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General Discussion

Stacey Baldini
Stacey Baldini
5,276 Points

Design VS Development

Hi there -

Just wanted to get the Treehouse community's take on something.

In talking to some other design friends, I've heard people say "Oh, I don't really know code, I just design. I focus on designing and let people that are better at coding take care of the rest," A lot of these people are in an agency situation where they have very specific roles and can afford to do that.

In my research, and in attending a talk by Happy Cog, coding should be in a designer's tool box and really should be seen as an important skill, as it will also be used in informing your designs. The structure over there seems to be that designers are also front end developers (which is what I'm interested in - design/front end dev), and they put together sort of the prototype of what the working website would be before the back end stuff is added.

What is your take? Should you focus just on design if you're wanting to be a designer? Or, should you be just as apt at development?

Right now, I primarily do print design, but I'm interested in digital design, which is why I'm taking these courses. In my college, we didn't really learn development and kinda were left to our own devices or told to make sites in RapidWeaver for our projects. Now, I'm just floating in a sea of digital design with nothing to show in my portfolio that I'd be proud of. Just want to make sure my time is being used effectively as I'd like to advance in my career and like the challenge of learning development, but don't want to get my design skills left behind at the same time.

Hope this makes sense!

1 Answer

James Barnett
James Barnett
39,199 Points

There's no agreement on this point. You'll find plenty of support of both sides. My own view is that as a designer (or developer) you should know enough about the other to understand some of the limitations.

If you are interested in designing for the web then I'd say, you should spend a good amount of time learning how CSS works. Your goal should be to understand the web as a medium the same way you learn to understand pencil, oil paint and charcoal as mediums. Learning how the medium influences your design is much more important than being able to build production-ready sites.

Stacey Baldini
Stacey Baldini
5,276 Points

Thanks for the reply, James! It makes me feel like I'm doing the right thing. :)