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Should A UX Designer Know Programming?

If you are a UX designer, you might be wondering if you should know programming. After all, the entire web is built on technology that is coded by hand by developers who work with various languages. Not knowing these can put you at a disadvantage. Here is what you need to know about programming as it relates to being a designer:

A New Web

In the old days of the web, if you were a designer you might only have to deal with creating a button, a background, or using photoshop on some company pictures. Those days are long gone. Today, UX designers have to design an experience that has multimedia and different technologies interacting. Even though no one sees these programming languages talking to each other, thousands of lines are being run in the background. Therefore, you cannot go wrong by learning a language as a designer.

Larger Companies and Small Teams Both Need Programming

If you work for a larger company you might be thinking that there is an entire department of coders who can do this kind of work for you. The problem is if you have a major project and the deadline is looming, you might have to wait for them to finish the code. This can be frustrating, especially if you have already done your part. You can cut the line by knowing some programming tricks to get your designs in front of users without being dependent on others. This is even more crucial for smaller teams, but what programming languages would benefit a UX designer?:

Languages to Understand

If you are designer by trade, you shouldn’t start out with terribly difficult languages. This includes things like Java or C++. Instead, you can look at higher level languages with easier syntax and that connect more directly to front-end design work. This includes SQL, JavaScript, PHP, Node.JS and other languages that act as glue for the web in virtually every business. There are plenty of languages out there with many resources to learn them by yourself.

The internet of today is far different than it was before. Whereas you used to see a lot of different career paths in their own silos, today you need to have knowledge of a wide variety of skillsets because the web is so connected. If you are a designer, you can boost your pay, your confidence, and your ability to deliver quality results if you learn the programming languages above. While it may not happen overnight, eventually you will have more insight into designing experiences that users love.

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