So after some hemmin’ and hawin’ about the pain of learning an entirely new discipline, I’ve decided to tackle code. Just a year ago I considered code simply a matter of execution that could and always would be done by a couple developers working from a marked up PDF and some layers PSDs. But the more work I do on designing the detailed interactions that make up an experience, the more I feel a need to understand and exercise the granular controls. It’s becoming clear that memorable experiences are born of many refined and elegant interactions, which are, in turn, born of elegant and thoughtfully written code. Code is the underlying language and designing without even a basic understanding of such a foundational element is starting to feel like *designing blind. It’s like directing a foreign film without speaking the language.
But aside from any moral imperatives or philosophical motivations, I am learning code so I can start building things. Too many projects — very simple projects — haven’t made it past the comp stage. They sit there waiting to be coded into interactive magic.
*Designers often condemn the misinformed use of symbology or anachronistic use of historical reference in design work. I’m surprised by how comfortable I was to design for interaction without knowing much of how the underlying system works.
“The more languages we know, the more patterns we can recognize…
Through repeated and total immersion in unfamiliar endeavors…we will learn more quickly how to float…
Decoding requires immersion, patience, and attention. Coding comes more haltingly, but it comes most surely and usefully out of decoding. This…will require curiosity and endurance.”