No, designers do not necessarily have to code. Unless you want to dig deeper into this area, especially interaction designers, you do not need to know how to code from scratch an interface. But it is extremely necessary to understand the basics. After all, the interface is the link between the machine and all back-end with the lay user, so it has to speak both languages.
The main points that a designer needs to think about to improve their work are:
Understand the structure: how will my design be implemented? In grids? How many columns? Can I place an element in a particular spot?
Understand the responsive (web) or adaptive (mobile app): What are the most used screen sizes? What are the limitations of a smartphone? How does the landscape and portrait modes of smartphones and tablets work?
Work with technical possibilities and impossibilities: what can I do? What can I not do? Is this feasible to implement? What are the consequences of implementing this, am I going to jeopardize the user experience in order to accomplish what I designed? Will I drastically increase development time?
Efficiency in developing: what can I do differently that will deliver the same experience - or even better - but make development more efficient?
The benefits are perceived by all involved:
Developers: They will appreciate having an interface made with the code in mind, because this streamlines their work, they do not need to implement different solutions that can cause bugs and lengthen the project. In addition, there is less possibility of blame in them for not developing as designed.
End users: the experience of these people will be very close to the one desired by the designers, because the differences between the design and the deliverable are greatly reduced.
Business owners: faster delivery, better return for delivering the intended experience, and less stress, all of these translates into lower costs for those who requested the service.
Bonus: it is thus possible to develop a less patched and more agile interface, which facilitates future work and adjustments.
Faster, cleaner and better results in development, and a smoother experience for the end user.
Here at Pengreen Design, all our designers develop or know the basics of development so the interfaces are optimized and easier to implement.
We also rely on the help of applications that facilitate the delivery of the interface to the developer, which in our case we use the Invision App. The developer has access to all elements in an easy way to transport to the code, including having small pieces of code ready to copy and deploy.
Would you like to rely on a team of experienced designers who design interfaces with the code in mind so you can have an efficient project? Count on us!