Coding for designers ?

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I’d totally be interested. I’ve been searching for decent advanced grasshopper tuts for awhile now. Also been wanting to do some arduino stuff, but haven’t had the time to dive in. UI UX prototyping tuts geared toward people that normally work in the physical world would be super rad too. Please do this :slight_smile: I feel like a lot of designers want to add these skills to their toolbox.

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I wouldn’t say you have to learn how to code for UI/UX - most prototyping tools these days have such a high level of functionality that you can get anything you would normally come up with fully demonstrable without any code (or use a static tool like after effects to demonstrate even more complex behaviors).

When working with data, or specific types of information, then coding can become useful but I would say that’s limited to a fairly small subset of UX designers.

Prototyping with Arduino was probably the best skill to learn with code while being in ID. Made it very easy to create physical UX mockups (blinking LEDs, test reactions to certain product behaviors) in the hardware without actually having a full product. So learning something like Processing is super easy and useful, and doesn’t take a lot of work to actually wire up things electrically.

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What’s ‘CI’?

  • Mixing modeling with programming, rhino and blender for instance can be scripted with Python.
  • Hardware/microcontroller programming ( think arduinos, IOT, digital assistants )
  • Automating some process that takes time away from design, some chore you do in excel perhaps.

These seem to me the most useful in my line of work. As a ‘working manager’ I sometimes give my reports the juicy projects and get to do the sh*t work in return, and automating processes like these would be really useful. Its mostly just using the Automate functions in Adobe more effectively.

The ‘Physical Prototyping’ course in my grad program always fills up quickly, so there’s widespread interest there. Having some Python and/or JavaScript is supposed to be a good skill for that course, its Arduino and IoT like you mention.

I think experience with generative/programming design options will be mandatory in the future.

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I’d love to learn arduino well enough to program prototypes.

I’m also starting to learn rhino, and if python can be used to automate tasks then I see that being useful. A few engineer friends use python to automate tasks in excel as well, which I also spend time in. It would be nice to run a basic script rather than building everything to long way.

  • Mixing modeling with programming, rhino and blender for instance can be scripted with Python.

I haven’t experimented with this much (mostly because I primarily work in SolidWorks and haven’t come across a good tool for that), but it has interested me for a while.

  • Hardware/microcontroller programming ( think arduinos, IOT, digital assistants ).

I’ve used Arduino on a few projects and have found it very useful for creating functioning prototypes before electronics & software engineers are brought in. Generally I’ve found it pretty easy to learn and there are tons of existing resources, mostly from a maker point of view, but it would be useful to see something by someone with an ID background.

  • Automating some process that takes time away from design, some chore you do in excel perhaps.

How can I say no to that? Don’t have a specific chore in mind, though I do need to look into SW macros to help automating exporting.


Great that you’re doing these write-ups. Most important is to be specific in your core messages and which audience you are exactly targeting with your articles. Your page now reads a bit like a Python instruction manual but I enjoy it.

I am interested in all those topics you mention, but in the value of AI in design above all.

About coding, it is ever more necessary in a world of digital business transformation. All physical products are going to be linked up and designers are responsible for their behavior. So where in the beginning industrial designers didn’t code, they then had to start coding for prototype behaviors (Arduino/Lilypad/Max/MSP) and later when focusing on developing specific products they will also need to be able to cooperate and think along with the software engineers who use totally different languages towards compiling. The demand for these skills will surge in the not-so-far future, is my prediction!

The Unreal Engine is a tool that can take a design and image an entire ecosystem including realtime usage on all platforms. By “gaming” out the usage of an item, the design/usage iteration becomes more tangible earlier, and can immersively involve a wide audience. The coding process, visual, I found to be a bit of a challenge to wrap my head around, however far more applicable than the other coding methods I have experimented with. Epic have built the design tool of the future.