Web Design

What Are the Differences Between Web Design and Web Development?

5 minutes, 45 seconds Read

In comparison to what a web developer does, what exactly does a web designer do? The short answer back in the dawn of the web was that designers did the designing and developers did the coding. The modern answer to that question is more complex: almost every web designer these days knows HTML and CSS, and most front-end web developers can draw up a storyboard in their sleep. However, the difference becomes somewhat more apparent when discussing the overarching principles of web design as opposed to web development. Let’s examine these two ideas and how they contribute to the development of the websites and apps that we adore.

Web design is what?

Color scheme, layout, information flow, and all other visual aspects of the user interface and user experience are governed by web design. This includes everything that has to do with the aesthetics and usability of a website. What sets web designers apart from web developers, in terms of common skills and tools, are:

  • Design programs such as Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, etc.)
  • Visual arts
  • user interface design
  • designing user experiences
  • Brand identity
  • Design and format
  • Implementing button placements
  • Identity management
  • Sketches, prototypes, and narratives
  • Palettes of colors
  • Typography

Web designers pay more attention to the visual aspects that users experience on their devices than to the underlying technical aspects that ensure the site functions properly. They give life to digital experiences through visual elements such as color, images, typography, and layout.

Still, a lot of web designers have a solid grasp of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Being able to make working mockups of web apps is a huge help when presenting ideas to the team or refining the app’s user interface and experience. Template services, such as WordPress or Joomla!, are also commonly used by web designers. These services enable users to build websites with pre-made themes and widgets, eliminating the need to write any code at all.

Site development is what?

Everything that makes a website work is governed by website development Calgary. There are two main parts to it, the front end and the back end. The code that decides how a website will really display the designs that a designer has mocked up is called the front-end or client-side of an application. The application’s data management and serving to the front-end for display is the responsibility of the back-end, also known as the server-side. You might have guessed that there is a lot of overlap between the roles of web designer and front-end developer. Here are a few things that most people assume only front-end developers need:

  • PHP, CSS, and JavaScript
  • Sass and LESS are two examples of CSS preprocessors.
  • Applications (for example, AngularJS, ReactJS, and Ember)
  • Create a website template
  • Packages (for example, jQuery)
  • Team Foundation Server and Git
  • Improving a website’s visibility in search engines

In most cases, the designer is the one who supplies front-end web developers with mockups, fonts, and color palettes. Making those prototypes a reality is the developer’s responsibility. Still, developers need to be familiar with UI/UX design best practices to grasp the designer’s vision and implement it with the appropriate technology, resulting in the product the designer had envisioned.

The developers working on an application’s back end are responsible for its business logic and data management. Data can move from the front end to the back end of an application because of the APIs and routing that they write. The following are examples of programming languages and tools that are specific to back-end developers:

  • PHP, Python, Java, and C# are examples of server-side languages.
  • Frameworks for building websites on the server side (such as Symfony, Ruby on Rails, and.NET)
  • Systems for managing databases (such as PostgreSQL, MongoDB, and MySQL)
  • APIs with a RESTful architecture
  • Security and authentication (for example, PassportJS, OAuth)
  • Website hosts (such as Microsoft, Oracle, and Linux)
  • Web developers that are proficient in both the front-end and back-end of a technology stack are known as full-stack developers.
  • Web designers and web developers: the essential distinctions

Having established that web design and web development are separate fields, we can now examine the key distinctions between the two roles.

The vast majority of web designers are not programmers.

The overall style and presentation of a website is the responsibility of the web designer. As an example, they could make use of Photoshop for image editing or InVision Studio, an app prototyping and animation tool, for creating high-fidelity mockups and designing layouts. However, coding is not necessary for any of these primary tasks.

Web designers can now take their artistic skills and apply them to the development of your website even if you don’t know how to code. This is thanks to the rise of no-code website builders like Wix and content management systems (CMS) like WordPress.

Web developers aren’t tasked with making assets.

Web developers are computer programmers who can add features to an existing website by writing code. Their job is to use languages like JavaScript, HTML, and CSS to turn the designer’s mockups and wireframes into working code. Typically, web developers aren’t tasked with making the actual visual assets, like the photos used for color schemes, fonts, and buttons, themselves. Incorporating them into the page is as simple as using code.

In most cases, web developers will charge more than web designers.

Hiring a web developer is typically more expensive than hiring a web designer. Web designers can expect to earn an average of $29 per hour, while web developers can expect to earn $36 per hour, according to ZipRecruiter. Supply and demand is probably the main factor at play here; there are more designers than developers, and the ability to code is in great demand. The disparity in rates will narrow as coding becomes standard practice among available talent. Hiring a developer or designer is like investing in a stock: you get what you pay for.

A web developer and a web designer working together—the holy grail

Due to the proliferation of online educational resources, the once-joke-in-the-industry concept of a “designer/developer hybrid” who can handle it all is now a realistic goal for web designers and front-end developers alike.

The development and design industries are always on the lookout for talented individuals with strong cross-disciplinary skills. Starting with visual mockups and storyboards, the “unicorn” can handle all of your project’s front-end development needs.

They shouldn’t, but being able to communicate fluently in each other’s languages is the true value of developers who also design and designers who develop. As a result, you can expect improved team communication and a more streamlined workflow, as well as the assurance that you will achieve optimal results.

Typically, the “unicorn” is a good choice for smaller projects where one or two individuals can effectively manage the back-end and front-end of an application. Even with a small team of “unicorns,” larger projects still necessitate more explicitly defined responsibilities.

 

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