Web Design Vs Web Development: Understanding The Difference?

Web Design Vs Web Development: Understanding The Difference?

When it comes to website development, two things that many people often get confused with i.e. web design and web development.

These are the aspects and two distinct processes of website development, which enable one to create websites. Many a times, these two terms are used interchangeably, but the role of each of them is completely different from the other. Both of these aspects require two different skill sets. In this post, e are going to figure out the basic difference between web design and web development.

What is web design?

What is Web Design

Web design deals with the visual aesthetic and usability of a website. It involves aspects like layout, color schemes, content flow and other elements that are related to the visual look and feel of a website i.e. user interface and user experience. A web designer has the responsibility to create visual appearance of the website that a web developer will use to create codes accordingly. Common skills that are required by a designer:

  • Design software like Sketch, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator etc.
  • Logo design.
  • Graphic design.
  • Wireframes, placing call-to-actions, typography etc.

Web design corresponds to what the users see on computers or mobile devices and is less concerned about the surface beneath that make it work. By using colors, layout, typography and images, web designers give birth to new digital experiences. The designers do a tough work, which is often underrated as they have to integrate the best user experience to create a pleasing website environment for the user. They convert an idea or concept into something, which catches the attention of every user.
They follow varied strategies and tools to build creative designs. When you start an envision of a website design and create a sketch or draft of it, a web designer takes the pain of creating wire-frames, mock-ups and the final designs that developers can use to develop websites. Professional designers build website designs in components with pixel perfect web page layouts using perfect icons, images, typography and other elements.

Characteristics of web designers:

  • They use design software to create final website layout.
  • They possess good skill in logo design and graphics design.
  • Designers know all nuances of the user experiences and have ability to find out the simplest approach for creating a design which include buttons, layouts, graphics, general format of website etc.
  • Web designers keep themselves updated with the latest trends and developments in web design strategies, tools, and methods. They also have to be consistent in their designs as per the rules and guidelines defined by the giants like Google and Facebook. They face the challenge of creating a website environment, which is easier and conveniently navigable.
  • They also need to consider the color palette to be used, typography, website readability in branding when creating the designs.

What is web development?

What is Web Development

Web development is the process, where website designs are turned into real websites. It can be divided into two categories that is front-end development and back-end development. Front-end development also known as client-side development is where the code is created which determines the display of website design. In short, it involves coding the web design, which will be displayed in the web browser. On the other hand, back-end or server-side development includes the process for managing data in database and supplying the data to the front-end for presenting it to the user.
This is the font-end developer, who shares the overlap with web designer as a front-end developer is also concerned about how the website will display on the end device. However, the front-end developer takes it from the coding point of view. There is a long list of skill set that has to be used by web developers be it a front-end developer or a back-end developer. Following are the common skill set used by both developers:

  • Front-end technologies: HTML, CSS and JavaScript (JS).
  • CSS processors like SASS, LESS etc.
  • JS frameworks like AngularJS, EmberJS, ReactJS, etc.
  • JS libraries: jQuery.
  • Back-end languages like PHP, ROR, ASP.NET etc.
  • Databases and languages like MySQL, SQL, PostgreSQL, MongoDB, etc.
  • PHP frameworks like Laravel, CakePHP, CodeIgniter, Zend etc.

Front-end developers use tools like code editors, frameworks, libraries and built the website based on the design provided by a designer. They do not create mock-ups, choose color palettes, typography etc, these activities are done by the web designers. However, to render the right results as per the expectations of the designer, they do have to possess some knowledge about UI/UX design best practices.

Characteristics of web developers

  • Web developers are the professionals that create the real interface that provides a way of interaction for the users with the site. The front-end developer builds this interface using technologies like HTML, CSS and JavaScript.
  • Often front-end developers utilize styling preprocessors libraries and frameworks for JavaScript to build solutions quickly.
  • This is the front-end developers who create the markups of website and then give it to back-end developers who implement a dynamic site. The back-end developers also send the required data to the databases and the server.
  • Using languages like MySQL and PHP, the back-end developer builds the backbone of the website.
  • Both the front-end and back-end developers use code editors or IDE (Integrated Software Development) to create website structure through code.
  • Besides these tools and technologies, these developers also use version control tools like Git.

Wrapping up!

Website design and development is a vast field and it is evolving year by year. There are tons of technologies and tools that are utilized for creating dynamic and interactive websites. Moreover, when it comes to website design and development one thing that often confuses to many is the basic difference between web design and web development.
Essentially, a web designer is required to create graphical design for the website using designer software like Adobe Photoshop, but he may also create design mock-ups he may possess some knowledge of basic HTML and CSS. But, he is not an expert and it is the front-end developer, who create the real code in HTML, CSS and JavaScript to build the structure of a website.
Like web designer, a front-end developer may have knowledge of some web design concepts and strategies, but he is not the expert in this field. The back-end developer create the server-side coding to make website dynamic.

Posted by Tom Hardy

Tom Hardy

Tom Hardy is a deft eCommerce web development professional associated with Sparx IT Solutions for many years. He has rich exposure in handling a diverse range of projects with utmost perfection and sincerity. In his idle time, he likes to share his knowledge through his write-ups on the latest web designing trends.

Related Posts


comments powered by Disqus