Web Development vs Web Design

Web Development vs Web Designweb development vs web design

In truth, many people use the two terms(web development vs web design) interchangeably, but they really do have two very different meanings. If you’re looking for a job in the web design industry, or you are someone looking to hire a web professional to build a website, you need to know the difference between these two terms and the skill-sets that come with them. Web development vs web design.

What Is Web Design?

Web design governs everything involved with the visual aesthetics and usability of a website—color scheme, layout, information flow, and everything else related to the visual aspects of the UI/UX (user interface and user experience).
Some common skills and tools that distinguish the web designer from the web developer are:

  • Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator) or other design software
  • Graphic design
  • Logo design and Branding
  • Layout/format
  • Wireframes, mock-ups, and storyboards
  • Color palettes
  • Typography

Web design is concerned with what the user actually sees on their computer screen or mobile device. Through the use of color, images, typography and layout, they bring a digital experience to life.

That said, many web designers are also familiar with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript—it helps to be able to create living mock-ups of a web app when trying to pitch an idea to the team or fine-tune the UI/UX of an app. Web designers also often work with templating services like WordPress or Joomla!, which allow you to create websites using themes and widgets without writing a single line of code. Web development vs web design.

Read: Web Designer

What Is Web Development?

Web development governs all the code that makes a website tick. It can be split into two categories—front-end and back-end. The front-end or client-side of an application is the code responsible for determining how the website will actually display the designs mocked up by a designer.

The back-end or server-side of an application is responsible for managing data within the database and serving that data to the front-end to be displayed. As you may have guessed, it’s the front-end developer’s job that tends to share the most overlap with the web designer. Some common skills and tools traditionally viewed as unique to the front-end developer are listed below:

  • HTML/CSS/JavaScript
  • CSS preprocessors (i.e., LESS or Sass)
  • Frameworks (i.e., AngularJS, ReactJS, Ember)
  • Libraries (i.e., jQuery)
  • Git and GitHub

Front-end web developers don’t usually create mock-ups, select typography, or pick color palettes—these are usually provided by the designer. It’s the developer’s job to bring those mock-ups to life. That said, understanding what the designer wants requires some knowledge of best practices in UI/UX design, so that the developer is able to choose the right technology to deliver the desired look and feel and experience in the final product. Web development vs web design

Read: Web Developer

Many People Blur the Lines

web development vs web design

In essence, web design refers to both the aesthetic portion of the website and it’s usability. Web designers use various design programs such as Adobe Photoshop to create the layout and other visual elements of the website. While web Developers on the other hand, take a website design and actually make a functioning website from it. Web developers use HTML, CSS, Javascript, PHP and other programming languages to bring to life the design files.

While some web professionals specialize or focus on certain areas, many of them blur the lines between different disciplines. They may be most comfortable working with visual designs using programs like Adobe Photoshop, but they may also know something about HTML and CSS and may be able to code some basic pages. Companies looking for a website or a re-design of their existing website may be confused by the blurred lines surrounding the terms. Although there are individuals that are able to do both, many companies have dedicated designers which create the website layout and then hand the design files over to a programmer who completes the development stage. Web development vs web design.

Hopefully this article will help clear up the common misconception that design and development are one in the same. I hope you now have a clearer understanding of the difference between the roles of web developers and web designers. Keep in mind that both have essential roles, and the web would not exist without one or the other.

This article is not completely original.

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