Is it necessary for UXer to know how to code?

Being a UX designer requires many skills, some of which are automatically assumed to be part of a UXers toolbox, others not so; coding is one such skill that is debated at length. With great prototyping tools around should we bother to learn how to code? or does our role as a UX designer require us to be more emphatic? I asked four Ladies that UX London regulars wether they thought a UX designer should know how to code. Here is what they said:

I can never claim that I can code but I do have an understanding of the process the developers have to go through. So I wouldn’t say you have to know how to code but you have to understand how developers work and think so when a developer says ‘we can or cannot do this’ or ‘this will take longer to do’ you will understand why. As long as you can empathise with the developers and understand where they are coming from.

Anne Stevens, UX Consultant

“UX goes beyond the digital and code is one tool in the toolbox that UX professionals can use. If a UX professional finds it necessary for them to use at some point and they are interested in learning, I’d say go for it. However, it does pay to understand the basics of how coding works if you work/will work in the digital space.”

Antonia Anni, UX Consultant

“Definitely. If you work with the web, you should know at least the basics. Plus if you are a UXer, it’s your responsibility and gift to be able to talk to anyone in your team, including the developers, and show that you appreciate their hard work because you have tried it yourself!”

Gisella Fama, UX Architect at Education First

“I don’t really think UXers need to code. There are so many great tools to prototype in like Webflow, Axure & UXpin. Saying that, it is important to understand how code works and to design with input from the developers you are working with, to ensure your designs are buildable.”

Helen Rua, User Experience Architect at Imagination

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About Marwa

Marwa Khalil is a London based UX and UI designer who has had the chance to work with some great London startup including Nutmeg and Peak. She is a regular contributor and editor for the LTUX London blog. Stay up to date with her on Twittter and her personal blog.

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