How much code should designers know?

I read a lot about the web design and interaction design industry – follow the blogs, LinkedIn groups, all that stuff – and one question I notice that continually comes up in heated debate is: “Do designers need to be able to code?”

That exact question is from an IxDA group and has almost 400 responses. It’s relatively easy to rationalise either side of the equation. You’re a designer, you do design, you let the coders code. Or alternatively, the manifestation of your work is code, so you should know how it's done. Back. Forth. I believe the question is phrased the wrong way. The question shouldn’t be, “Do designers need to be able to code?” but rather, “How much code should you know?”

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