Prototyping in Code


Prototyping in Code UX Bootcamp is designed to help good designers become better designers by allowing them to transform their designs into prototypes for user research and to make better interactions by working more closely with their medium. This is not intended to turn you into a professional front end developer or to have you producing production ready code. Think of it as replacing Visio or Omnigraffle with HTML/CSS.


We’ve got three fantastic ‘trainers’ who have a great mix of code and teaching skill and who are passionate about helping others learn the skills they’ve got in order to make better experiences on the web.

  • Peter Gasston, Senior Developer at
  • Anna Debenham, Freelance Front End Developer,
  • Alex Morris, User Experience Director at Mark Boulton Design


Code Fitness for Beginners

If you don’t know your HTML from your JavaScript, then you’re going to have to work a bit harder than others to get up to speed with prototyping. Day One is dedicated to teaching you what you’ll need to know about HTML, CSS and JavaScript in order to keep up with the rest of the bootcamp.

There is zero assumed knowledge for this course, however there will be homework (allow a few hours) that you’ll be expected to have completed in advance. We want to hit the ground running in order to get as much as we can out of the day and make best use out of the access we have to our trainers.

You should attend the introductory day if:

  • You’re quite new or have never written HTML or CSS before
  • You’ve got a bit of basic knowledge, but want some good grounding
  • You want to find out a bit more about the new HTML5 elements

You shouldn’t need to attend if:

  • You’ve already got a bit of a grounding in HTML and CSS, and it doesn’t put the fear in you.
  • You know how to create a document with images, headings, links, and how to add basic styles them.

BootCamp Proper: Prototyping in Code

Bootcamp proper comprises two very intensive days (9am-6pm).

We’re aiming to minimise the formal ‘teaching’ and spend the majority of the time working on hands on projects of increasing complexity. Less yammering, more hammering.

We have a group of experienced ‘trainers’ who will be on call to get you started and then support your learning as you tackle the projects and ‘learn by doing’. The ‘trainer’ to ‘learner’ ratio will be high, ensuring that you’ll get plenty of one-on-one attention.

You can work through these projects at your own pace, depending on your experience/skills. The objective is to replace Visio/Omnigraffle for wireframing. If you’re looking to replace Axure (or similar) you might want to hold out for the Advanced Prototyping Bootcamp (more details soon. Register your interest here).


The ability to make prototypes in code is becoming a more and more valuable skill for User Experience practitioners. Industry leader, Jared Spool recently wrote about three reasons why learning to code will make you a better designer. He says:

Not every job will require that a designer know how to code. However, there are three reasons why learning to code makes you a better designer:

  1. You’ll better understand the medium you’re working in. If you know what database queries will be faster than others, you can make the right response time tradeoffs. If you know what’s easy to code and what’s difficult to code, you can get your ideas implemented faster (and more of them, since development time is a limited resource.) Understanding what your medium does well and where isn’t as effective makes for more informed design decisions.
  2. Knowing how to code helps you produce better prototypes. The best way to communicate a design idea to your teammates and clients is through an interactive prototype. Producing your own quick prototypes brings your ideas to life sooner, releasing that inner brilliance you’re carrying around and helping everyone see what your designs are really about.
  3. Knowing how to code helps you identify bugs and flaws in the production code. As your team’s designs start to come to life, you can play an essential role of helping the developers isolate interaction problems, which means your end product will be the best it can be.

Makes sense, huh? But learning to code is a major investment of time and there’s a lot competing for our time right?

And that’s why there’s Bootcamp.

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