Product Designers — stop designing and start coding.
Zander Whitehurst
14917

I hear you. I think too few designers who do this work know how to code. However I think also it’s a question of what stage you are at the and fidelity you should be working in. In the very beginning I still think jumping right into code before you work out the product itself can be risky.

Code is good but the only risk of coding too early is being locked into a framework or not being able to come up with unique or novel products or solutions because of limitations around coding skills or getting lost in code (and getting stuck in “what’s possible” vs. “what if we…”) too early.

As far as invision — it’s a good way to work out flows or generally how a product will work (and how you will move through various paths). But I do think people lean on it too much as a prototype tool for end users (the obvious limitations being you can’t enter data or interact with the product).

Everything has it’s place and to me the real goal is using the lowest fidelity tool or approach to learn something about your product (that’s actually what an MVP is — “what’s the minimum I can do to learn something” — the move fast approach). Eventually you will need to move on as that tool will no longer meet the need or you will no longer be learning enough.

In the very beginning I believe you should be throwing out just as much or more than you keep (given all the unknowns and assumptions you make). I’m also a believer in removing as much unknowns and also validating / invalidating things before you go into code.

BUT I ALSO believe in designing in code. When I see tons and tons of “comping” it drives me nuts because the danger is you come up with these beautiful comps which haven’t been code tested — so that to me is risky.

Every tool has it’s place and the big question for any tool is — is it helping you reveal and understand things (quickly) about your product, your users and what makes you unique / different / novel and at what point do you stop realizing value because you aren’t interacting with real code or the real product?

But yes, agreed. I actually consider it very empowering because I can code I use UIKit and MaterialUI and also have built prototypes on MeteorJS — and I do product strategy. Because of this I can participate in real conversations with developers who are ALSO designers after all —because it’s the code they write that makes the designers designs work… or not.

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