Designers should know code. Before you hit ‘reply’ to tell me what an idiot I am, let me explain where I’m coming from.
I read Ahmad Shadeed’s Guide To Responsive Design In 2023 the other day and it blew my mind. It introduced new things I’d never heard of before.
I learned responsive design in 2010 when Ethan Marcotte first coined the term and immediately applied it in my own work. Over years, however my job’s required me to code less. While I still keep up with CSS ongoings, I apply them less and less.
So when I read Ahmad’s article about modern responsive design, I learned a bunch. But I didn’t run out and immediately start writing responsive CSS. Instead, I read enough to get the gist, and tucked it away in the back of my brain. Someday when this new knowledge is helpful, I’ll come back to this article and learn it more in depth.
That’s generally how I approach front-end these days. Be aware of stuff even if I don’t use it.
If you look at The State of CSS results each year, it’s pretty common for folks to report being aware of CSS concepts while not actually using them.
So, do I think designers should code? I don’t know, who cares? But I think designers should know enough about code to know what’s possible and push their engineers (who might not know everything about HTML and CSS). It’s often the difference between a good design and a great design.