Want to Convert Design To Code? Here’s A Better Way

Want to Convert Design To Code Heres A Better Way

Whether creating a web page, Android app, or iOS app, most traditional designers start their work by creating static images with tools like Adobe XD, Figma, or even Photoshop. The designs might look aesthetically pleasing but they are not even close to being ready to be converted into code.

After the designing phase, designers need to add interactions that will show developers and testers how UI elements correspond with one another, what affordances they need to account for, and any other animations that will be present in the end-result. Then, designers pass those prototypes to developers who turn designs into code, and the circle of back and forth commentaries begins.

It’s time to move beyond this tedious process by taking a code-based approach to design. Once you think about the waste of time of animating or annotating vector-based design to communicate interactions, it quickly becomes obvious that your design team needs a better way to create products that users will love. 

Bridge the gap between design and code once and for all with UXPin Merge. Bring your coded design system to UXPin’s design editor for hi-fi prototyping and quality usability testing. Discover UXPin Merge.

Reach a new level of prototyping

Design with interactive components coming from your team’s design system.

What is design to code?

Design to code is the process of translating a design mockup or prototype to code that can be implemented by developers to create functional user interfaces. This process involves converting graphical elements, layout structures, interaction designs, and other visual components into HTML, CSS, and possibly JavaScript code that can be interpreted by web browsers or other platforms.

Design to code is a crucial step in the product development as it means going from a concept of a product to an end-result. It ensures that the visual and interactive aspects of a product or application are accurately represented in the final implementation. This process often involves collaboration between designers and developers to ensure that the design intent is preserved while addressing technical constraints and requirements.

Challenges of converting design to code

  • Ideation and Product Development – Coming up with ideas to be turned into products or features.
  • Design Conceptualization – Communicating ideas to the design team.
  • Design Review and Feedback – Reviewing the work of the design team and giving some feedback.
  • Tool Limitations – Designers struggling with the limited possibilities of adding advanced interactions in their design tool. 
  • Communication – A lot of back-and-forth in the designer-dev communication, trying to smoothen some prototype inconsistencies.
  • Iterative Refinement – Adding some tweaks until the product fulfills the original vision.

These steps can take weeks or months to complete. Even when you use a tool like Avocode and Anima to turn PSD, Figma, and others that turn designs into code, you still need relentless prototype and product testing to ensure that all interactions work as they were designed. 

You still need to deal with unnecessary steps because Avocode and Anima can only convert designs into code. They do not offer a designing environment that can use code to design a UI. 

Design to code wastes time and money

Not surprisingly, the serpentine process of passing work between product managers, designers, and developers quickly becomes expensive. In the United States, website developers with associate’s degrees can expect to earn about $35.46 per hour (€ 29.5). The longer development and prototyping take, the more it costs to bring the product to market.

Without code-based design, though, the process will always involve backtracking and repeating steps. It’s clear that the design to code handoff process wastes time and money.

Thankfully, Strom knows enough code to build a complicated homepage without relying on design tools for every step. Unfortunately, few designers have the experience to create digital products from code.

Prototyping suffers with design to code

You can improve the design to development process slightly by encouraging your designers to learn basic code. Knowing the fundamentals of HTML and CSS gives designers a shared understanding that helps them anticipate the needs of developers.

It makes the process even better when designers know some front-end JavaScript and Ajax because it gives them insight into how much work it will take developers to turn their static designs into interactive components.

Some coding experience also helps designers understand the limitations of development. It can make a huge difference when graphic designers have a baseline understanding of what developers can and cannot do.

However, the code-to-design approach doesn’t mean that a designer must know all of that. It’s enough to sync developers’ repo where they store UI code components with the design tool editor to empower designers to use the production-ready parts in their designs. Not only is it faster but also much more consistent with the design standards. Thanks to this, you can avoid all the reviewing and repetition stages in the whole product development process. 

Without a code-based approach to design, you end up with prototypes that don’t function as anticipated, which inevitably means you end up wasting even more resources. 

Make designing and prototyping easier with a design tool based on code generation

A tool that enables having your UI code components imported to a design library is much more efficient than the one that converts an image to code.

UXPin Merge bridges the gap between the process of translating prototype to code. Teams use the same UI elements throughout their processes, both to design a product and to develop it. Thus, there’s no misalignment, duplicated work, and misunderstandings. Teams can ship products faster and with ease. 

Improve workflow with code components

Instead of interpreting image-based designs and turning the ideas into code, developers just take the components that were used in a design from their library to build ready products. 

As the code-powered prototypes already behave like a final product, there’s no need for additional reviewing steps – the result of developers’ work will be pixel-perfect to the designers’ work. 

Test user interfaces and interactive design elements with fully functional prototypes

You need to meet the project manager’s specifications before you embark on turning a prototype into a product you can release.

UXPin Merge gives your team members an opportunity to test the functionality of interactive components before committing to a development process.

With UXPin Merge, though, it’s often difficult to tell the difference between the prototype and the finalized product. That’s how strong initial testing becomes when you build digital products with code and use real data to test interactions.

Request access to UXPin Merge for code-based designing and prototyping

You don’t have to continue the tedious process of building products from a design-first perspective. Shorten your go-to-market process, improve collaboration between departments, and take control of your designs with UXPin Merge. Now, you can test building UI with UXPin Merge by using built-in Merge libraries. Try UXPin Merge for free.

Use a single source of truth for design and development. Discover Merge


by UXPin on 27th June, 2024

UXPin is a web-based design collaboration tool. We’re pleased to share our knowledge here.

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