You’re already a design wizard who’s an expert in Adobe Creative Suite, so why bother taking the time to learn to code? Shouldn’t coding be left to the developers while you focus on creating beautiful design? What you might not realize is that coding IS creating beautiful design, just in a slightly different way - one that will make you a more attractive job prospect in an increasingly competitive job market.
Learning the fundamentals of code can help you better understand many aspects of design, particularly in the realm of UI/UX. By having an understanding of what is possible and what is difficult in web development, you will increase your professional skills which can help to open up a wider range of career opportunities. Here are 6 reasons why learning to code is something all designers should invest in.
1) Your Design Won’t Get Lost in Translation
It can be hard to hand off your beautiful, well thought out design to a web developer and trust that something won’t get “lost in translation” along the way. By learning the basics of coding such as HTML and CSS, you can reduce the amount of errors that might arise between design and implementation.
If you include instructions for website code along with your design documents you will be providing invaluable guidelines to your web developer. You can also feel confident that your creative vision will be fully realized with less need to go back and forth in discussion. Reducing errors also reduces the number of hours spent on a project which saves time and money for everyone involved. Speaking of which...
2) Keep Projects on Track and on Budget
Depending on the size of the company you work for (or if you’re a freelancer) you might be in charge of designing everything from print pieces to more interactive content like websites and email newsletters. By learning how to code, you’ll be capable of having more creative control over the entire design process. That in turn means you can will also be able to help keep projects on track and on budget.
Whether creating a new landing page or just tweaking the layout of a homepage, knowing HTML and CSS will come in handy for many website design projects. You won’t need to wait for an in-house developer or pay for an outside contractor if you can do some of the word yourself. Suddenly you can make that emergency code fix in short order rather than having to rely (and wait) for others to take care of the problem for you.
3) Design and Development are a Killer Combo
Every company has website design and development needs. Having both skillsets is a very attractive package to many employers. Now rather than spending money on an outside web developer, you can bring additional value to your company by being an expert graphic designer who also knows how to code and can take on many aspects of website design.
Plus, knowing how to code the front-end (and possibly the back-end if you’re interested!) can help you manage everything from your professional portfolio website to the website of your current employer. By being in charge of both graphic design and website design, you can control many aspects of the creative process to ensure your vision comes to life at every step along the way.
4) Be Able to “Speak Tech” Confidently
Having a solid understanding of the world of tech is not going to hurt you professionally, in fact, it can only help! With a background in coding you can “talk the talk” within the tech community. And if you have a solid working knowledge of coding technology you can:
- Ask the right questions when working with internal tech teams or digital agencies
- Negotiate a better price when you know how long a coding task will take
- Better manage timelines because you already know what a digital task actually involves
5) Elevate your Design with the Latest Tools
6) Discover a New Passion
Learning how to code can take you down a path you might not have discovered by sticking to graphic design alone. While coding might seem more “technical” in focus, it will actually open you up to an entirely new world of design - possibly even expanding on how you think about design work entirely.
Knowing how to code can enable you to create and pursue new and innovative ideas. By building things from both a design and coding perspective you will find inspiration based on your own ideas from start to finish of many creative projects. This can include everything from website design to email campaigns to building a mobile app. The possibilities are only limited by how much you want to learn and explore.