Designers Should Code: Build an App From Scratch

A breakdown of a easy app, from UI design to deployment, that reveals off why coding is a magic instrument for designers.

Figma, Adobe XD, Photoshop, Wacom Tablet, sketchbook… all instruments for interfaces and web designers, sure? Take 2 minutes, and attempt to bear in mind why you need to change into a designer and why you get pleasure from designing stuff.

Chances are it’s since you wish to create; you’re a artistic particular person. Maybe you began with creative experiences as a toddler, then turned that artistic vitality into problem-solving whereas persevering with to precise it visually: You grew to become a designer, a artistic drawback solver.

Today, I’ll attempt to present you the way coding is an underrated instrument to precise your artistic problem-solving mindset by constructing an actual SVG generator from scratch. So let’s get into it!


Step 1: Don’t get an concept; clear up an issue

We didn’t go into deep enterprise issues right here, however seeing issues you face and deciding to resolve them your self is an effective way to begin.

During consumer work, I wanted some SVG waves for illustrations. So I regarded for a wave generator: There had been a ton of wavy colourful wave turbines with parametric inputs however no easy, excellent sine waves generator. I made a decision to attract it on my math instrument GeoGebra after which export it to SVG.

Okay, however not quick. And we wish to get our jobs performed rapidly. But wait… Why don’t we create an ideal sine waves generator? Without equations & boring math software program to open, only a curve and an export button. You received it, now let’s design it.

Quick ideas: If you might be on the lookout for an issue, search for memes in your subject. They all the time present a deep, painful, well-known drawback.


Step 2: Design the answer easy as doable

Two primary guidelines: First rule, take into consideration who will use it; the second rule, predict what they anticipate from the way it works. So who? Front-end builders. What are they ready for? A curve that may be edited with direct suggestions and an export button.

Wireframe design

High-Fi design

A fast tip: You can seize the Figma design of the app for extra technical tips about the design.


Step 3: Build it for actual

As a designer, stopping at step two is completely positive. But think about in the event you may construct what you design! You already know you possibly can create every thing you need.

You can see coding as a technique to translate your UI that may certainly finish with a .com utility that’s usable by everybody. This is why “best languages” don’t matter; coding is only a instrument to precise your creativity and construct stuff for others. And as a designer, a artistic particular person, this would possibly sound…attention-grabbing.

UI to functionnal app

UI to purposeful app

Every web app interface could be translated from UI design to code with HTML/CSS/JS. There is how we will see the position of every of these 3 “languages”:

HTML: I need a button.

CSS: I would like my button to look rounded.

JS: I would like one thing to occur once I click on on my button.

To construct our app, I’ll use Svelte. Svelte is a JavaScript compiler that enables us to make use of all these three “languages” in a single place. So, let’s see how code can translate our UI to purposeful issues.

HTML button code

“Hey web browser, I want a button named “exportButton” and every thing in a operate named “downloadSVGpath” to be carried out when somebody clicks on the button 🙂 Thanks”

CSS fashion button code

“Hey web browser, I want you to apply these style rules to my basic HTML button: I want a beautiful rounded corner at 16px, a mouse pointer when we hover it, I don’t want any borders, but I want a cool color gradient as a background color. Then, I want the font inside the button to have its color set to #fcfcfc and use the Inter typeface (bold, please). Like my Figma design, I also want to center stuff in the button and add padding. Oh, and add a subtle shadow 🙂 Thanks.”

Drawing SVG curve operate

“Hey, web browser, each time our slider moves, I want to run this function: I want you to draw a curve inside a frame that I have defined inside my HTML code. I also want my curve stroke to look rounded at each cap and have a color and width I’ve defined inside variables. You will take the sine function parameters from the stored values of the sliders. Finally, while your x variable hasn’t reached the total width in the x-axis of our frame, you will solve the y-axis point position of the sine equation and draw the curve 🙂 Thanks.”

Quick ideas: You can seize the supply code recordsdata of the app to discover them.



  • Coding is only a instrument that enables us to translate our very visible metaphors into one thing that everyone can use. How cool is that?!
  • Coding helps us to examine our design objectives and forces us to see past the visible vary: how is my button will probably be alleged to work? How does it look when hovering? How my popup modal could be designed for cell gadgets?
  • Coding permits us to create the bizarre concept we designed “just for fun” as a substitute of pushing the design case examine into our portfolio below the “personal project” tag.
  • Coding reveals us how a lot work is required to attain what we designed. So we will higher perceive our design purchasers’ wants, challenges, and useful resource administration.
  • Coding is versatile. You can replicate the Netflix website pixel excellent with pure HTML/CSS, the Vue Framework, or another Web framework.

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