What is the difference between web design and web development?

web design vs development

I recall being perplexed several times in my early stages of studying web development about the difference between design and development. What is a web designer’s job description? What does it take to work in web design? Is there a difference between web design and web development? Are these two terms interchangeable and have the same meaning?

The straightforward answer is no. Each has an entirely different role than the other. But first, let’s take a look at the many roles and approaches that a web designer and a web developer can take.

Web design

Think of web designers as people that take an idea or a story and turn it into a visually beautiful design, then use their layout to create a positive user experience across the board. They create the style and feel of the website.

Web designers have a demanding job that is sometimes overlooked. They must incorporate the best user experience possible into their designs and create a pleasant environment for the user. They must transform a written concept into a functional design and interface that attracts the user’s attention. A website could not be described as great if a good design strategy was not applied early in the project. Web designers are now regarded on par with web developers, as a strong user experience and design are required for a development to be genuinely appreciated by the user.

For themselves, web designers have amassed a vast library of strategic strategies. You don’t merely make a perfect website after reading or considering the required specs or features. You begin with a scope, which is the focal point and objective of the website. You’d start with a sketch or draught of the design after getting a general idea of the designs in your thoughts. Web designers of progress from sketches through wireframes, mock-ups, and the final design and constructive visual of the website. Professional web designers create a pixel-perfect layout of all web pages, iconography, typography, and other intricate aspects using design components.

The main roles of a web designer:

Using software such as Adobe Photoshop, Framer, or Sketch to create the website’s final layout design

Graphic design and logo design are two abilities that you should have.

Have an excellent user experience to find the easiest way to do the intended function. This comprises the website’s layout, buttons, pictures, and overall format.

Web designers must stay up to date on the most recent design trends. It’s also critical to maintaining the design consistency that has become popular thanks to corporations like Google and Facebook. Because the user’s eyes are already comfortable with the website environment and interface, it is easy to navigate and use.

In addition to the website’s branding, colour palettes, typography, and readability, web designers must consider the website’s branding, colour palettes, and typography.

Web development

Consider web developers to be the people who transform the designs into a working website. Web developers create the design and functionality using web languages and software tools. It’s worth noting that web developers are further divided into two categories: front-end and back-end developers. Front-end developers, in my opinion, are the link between web designers and back-end developers because a front-end developer with a basic understanding of both can create a fully functional website. The user interface and layout, as well as the interaction between the website’s back-end and the user, are created by a front-end developer.

Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), and JavaScript are the three main languages used by front-end developers (JS). A developer can design a fully functional website using these languages. From the basic design layout to the placement of images, the use of various forms of typography and font families, the implementation of animations, the flow of various pages, form interfaces, and more.

Back-end developers are in charge of the data and requests on the server. If a website has dynamic data, it usually necessitates the use of back-end services. Users submitting a form with personal data (such as making an account) or saving an article for your blog page are examples of this. In general, if a website requires data to be kept and retrieved later, it will also require a database connection. A direct connection from the server allows database connections to be made. As a result, a back-end developer employs server languages such as PHP or ASP.NET and SQL or MySQL to write database queries.

The main roles of a web developer:

Creating the user interface that allows a user to engage with the website. Front-end developers created this user interface utilizing HTML, CSS, and JS.

Front-end developers might employ stylistic preprocessors, javascript libraries, and frameworks (see my previous article).

Front-end developers give back-end developers the markup design to build a dynamic website and submit all of the essential data to the server and databases.

Back-end developers use PHP and MySQL to build the website’s backbone.

The same development environments or IDEs can be used by front-end and back-end developers (Integrated Development Environment).

These software application tools allow you to code and build the website’s structure.

Web developers can also use versioning tools to maintain track of prior builds. This will allow them to easily and swiftly revert to a previous “unbroken” version if necessary.

Closing thoughts

What does a full-stack developer do?

Full-stack developers are well-versed in all of the development above areas. This means that if you’re a full-stack developer, you should be able to create a website from the ground up, from looking at a design and writing markup for it to dealing with back-end operations and database queries. A full-stack developer usually has a rudimentary understanding of design and user experience. Being a full-stack developer does not necessitate mastery of all programming languages. It’s difficult to become an expert or a professional in a single language. It’s also difficult to learn all of the greatest tactics and strategies for being the most efficient in all of the areas mentioned above. Keep in mind that web technology is constantly changing.

It’s always beneficial to have a basic understanding of everything related to the internet, but I recommend sticking to the one you enjoy the most and focusing on being an expert on that. Once you’ve mastered the front-end or back-end, you’ll be able to devote more time to the regions that require more attention.

I hope you now have a better knowledge of the distinction between web developers and web designers. Keep in mind that both are necessary for the web to function, and one or the other would not exist without the other. I can assure you that nothing will be easier than the others, based on my personal experience. Working full-time as a front-end developer and regularly working with designers and back-end devs have taught me that each of the positions we just covered has its own idiosyncrasies. Remember that concentrating on one language at a time is the easiest way to get started. Once you’ve gotten yourself motivated and taken the first step, the rest will be easier.