Tech & Engineering

The importance of creative coding in creating digital experiences

Written by Bill Marks on 24, Juth 2021

In today’s competitive digital landscape, playing it safe will make it harder for you to reach your audience and leave a positive impact. A lot of digital experiences lack the creativity that they need to succeed, and inevitably fall flat with their audience.

Brands often attribute this to not having access to the latest technology but the truth is, this inability to deliver mostly comes from a lack of imagination and know-how.

The way to keep your brand relevant and innovate is to embed creativity in all layers and processes of your organization, including your tech department. As the world becomes increasingly digitized, creative coding, which uses programming languages for artistic purposes, is unlocking endless possibilities for experience-makers. 

What is creative coding?

Typically, when we think about coding, we think about keeping technical infrastructure afloat with debugging and maintenance. We tend to think about function, not form. 
 
But at its core, coding is a visualizing medium. For you to deliver creative content and craft digital experiences that leave an indelible impression, you’ll need to get creative - from all sides. 

Creative coding is an emerging specialty that utilizes code and programming to make an output that is expressive, instead of practical or functional. It refers to programming and technologies that come together to produce visual art and memorable digital experiences.

Creative coding can be used to create a wide variety of digital media, including animations, 3D objects, data visualizations, robotics, interactive films, games, apps, and more.

It is a departure from coding systems that follow standard input-output templates. Creative coding offers the ability to design wholly immersive and innovative experiences. It exemplifies what you can make possible with code. 

Why does creative coding matter?

Creative coding is best equipped for prototyping and developing visual and interactive applications. That means, it can be applied almost anywhere, and it’s already being used in anything 3D-related.

3D visualizations, along with other experimental technologies like AR, are revolutionizing the way we create digital experiences. Because 3D and AR more accurately reflect our everyday experience of interacting with the world, they naturally provide more immersive experiences to customers. 

At DPDK, we see creative coding as an essential part of any immersive digital experience. It requires curiosity, problem solving skills, creative thinking, and nuance which naturally lead to more engaging experiences. Coding can be so much more than a tool that keeps infrastructures running. Injecting creativity into your code will lead to more vibrant experiences that audiences remember for years to come.

One of our favorite creative coding examples comes from one of our own team members. Colin van Eenige, our Lead Front end Architect, developed Moonbridge, a design tool for creating beautiful WebGL transitions. WebGL is a JavaScript API, and it’s the foundation for everything 3D on the web. 
 

Moonbridge

Moonbridge enables you to design your own 3D experiences. And because it’s based on Three.js, it has a lot of options to work with out of the box. The tool gives creative coding enthusiasts the opportunity to take any singular shape - think a cube or a doughnut - and develop a unique movement path for it. The platform allows you to then change the number of the shapes, add custom materials, configure additional lights and shading, apply various rotations, and change the direction of the path. 

Moonbridge is essentially a creative playground where developers can explore different transition options. It is built for anyone who wants to see what WebGL has to offer, but doesn’t necessarily want to learn how to program with it. Ultimately, Moonbridge is intended to be a collection of creations featuring the latest technologies.
 

Create your own immersive experiences

Most memorable digital experiences are more than websites or applications with information. They are digital adventures that allow you to experience what something like driving a car or wearing a shoe feels like. Moonbridge is essentially a blank slate upon which developers can make their own experiences. Much like Minecraft, its purpose is to let users build and explore, and it is accessible to both non-technical and technical users. 

Colin recently released the second iteration of Moonbridge, which features an updated UI, improved structure, and faster rendering with more options. He’s already working on Moonbridge 3.0, in which he hopes to add an export option, a featured section, templates, and tutorials.

Platforms like Moonbridge reveal what’s possible with creative coding, because its functionality can be applied to any interactive application. It is a tool that allows users to conceptualize their own ideas and make whatever experience or output that they want to have.

Coding: the future is creative

Building a successful digital experience means allowing creativity to take the lead. As technology continues to develop at a rapid pace, you’ll have to get used to thinking outside the box if you want your brand to stay relevant. Creative coding gives you an opportunity to stand out by creating engaging experiences. 

Creative coding is here to stay. Get started with it now, so you can reap the benefits.

STORY WRITTEN BY
Bill Marks
Chief Technology Officer

Bill Marks

Chief Technology Officer

Want to know more about creative coding?

Contact Bill