Designer Vs Developer

Web Designer vs. Web Developer

For those folks who don’t delve in the world of web as an occupation, some of the most common terms can see interchangeable.  When OSO Web Studio clients get confused about the differences between web designers and web developers, we’re happy to explain the difference.  After all, we don’t see any point in being difficult when we could be helpful!

Here are a few of the key differences between web developers and web designers:

  • If you confuse web developers and web designers, you might be surprised to learn how different their personalities tend to be.  Once you’re aware of these differences, you probably won’t be quite as confused when you’re talking about the two occupations in the future.

Web Designers, by name, enjoy designing things.  In other words, they tend to be creative people that enjoy the challenges that various forms of art can present to them.  As with many creative types, they don’t always have the greatest amount of patience, but it’s typically because they are developing art in their brains at every moment of the day, and they can’t wait to get their ideas on paper (or, as the case may be, in the computer).  They tend to have tenacity and persistence that is only found with people that have a passion for their art.  They also are known to be optimistic people, often looking at lemons and finding ways to make sunny lemonade.

Web Developers, on the other hand, tend to be the analytical folks that enjoy digging into data and delving into the great unknowns of technology.  The nature of their work tends to make them patient people, as they’re known to work on the same projects and stare at similar screens for days or months on end, perfecting codes and placing internet language just right so it speaks perfectly to its friends.  Web developers are often receptive people that are willing to take feedback from multiple parties (often because that’s necessary to develop beautiful, well-functioning websites).

  • To the untrained ear, these two positions are synonymous with each other.  Many people think that web designers and web developers are the same people – the difference being that different organizations or departments utilize different terminology.  This actually couldn’t be further from the truth.  They are, in fact, two very distinctly different positions.

Web Designers, because of their creative nature, work to create web layouts.  They take information from heat maps and things learned from consumer insights studies, and they place their clients’ information on their web pages such that the cyber real estate is properly optimized.  They understand that people see top to bottom, left to right, and they work to organize information such that their clients’ most important information is not overlooked because it isn’t placed properly.  Much of a web designer’s job revolves around working with client-provided content to ensure that what the client wants to portray is actually received by the audience.  They understand and design relational database schemas, which permit a logical distribution of visuals, tables, and other objects.

Web Developers work more behind-the-scenes.  Once an optimal layout has been decided upon, the web developers work to turn these ideas into user-friendly interfaces so the client (and, of course, the client’s readers) can easily navigate the site.  Once a website is up and running, web developers are often tasked with the responsibilities of routine daily maintenance on sites and applications.  They are also generally the people that are tasked with troubleshooting and maintenance problems as they arise.

  • Now that you understand a little bit more about how different these two roles are, you probably won’t be quite as surprised to learn about how different their workspaces often are.  Because the functions of these two professionals are so different, the tools with they work are often different (or at least used differently), as well.

Web Designers often utilize computers and tablets to create art that is seamlessly translated onto their screens for further evaluation.  If you walk by a web designer’s space, you’re likely to see websites that are in the process of being designed.  You’ll also likely find random bits that are used for inspiration such as books, pictures, or random other things that you probably wouldn’t understand unless the designer let you in on his or her inside joke.

Web Developers’ computer monitors are more likely to be filled with images of things that help them compute pixels.  There will be books and notes everywhere, sometimes organized and sometimes not so much, which are filled from the binder to the brim with codes.  You shouldn’t be surprised if you see a tablet or an extra computer in a developer’s workspace, since they’re often trying to test the responsiveness of their latest website project.  Then, when you look on the other side of the workspace, you should expect to find codes, codes, and more codes (or, at least, books about codes).

Did this tutorial help you to better understand the differences between web designers and web developers?  If so, we’d love to hear your thoughts!  Leave a reply in the box below, and let us know what you’re thinking!

If you’re in need of a team of great web developers of web designers (or, perhaps, a little of both), contact our team at Optimum Systems Online.  Tell us about your project, then let us tell you how we can help!

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