How to become a UX designer when you don’t know how to code

You can be a successful UX designer — even if you don’t know Python from a python!

Ariana Shives
3 min readJan 27, 2023
Photo by AltumCode on Unsplash

User experience (UX) design is a rapidly growing field that is becoming increasingly important in today’s digital world. However, many aspiring UX designers feel intimidated by code and discouraged at the prospect of having to master it in addition to UX cocnepts. Great news — coding skills are definitely not a requirement for becoming a successful UX designer!

As a product designer, I work closely with engineers who have to be able to build my designs using code. It’s important that I understand the fundamentals of coding in order to create designs that accomplish my goals as a designer and are also feasible for them, but I wouldn’t even know where to start building a website on my own.

Want to become a UX designer but don’t want to learn how to code? Here’s how to tackle your future career and be successful without it:

Understand the basics of web development

Even if you don’t know how to code, it’s still important to understand the basics of web development. This includes understanding the different languages used in web development, such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, as well as the basics of web design and user experience.

Learn about user research and testing

One of the most important aspects of UX design is understanding user needs and behaviors. As a UX designer, you’ll need to conduct user research, surveys, and interviews to gain insight into how users interact with products. Use effective user research and testing to inform your designs

Get familiar with design tools

There are many design tools available that can help you create wireframes, prototypes, and mockups without needing to know how to code. Some popular tools include Adobe XD, Figma, and Sketch.

Get familiar with web development tools

Engineers use tons of different tools when building apps, websites, and products. As a UX designer, you’ll have to make sure your designs can be created within these tools. Some popular softwares include Github, ReactJS, and Docker.

Practice user-centered design

A user-centered design process is a method of designing products that focus on the needs and goals of the user. By understanding the user’s needs and designing with them in mind, you can create products that are intuitive and easy to use. As a UX designer, you’ll need to conduct user research, surveys, and interviews to gain insight into how users interact with products and use the results of those methods to create effective designs.

Learn from others

One of the best ways to learn about UX design is to observe and learn from other designers. You can do this by attending workshops, meetups, and networking events, or by following and connecting with industry leaders and peers on social media.

Communicate with developers often

Learn the language necessary to communicate with the people who do code your designs and practice talking to them often. Ask about what they’re doing and walk them through your designs, explaining what you’ve designed, why, and how it’s supposed to work. Get feedback on the viability of what you’re creating and ask questions about how you can improve your designs to help developers.

Part of good communication also includes documentation. Practice documenting your designs early and often — include as much information as you can able what you’ve designed, why you’ve designed it, how it should work, and its end goal(s). All of this information can help to inform developers as they work with your designs.

So, having coding skills is not a requirement for becoming a UX designer! Instead, focus on understanding the basics of web development, fine-tune your UX skills, and become a great communicator. With a solid understanding of all of these things, you can become a hugely successful UX designer without ever learning how to code.

Check out my article How to become a UX designer for more on the next steps in your career!



Ariana Shives

Social entrepreneur and product designer stoked on design thinking, UX, and entrepreneurship⚡️