These days, it seems everyone you meet is either a web designer or web developer. This comes as no surprise since one study estimates there are around 21 million web developers worldwide.
It’s harder to pin down the exact number of web designers, probably because their job description is even vaguer. After all, web design and development are basically the same things, right?
Not exactly. Although some of their work may overlap, the truth is that designers and developers work on two very different aspects of a website.
Here’s a breakdown of the similarities and differences between web design and development.
Defining Web Design and Development
Web design refers to a broad set of skills, the main one being visual design.
A web designer is mainly concerned with how a website looks. This involves both the aesthetic elements of the site and also how users interact with it. Because of this, they’re also known as “experience” or “UI designers.”
There are two categories of web development: front-end and back-end.
Now that we’ve defined the difference, let’s look at each job description in more detail.
What Does a Web Designer Do?
Web designers transform an idea into a visually appealing design. This design is then interwoven throughout the website to give it a certain look and feel.
Imagine it this way. An architect must design a blueprint of a house before construction begins. Similarly, a web designer must create a website’s layout before a developer can build it.
Web designers seek to create the best possible user experience. They know that the first 10 seconds are critical to capturing attention and convincing visitors to stay longer.
Here are some of the main tools and roles of a web designer:
- Skilled in graphic and logo design
- Knowledgeable about branding, color use, and typography
- Proficient in Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and/or Sketch
- Focus mainly on layout, imagery, buttons, and overall format
What Does a Web Developer Do?
Web developers take the work of the web designer and use it to create the actual website.
Front-end developers use a variety of software tools to build the backbone of the website. Rather than focusing on visual aspects, their goal is to create clean code that will result in technically sound websites.
Back-end developers focus on how a site works and how it functions for the customer. They develop and write code for features such as online shopping carts or account creation forms.
Here are some of the main tools and roles of a web developer:
- Skilled in reading, writing, and creating code
- Submitting all required data on the server and databases
- Also knowledgeable in backend languages such as PHP and MySQL
There are some individuals who can claim to be proficient in both web design and development. Most web experts, though, specialize in one field or the other.
If you’re seeking a skilled designer or developer, we invite you to learn more about us and the professional services we offer.