It’s a common practice to use web design and web development interchangeably. However, the two terms are fundamentally different even though they both play an integral role in the website-building process. A web designer requires a different skill set from that of a web developer. The confusion stems from the fact that many web designers also perform the job of the web developers, particularly if they are really good at programming.
But the difference between web design and web development goes beyond people who are simply looking for different titles to distinguish themselves. Here’s a closer look:
Web design focuses on usability and aesthetics. A web designer uses different design programs like Adobe Photoshop to create the layout and the visual elements of the website.
Web designers start their work by taking into consideration the objectives of the client. They then proceed to create a framework within those parameters. This framework establishes the information hierarchy of the website and guides the design process. Web designers then create the wireframes before finally moving to the design stage. They employ various design principles to come up with an aesthetically pleasing layout that will also offer an excellent user experience.
Web designers focus on cohesion, balance, prioritization, uniformity, and contrast. They are mainly concerned with appearance and function with the goal of creating something that looks great, works well for the users, and meets the client’s needs. It is best if a web designer has some knowledge of programming, but not necessarily at the level of the web developer.
A web developer, on the other hand, takes a website design mockup and converts it to a functioning website by taking the web design mockups that the web designer provides and builds a fully functioning website.
The web developer brings suggestions and ideas to the overall website plan, but it is the designer who has the last word, and then it returns back to the developer to integrate that functionality.
Before you hire someone to work on your website, understanding the difference between a web designer and web developer may help you move your project forward quicker and more efficiently. And making sure that the person you are hiring has the necessary qualifications to get the job done right for you may also save you some wasted time and money.