Should Programmers Learn to Design?

Should Programmers Learn to Design?

If you’re a programmer and wondering should programmers learn to design? then read on as I will explain what you must consider before deciding.

As you know, there is nothing wrong with learning to design or program, no matter your profession.

I will tell you those from my own experience because I learned to code and design at the same time. I have worked as a designer as well as a full-stack developer.

Let’s break down the overlaps between programming and designing, which will help you understand the correlation between both fields on a project.

User Interface (UI)

Designers create the user interface that defines the layout, color schemes, typography, and all the visual elements based on the project.

Programmers then use these design codes and layout specifications and using code they will develop it on the live/test application.

User Experience (UX)

Designers create the defined user experience of the app with how the application should be consumed visually for an intuitive and seamless experience.

Programmers will collaborate with the designers to create the required and defined functionality to bring the planned user experience to life.

Front-end Development

This is where most of the designers will end up coding as well, in the front-end development the developer will use HTML, CSS, and Javascript to create the front-end as per the design created by either them or the designer.

This stage is a perfect overlap between the two departments.

Responsive Design & Adaptability

Designers will visualize and implement the responsiveness of the application to better adaptability to give the customers greater access on different sizes of devices & OS.

Programmers will then use multiple libraries or frameworks combined with testing to create the responsiveness of the application to better to suit all the areas of access across multiple devices and OS.

Now, that you have seen the overlap.

Benefits of learning to Design as a programmer

Wider Knowlege

You as a programmer, it is essential to know the basics or even the idea that goes behind creating and coming up with these designs.

You do not right away be a creative genius to learn design, you can start off slowly and go over the process before completely indulging on a design journey.

Develop Applications Faster

When you learn to design, your workflow on your development will get faster and better as now you understand why you need to do what you’re doing.

For example, when you realize why certain fonts and certain elements in placed on a page, you know exactly why it’s there and also will be able to spot any missing elements that the designer may have missed.

Effective Communication

You will be able to bridge the gap in communication between clients, designers, and programmers. Because now you understand all 3 aspects of how things work.

As a programmer who knows design, you will be better equipped with the design language on how you can communicate with designers and you also know the technical details of the programming language.

Holistic Problem Solving

Your approach to problem-solving will be top-notch as you will be able to spot any non-feasible ideas before they even go into the designing process. As you will be able to think from both fronts.

Programmers can now come up with more comprehensive solutions that address both functionality and aesthetics.

Creativity and Innovation

Programmers who know the design principles are better equipped to think outside the box and come up with innovative ideas which comes from having both knowledge of design and development.

You as a programmer can push boundaries as to what is possible and what is it and come up with new ways of thinking that only bring out unique products. Which wouldn’t have been possible before.


It’s always a great idea if you want to increase your knowledge and also if you want to be easily hired, then do consider learning UI/ UX.

There are a lot of free and paid resources online that can help you with this.

You can go the YouTube route, where you can start with learning some crash course or you can join an online course to help you learn the basics and become advanced.

I am going to leave you with some amazing resources that I used to learn.

Resources: (All are free ones!)

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