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Being a front-end developer is an exciting career that will provide you with numerous opportunities to challenge yourself and develop your skills. If you are currently a front-end developer or considering going down this path, you may be wondering if it is necessary to know about design.

Although front-end developers don't need to be well-versed in design as many jobs require little or no interaction with UI, it can still be helpful. Design knowledge can help create better code and make front-end developers more appealing to prospective employers.

Knowing what skills you need to get ahead in the job market can seem daunting, but it does not have to be. Keep reading to learn more about the intersection between front-end development and design and whether you should pick up design knowledge to further your career.

Is it Necessary for Front-end Developers to Know Design?

UI design software in computer

Front-end developers play an essential part in the software world. If you are planning a career in this field, you may be wondering if it is necessary to know design. Strictly speaking, front-end developers do not need to know design. However, it can be very helpful to have a basic knowledge of design for the following reasons:

  • Solving problems related to design
  • Writing better code in terms of design
  • Collaborating with UI professionals

So, while design knowledge is not required, it can certainly come in handy. Some front-end development jobs are more heavily focused on Javascript, but there will likely be moments in your career when you have to think through problems or projects with a design focus.

Design Concepts to Know as a Front-End Developer

If you are a front-end developer looking for ways to beef up your design knowledge, you are probably wondering where to start. In general, a front-end developer can benefit from a knowledge of the following concepts:

Although you will not have to be an expert in any of the above, some degree of fluency will go a long way in helping you create unique code and also facilitating communication and collaboration with those in the company who are the experts in design work.

Employment Prospects

The world of software is a highly employable field, with many people finding jobs in a variety of sectors, including front-end development. However, not all jobs are created equal, and it can sometimes feel difficult to stand out in the tech industry. Having some knowledge in design will bolster your résumé and allow you to find jobs that meet the following criteria:

  • Competitive salaries
  • Ideal location
  • Other benefits such as work-life balance or benefit packages

Competitive salaries Ideal location Other benefits such as work-life balance or benefit packages

If you have your dream job as a front-end developer identified but are not sure how to obtain it, it can be a very good idea to brush up on your design basics. This will give you a competitive edge when the time comes to apply.

How to Learn Design as a Front-end Developer

Now that you have identified that design knowledge can help your career, you will naturally wonder how you can get some of this crucial knowledge.

  • Online courses: Many online courses exist to teach you the basics of UI and other design components.
  • Professional development courses: Talk to your company to see if they offer any options for professional development. If you are unemployed, many local universities or companies could provide this.
  • Find a mentor: Talk to a UI or design professional you know and ask if they would be willing to teach you the basics. This can be especially useful if you are looking to learn the design requirements for a certain company.

There’s no shortage of ways to improve your skills as a designer. With a little research and inquiry, you will be sure to find a way to grow your skills.


In the world of front-end development, it is not necessary to know design, but it can certainly help. A working knowledge of design principles will make your working life and projects easier while also making you a more employable developer. If you are considering learning more about design, you should make this a reality. It will only help your career, and you may find that it is also a fun and rewarding challenge.