Wayne Greenwood’s article, which I picked apart yesterday, prompted a response from his friend and acquaintance of mine, Josh Seiden. In “Designers shouldn’t code” is the wrong answer to the right question, Josh points out that Wayne’s core insight is correct:
If you are paying attention to how a software system will be built, you will be influenced by that need; if you don’t do something to counter that influence, you will end up with software designed around what Alan Cooper calls the “implementation model.” Cooper argues that designers who are doing a good job are making software that is designed around a user’s “mental model.”
Josh believes, however, that the conclusion is wrong, and I’m in full agreement with him. As I stated yesterday, we are smart enough to compensate. We understand the problems that result from focusing on the technology instead of the user, and we’re smart enough to not let that happen.
He also refutes the idea that the design profession could be denigrated by an increase in designer/coders, but what I like most about Josh’s piece is his realization that “having designers in control of the presentation layer results in a presentation that more closely conforms to the designer’s intent.” He says that you get better products when designers produce front end code. This is the primary benefit for designers that learn to code.