Hack Design teaches developers how to design

Interaction designer, Wells Riley, has launched Hack Design to assist developers who want to learn design but don’t know where to start.

According to Riley, those who sign up to the project will have access to a series of design lessons. Curated by a number of influential designers, the lessons have been chosen specifically to help developers learn the fundamental principles and practical applications of design.

Each week, subscribers are assigned five reading assignments, interspersed with games, interactive exercises and opportunities for community feedback.

“The goal is to help people get their design education off the ground without delving too deep. It's not a comprehensive solution, but one that we feel will be more passive and easier to stick with for the entire year,” said Riley.

The project’s existence seems, in part, to be a response to the growing grey area within web and app design and development. Just as designers are increasingly delving into code in order to deal with topics such as responsive web design (RWD), so too are developers keen to make their projects more aesthetically pleasing and easier to use.

“They're modern-day renaissance men and women who have a hunger for knowledge and actionable skills,” claimed Riley. “As the trend towards better design continues, Hack Design aims to prevent them being left behind or alienated by the maturing design culture. We're fostering community and communication from both sides," he added.

Riley told .net that the course will focus on relevant and actionable content. He said the benefits will be “akin to learning a new language or learning to code” in enabling coders to express their ideas in a different way through visual language.

Riley admitted that the project is “just doing a small part to help hackers lay the groundwork”, adding that “as they become interested in different areas of design, they'll have the resources and background to learn more on their own”.

When asked if any of the course mistakes design for veneer, or if it teaches the ‘why’ rather than just the ‘how’, Riley assured .net: “Thinking like a designer. Why is design important? Emotional design. All these things will be covered extensively. 52 weeks means there’s a lot of material to cover!”

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