Design and technology are inextricably linked. As more advancements are made in technology, design as to continue to keep up in order to serve the new evolutions. A designer must always be prepared for new technologies, and also keep learning in order to use new technologies to produce and stimulate designs.
Learning to code is a natural step into the world of design and technology. By becoming familiar with basic building blocks, you, as a coder, will maintain your position on the ever-moving train that is technology evolution. An exposure to how things are built makes it easier to understand new technologies to the point where you are comfortable approaching even newer ones: to allow technology to stimulate creativity, you become a better designer and artist when you implement those simulations.
Even if you don’t picture life as a web developer or programmer, learning to code is like learning a language. The more you hear it, the easier it is to pick up. The earlier this exposure happens, the more it will be a comfortable area of education. Basic programming language syntax skills can be applied in a seemingly unlimited amount of contexts.
One of the redeeming qualities of code is that it is collaborative and open source: group work is encouraged and benefits the industry. Copying and pasting and re-using code is a key part of the programming process; especially while learning. You often learn best by modifying working examples rather than starting from scratch. We stand on the shoulders of giants — that’s the essence of the open-source philosophy.
As a designer, I think the same way when I code websites. I’ve had formal training, but I often find myself in an ad hoc, find-a-tutorial-and-teach-yourself-on-the-fly type of mindset. What I love about coding is that it’s so collaborative and open to all. When I see something I like online, I’ll open up the source and see how everything was built. From there, it’s a process of finding open source building blocks that I can implement, play with until I understand, and tweak to how I want.
Take a look at some brilliant user experiences, open up the page source and start mimicking!
By Meagan Steinkamp, Private Tutor