Design is clearly more than implementation details, or so we say. While it's easy to quantify specs and feature releases, it's harder to measure research or obstacles avoided. It probably shouldn't be and design learnings could be tracked but it’s rarely a priority. So the recurring question of should designers code still seems like a misapplication of the role. I code, barely, but enough to understand the domain I work in.

The day to day challenges of software delivery feel less implementation problems and more shaping questions. Less how to build, more what to build and if it’s validated. Designers contributing to implementation rarely make up for poor discovery. The exceptions being microinteraction design and computational prototypes. So if you had to prioritize between a designer contributing towards research, shaping or development, would you still pick the latter?