Web Designer vs. Web Developer

Do these titles confuse you? You’re not alone. Although they refer to completely different people, there’s an overlap in what they do. They both build websites and usually share the same skill sets.

However, the two have different responsibilities in the building process. Think of the roles of architects and construction workers in a literal building. Both play integral yet distinct roles in bringing the structure to life. Such is the relationship between web design and web development.

What is Web Design?

Web designing is the first step in building a website. It maps out the layout, colors, positioning of buttons, and drop-down menus.

A web designer focuses on making the website look good, easy to use, and visitors feel welcome to stay longer. A properly designed website encourages conversion by inviting users to click on buttons, make purchases, etc.

Just the way an architect designs a house around functionality, a web designer conceptualizes a website that will be user-friendly. The website should take into consideration user expectations and satisfaction.

But web designers don’t just visualize websites; they are constantly researching and studying to keep up with the latest trends in their field. They ask themselves questions like: What do users expect? How will this design look across different devices? What are the company’s colors, and how can I showcase them on the website? Will visitors love the experience enough to refer their friends?

There are three different types of web design:

  • UX (User Experience)
  • UI (User Interface)
  • Visual

UX (User Experience)

User experience design focuses on giving visitors a positive experience. UX designers use human-centered data to create a website that will make visitors happy.

So, web designers don’t get to work until they have their goals and the statistics ready.

UI (User Interface)

More than just a good experience, the goal of building a website is to convert visitors into customers, subscribers, etc. When considering User Interface, web designers worry about user interactions on the website.
A UI designer considers where and why to place buttons on web pages.

Visual Design

Think about what you see when you open a website. Before you can rate your experience or click anywhere, what does the page look like? Is it well organized? How do the colors coordinate?
Visual designers place visual aids strategically across web pages to make them appealing to the eyes. 

What is Web Development?

A web developer does to a website what a construction worker does to a building. A web developer brings the designer’s ideas to life. They build and maintain the core structure of the website.

Web development requires extensive coding knowledge. Depending on your web development duties, you need to understand a few programming languages such as HTML, JavaScript, CSS, C#, Java, Ruby, SQL, etc.

Types of web developers

You can work as one of these three types of developers:

  • Front-end developers build the part of the website that visitors see. They collaborate closely with web designers to make online shops and blogs attractive and user-friendly. 
  • Back-end developers concentrate on the behind-the-scenes. They code servers and databases that website administrators use. Their job is to ensure that the website is up and running smoothly. Back-end web developers use more advanced programming languages than front-end developers.
  • Full-stack developers care for both the front-end and back-end. To be a full-stack developer, you need an in-depth understanding of how both ends of the website work together and independently. 

Which is Easier: Web Development or Web Design?

Some say web design is more straightforward because it involves putting ideas on paper for someone else to build. But others disagree because web designers do more than visualize. Their plans must use research and data collected over time for the website to be successful.

If you say web development is easier because you are working with an existing design, you might be ignoring all the coding involved. Although there are several drag-and-drop web development tools, a unique website can’t rely wholly on such aids.

Whether one is more straightforward or not, both the designer and the developer are essential to building a successful website. With time and as user intent and preferences change, you require ongoing design and development services to keep your website up to date.

Remember to treat your website as you would your physical shop or office. Your visitors love aesthetics, but they also care about functionality. They need a reason to stay longer whenever they visit, and it’s your job to give it to them.

Your choice of web development services determines how successful your business will be. So you’re better off with the experts than taking a chance on novices who don’t know your website’s needs.

Learn more about the best practices for developing your website with the user in mind.