The way digital designers work is constantly evolving, photoshop is not enough anymore. Gone are the days where we can just design a beautiful psd file and hand it over to the developers to build, there are so many things which need to be considered and tested when working on a digital project that it requires designers to think beyond the flat image.
One thing that has always helped me understand how the web works is to have a basic understanding of code. My knowledge isn’t too advanced, I can do simple html/CSS and used to be able to get some mad particle animations going using actionscript, but it’s always helped me when designing to know how that element will be built. At the very least I think designers should know how to create a basic html site, in my current role I have to work with html to create prototypes, emails and updating things like preview sites for clients.
Tip – When browsing the internet try right clicking on any element and selecting ‘inspect element’, this will bring up the code for the site which you can play around with. This will help you understand how everything is put together.
You might have also heard the of term ‘designing in browser’ lately, which basically suggests that photoshop many not even be essential for layouts anymore. The designer will create their design elements in html and work out how to set the positions and styles themselves before passing onto the developers. There are good arguments for and against this method which I’ll touch on in another post, but I do know this is already happening in the industry which is evidence that you need to learn how to do some basic code.
Everyone has their own way of learning so I’ll leave it up to you how to go about doing so. I personally learn by doing and jumping in the deep end, I try and code my personal sites and when I run into a problem I just google it. There are many online tutorials and websites dedicated to teaching others, there are even online courses you can do. If you want somewhere to start, try googling introduction to html, there are so many resources out there to pick from.