Why you need to understand code as a UX designer.

Salome Katunzi
3 min readAug 26, 2021


You may or may not have any coding skills, depending on your background. While this does not preclude you from creating fantastic designs, it may make it difficult for you to work with your team.

UX intersection

Designers’ work in an intersection between meeting user needs, business needs, and technical limitations. If you don’t understand the technical limitations of the product you’re designing for, the developer may be unable to implement the aesthetically appealing and usable product you’ve created. As a result, we’re left with nothing but beautiful pixels that can’t be brought to life.

Now, I’m not advising you to learn the latest JavaScript framework or enroll in a coding camp tomorrow. I’m implying that you should have a fundamental understanding of programming languages, their use and limits.

Benefits of understanding how to code

Improve collaboration with developers

Understanding some programming ideas can genuinely assist designers in collaborating with developers. The difference in tech stacks might create a barrier between developers and designers. The technical language barrier will be minimized by having designers who understand programming. By understanding the design’s technical requirements, designers can reduce the gap between what they want and what the developer can offer.

Understand website platform

Understanding basic HTML and CSS will make designers understand the architectural map of websites. And make them more aware of the platform they’re designing for. This gives them a basic understanding of how websites are displayed, the different elements and the extent to which those elements can be manipulated.

Stand in the job market

Your CV will undoubtedly stand out if you have a basic mastery of HTML and CSS. This is because teams prefer agile collaborative working methods, necessitating designers that can easily adapt to different teams. Modern notions of the T-shaped designer and the I-shaped designer have risen as a result of this. The I-shaped designer is an expert in their subject who has a broad understanding of design concepts. The T-shaped has this knowledge as well, but also has experience in marketing, development and other fields that intersect with design.

But be careful…

Do not let the technical limitations limit your creative process. Designers may plan ahead to the product’s implementation, limiting their ability to think freely. Allow this knowledge to aid in the design of realistic products rather than just pretty pixels.

The takeaway

In a small team, designers may be expected to take on more responsibilities, which may include building products or creating front end prototypes. Extensive knowledge of programming languages may not be necessary in larger teams. However, understanding how the various components of the solution fit and work together is critical in order to communicate effectively within the team and speed up the product development process.

Everyone in the team, not only designers, benefits from understanding each other’s work. Each team member should therefore make some effort to understand the work of their teammates.

Where you can start from

www.w3schools.com/ — this is a free website where you can learn all about web development. From HTML, CSS, JavaScript. The website also has references for the elements and classes that developers use everyday.

www.freecodecamp.org/ — this is an interactive learning web platform, an online community forum, chat rooms, online publications and local organizations that intend to make learning web development accessible to anyone.

www.coursera.org/ — you can access various online courses, certifications, and degrees in a variety of subjects offered from different universities. Coursera offers free and paid courses for different fields.

Thank you for reading till the end! 😃 Feel free to reach out to me on Twitter for any questions, collaborations or just to say Hi!

Don’t forget to follow me here on Medium as well for more design-related content.



Salome Katunzi

UI/UX Designer | Visual Designer. Sharing with the world what I know and learn in the world of design. Connect with me at www.salomekatunzi.com