Recently, amid the noise of my barely-curated Twitter feed, I read something very insightful:
15 yrs ago everyone asking for ROI of design. Now can’t get $ from VCs w/o a designer on your team. Everyone can speak to value. — @alissadesigns, January 14, 2013
It’s true. At long last, the monetary value of good design is receiving widespread recognition. It’s not enough to just hack together a useful product; the product must be useable and beautiful as well.
Enter Hack Design, an educational resource for hacker-builders who want to learn the ropes of good design. Lessons are delivered by email once a week, and are curated by designers such as Wells Riley, Kerem Suer, and our very own Jared Erondu. Hack Design’s website has been live for less than a week and they’ve already received over 10,000 sign-ups.
Educational resources for developers are in vogue right now — this is the age of Treehouse, Codeacademy, and their kin — but online courses tend to be directed towards those who want to learn a new programming language. It’s refreshing to see a site devoted solely to helping developers learn design.
More than just providing a way to learn about design, Hack Design is challenging a common misconception about the field itself. There is an unfortunate and widespread belief that, while programming is a hard science, design is its touchy-feely, go-with-your-guts counterpart that anyone can pick up if they’re artistic or creative enough. In truth, design is not an art but a science performed artfully, and courses like Hack Design provide a look behind the veil for anyone who is interested in learning more.
In addition to the standard lesson format, Hack Design will include puzzles and games to reinforce learning and check progress. It will also provide cheat sheets on topics such as typography and color theory.
Hack Design founder Wells Riley says:
Hack Design will spend a lot of time covering design basics. That is, what the elements of design are and how to use them effectively. There won’t be a lot of “do this” – it’s not an effective teaching tool, and it doesn’t affect the work you’re doing in the real world. We won’t teach you CSS, but we’ll try to teach you how to make the designs you create in CSS beautiful, intentional, and easy to use.
So sign up today to receive the first lesson in your inbox: Hack Design.