Web development vs web design: what is the difference?

Web development vs web design

Is there any significant difference between web design and web development? A team of different web specialists is involved in scaled web projects — like building a web portal from a sketch. Harmonious cooperation between developers and designers contributes to web project success. However, if you need certain improvements on an already existing site, like some small project, you may hire only one person, or just a few people. But what kind of specialist do you need, and what skills do they need to have? As some people are still confused about the difference between web developers and web designers, let’s clear it up.

What does a web developer do?

Developers, in comparison to designers, don’t prioritize making web resource look visually attractive. Instead, they focus their efforts on code cleanness and creating technically sound site or app functionality. Web development is divided into two interrelated areas — front-end and back-end development — which serve two important purposes.

Front-end development is responsible for creation of the markup, using scripting languages for implementing typography and font families, animations, drop-down menus, pagination, scrolling and other features visible to end users that help them interact with a web resource.

Back-end development is about server database management and requests control. You need a back-end developer if your website contains dynamic data that should be stored safely for later usage and be accessible to be updated at any time.

What skills does a web developer have?

Frontend developers are skilled in HTML (HyperText Markup Language), CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) and JavaScript, as they use these programming languages to write their code scripts. Backend developers work with PHP, as well as Ruby, Python and ASP.NET. They also know how to write database queries with the help of SQL (Structured Query Language) or MySQL.

Web developers are often considered left-brained workers. They are good at analytical and logical thinking. They usually have degrees in computer science, programming and other technical fields.

What does a web designer do?

Web designers are responsible for the look and feel of a web product, and for branding that impact users. The results of their work are layouts, templates, logos, illustrations, buttons, and other design elements. We make a distinction between UI and UX designers, whose duties often intersect.

UI design, as the name implies, means designing user interfaces, creating the visual appearance of each web page that users are able to see on their screens and interact with. UI designer also about making the interface look correspond to its designation and functions that the UX designer has laid out.

UX design is aimed at providing positive user experience and user satisfaction while interacting with a web product. UX designer creates structural guidelines of a website or app layout in the form of wireframes, which are low-fidelity, and prototypes, which are high-fidelity and detailed. UX designer also define personas, scenarios and initial information architecture (IA) and do user testing.

What skills does a web designer have?

Web designers have skills and experience working with such software as Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, CorelDRAW and others. They know how to create and edit vector images, photographs, animations and other visuals in different formats.

Designer are usually right-brained, creative, imaginative and artistic personalities. They have a good feeling for beauty and user experience, and know what color combinations and design elements location are the most user-friendly and effective. They know the commandments of UI design and basics of graphic design, and understand users’ needs and desires. Good designers always keep pace with the times and track current web design trends to be able to produce modern solutions.

Now you have a better understanding of web design and web development, and of what main goals they serve and main tools they use. Hire our web designers or outsource web developers, or use both services depending on your web resource needs.

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