SCHED* SXSW 2011 has ended
Sunday, March 13 • 12:30pm - 1:30pm
No Excuse: Web Designers Who Can't Code

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Some of the most important design decisions happen in code. In 2009, I gave a talk at the Build conference in Belfast with what I thought was a fairly uncontroversial premise: web designers should write code. Since then, the subject has sparked more than a few debates, including a particular heated pile-on when Elliot Jay Stocks tweeted that he was "shocked that in 2010 I’m still coming across ‘web designers’ who can’t code their own designs. No excuse." In a recent interview, Jonathan Ive said "It's very hard to learn about materials academically, by reading about them or watching videos about them; the only way you truly understand a material is by making things with it." He's talking about product design, but the principle is just as relevant to the Web (if not more so). "The best design explicitly acknowledges that you cannot disconnect the form from the material--the material informs the form.... Because when an object's materials, the materials' processes and the form are all perfectly aligned.... People recognize that object as authentic and real in a very particular way." As our industry grows and roles get more specialized, it's possible to become a "web designer" without more than a cursory understanding of the fundamental building materials of the Web: the code. Is this just the price of progress? Are the days of the web craftsman soon to be in the past? Or is a hybrid approach to web design and development something worth preserve?

avatar for Jenn Lukas

Jenn Lukas

Interactive Dev DirHappy CogJenn Lukas loves coffee, kittens, and is a leading authority on structural semantic markup and CSS. She has been coding the Internets since 1999 and is currently the Interactive Development Director at Happy Cog. Over the last year, you might have seen... Read More →
avatar for Ethan Marcotte

Ethan Marcotte

ethanmarcotte.comEthan is an independent designer and developer in Boston, Massachusetts. Over the years, he’s been fortunate to work with such clients as New York Magazine, Stanford University, Mozilla, and the World Wide Web Consortium. Recently, he created “responsive web design... Read More →
avatar for Wilson Miner

Wilson Miner

Head of DesignRdioWilson is a designer and web developer. He's currently head of design for Rdio, a new social music service. He was the co-founding designer for EveryBlock, which the New York Times called "one of the most ambitious hyperlocal news sites." He worked on the first comprehensive... Read More →

Ryan Sims

Lead DesignerRdio

Sunday March 13, 2011 12:30pm - 1:30pm
Austin Convention Center, Ballroom B 500 E Cesar Chavez St

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