Web design and web development are terms that are often used interchangeably to describe the website building process. However, they refer to two distinct processes requiring different skill sets. So, what is the difference between web design and web development?
Web design is chiefly concerned with the aesthetics of a website, including branding, colour palettes, typography, and legibility. Designers use various design programs such as Adobe Photoshop to create the layout and other visual elements of the website.
Much like when building a house – first, you need an architect to do the plans (the web designer), then builders to build it (the web developer.)
A Closer Look at Web Design
The role of the web designer is to take the vague ideas or concepts of the client and turn them into an aesthetically pleasing website. But the website not only has to look good it also needs to work well. So, the designer is also focusing on the User Experience (UX) in order to craft a website that keeps users hooked.
UX design is the process of designing a website that is useful, easy to use, and delightful to interact with. It’s about enhancing the experience that people have while interacting with your website, and making sure they find value in what you’re providing.
A web designer uses programmes like Indesign and Photoshop to design a prototype of your home page and internal pages. The creation is a flat canvas that acts as a roadmap for web developers.
Web designers require a combination of individual creative flair with knowledge of universal design principles. In this way, they can design a website environment and interface that is consistent, easy to navigate and use, and is already familiar to the users’ eyes.
A Closer Look at Web Development
Whereas a web designer creates the external, aesthetic shell of your website, a web developer is the one that makes that design function as it should. Web developers, or programmers, take the design created and build a fully functioning website. So, how does the relationship between developers and designers work?
To put it simply, think of the design as a non-interactive “picture” of a website. Developers take that design and break it up into its components. They then either use HTML or a more dynamic approach incorporating programming languages such as PHP to develop the various website pages. More advanced web developers may choose to utilise a Content Management System (CMS) like WordPress or Joomla. These are applications which help users manage and create content, allowing clients an easy way to maintain and update their website.
Web developers can be front-end developers or back-end developers. Some may be experts in both and known as full-stack developers.
Back-end developers are experts in programming and using complex software languages like Java, SQL and C#. The work they do is not seen by users because it involves coding on the web servers and databases, not on the browser.
A full-stack developer works across all the different layers – or stacks – including both the front and back end. It is essentially the full package when it comes to web development, because they are an expert in all areas.
Can a Web Developer also be a Web Designer?
So, is it possible to combine web design and development skills? The answer is yes, it is. Nowadays it is not uncommon for people to have skills in both. Someone who has both creative and technical skills tend to be highly sort after. It is hugely beneficial to have both as they can see a project through from start to finish. There won’t be any issues like miscommunication or differing ideas. It avoids pitfalls such as design elements that cannot be implemented, or design being watered down for ease of development.
Here at Koreti we are lucky enough to have such experts on our team. To speak to them about your next website project simply call 01202 650 333 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out our contact form here.
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