this will never replace the craft of hand-coding, they’re definitely upping the game and facilitating a fluid conversation between the design and development team. Like everything web-based, this kind of technology is changing rapidly; no doubt a year from now this will all seem woefully beta. Designers who don’t want to worry about the latest app updates should just learn how to code—there’s no substitute for the real thing. For the rest of us, though, this comes pretty damn close.
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