Advantages of a Code-Based Approach to Design

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Advantages of a Code-Based Approach to Design

Key Takeaways

  • Jared M. Spool opines that coding in design enables the third-party perspective while bringing the idea to life. He further stated that coding in design allowed for feedbacks which gives designers flexibility in their work.
  • Thomas Sokolowski believes that a "code-based approach gives all stakeholders a native look and feel of the design components, which is essential in the conceptual evaluation process."
  • Some advantages of designing in code include utilizing predefined styles and the availability of components to quickly build a fully functional interface without bothering with design tools.

Introduction

After exhaustive research, the research team was unable to provide 6 scientific papers/industry reports discussing the advantages of a code-based approach to UI/UX design. However, we have provided 5 articles/blog posts discussing the benefits of a code-based approach to UI/UX design. For each, we summarized the advantages discussed in the report and provided links to the report. Further details can be found in the research strategy section.

Reports on Code-Based Approach to UI/UX Design

1. Code Sketching — A Stretch Goal for Your Design Superpower
  • The link to the report is provided herein.
  • According to Jared M. Spool, code sketching enables third-party perspective while bringing the idea to life. Spool opined that coding in designs allowed for feedbacks which gives designers flexibility in their work.
  • Furthermore, he stated that feedbacks from clients streamlined the design processes.
  • In 2016, Jared M. Spool, in collaboration with Dr. Leslie Jensen-Inman, co-founded the Center Centre. "They created a revolutionary approach to vocational training, infusing Jared's decades of UX experience with Leslie's mastery of experience-based learning methodologies." Jared Spool is also the founder of UIE.
2. Why Your Team Needs to Take a Code-Based Approach to Design
  • The link to the report is provided herein.
  • UXPin Studio is of the opinion that code-based designs create synergy between designers and developers. Furthermore, they state that "image-based designs create too many challenges."
  • The studio opines that code-based designs also use Material Design, React JavaScript library, CA Technologies Mineral UI, and IBM Carbon. Finally, "code-based design streamlines the prototype and release processes."
  • UXPin is a "community of designers, developers, marketers, salespeople, customer advocates, and researchers." The company's team includes software developers such as Maciej Wojdyr.
3. Benefit From a Code-Based Design System
  • The link to the report is provided herein.
  • One of the advantages of the code-based design system is the ability to provide "both UI designers and developers with finished components via the pattern and code libraries connected to it. It also gives all stakeholders a native look and feel of the design components, which is important in the conceptual evaluation process."
  • Thomas Sokolowski is a senior UX designer at an internet agency. He boasts of over 12 years of experience in the fields of visual and experience design. Over the years, Sokolowski designed various typefaces including, "Merz or Imprimeur for ELLE Magazine, New York." He is the founder and developer of Atomic Kitchen — a tool for creating pattern-based design systems and online style guides. Finally, Sokolowski has occupied various positions as Senior-UX-Designer in Germany and Switzerland.
4. Designing With Code: A Modern Approach To Design
  • The link to the report is provided herein.
  • Mikolaj agrees with various advantages of designing in code including, utilizing predefined styles, availability of components to quickly build a fully functional interface without bothering with design tools, and unconstrained visual freedom.
  • Also, solutions integrating designs with code allow for smooth merging, keeping both parties in uninterrupted sync.
  • Mikołaj is a designer and developer at Sanity.io. He has several publications with Smashing Magazine, CSS Tricks, Ux Collective, and Musli magazine. Some of his projects include ikonnate and sketch UX kit.
5. Coding for Designers — How Much Should We Know?
  • The link to the report is provided herein.
  • Jon Vieira is also of the view that a code-based approach to UI/UX design would improve collaboration with developers. Furthermore, this approach provides a holistic view of the design process and opens designers to more job opportunities.
  • A code-based approach also offers unique assets and dynamism with the aid of JavaScript, HTML, and CSS.
  • According to his profile, Jon Vieira works across product design disciplines (interaction, UI, UX, motion), leading digital products and crafting fantastic user experiences. He is UX Master Certified (UXMC) by the Nielsen Norman Group and has 10+ years of experience with companies in the UK, Brazil, and the US.

Research Strategy

We scoured through media articles, industry databases, magazines (UX Mag, Smashing Magazine), and publications to provide scientific papers and industry reports that discuss the advantages of a code-based approach to UI/UX design. We thought to verify each publication, ensuring that each is published by an industry leader or from industry think thank. This provided limited results. Also, some identified scientific papers generally discussed UI/UX design behind paywalls. Our next step was to identify some leaders/influencers in the UI/UX space. We hoped to locate articles/publications by them on the said topic. We identified a precompiled list of thought leaders and influencers in the UI/UX space through this method. But we only located one article by Jared Spool, "Code Sketching."
After an exhaustive search through the public domain, we provided articles/blog posts from experts in the said UI/UX space. We provided 5 reports by experts discussing the benefits of a code-based approach to UX/UI design. The research team identified other reports highlighting advantages of coding in UI/UX design including, "4 reasons why UX Designers should learn how to code," "Do UX Designers Need to Know Programming and Computer Science?" and "No-code vs. Custom Code: What is a Better Fit for User-centered Design?" However, we were unable to verify if the authors of these blog posts were experts in the industry.
Sources
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