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Web Design vs Web Development

Web design and web development are two important areas in website building. In truth, many people use these terms interchangeably, not realizing that they are different —albeit related — concepts. It’s wise to know the differences between web design and web development, especially if you plan on making your own website.

Let’s try to explain these two concepts in simple terms.

What is Web Design?

Website design is the thoughtful modeling of an effective online resource. This is the primary stage in the development of the site and it is responsible for the adequacy of further development. When designing a site, the idea, goals, and objectives of the site are developed, as well as ways to achieve them. Upon completion of the design phase, the developers have a clear idea of how the completed project will look and function.

Does this sound too theoretical? Thankfully, Christiaan Huynen, CEO of Graphic Design Marketplace Design Bro, explains the concept of designing a brand identity beautifully:

“When designing a brand typically across all customer touchpoints we call it ‘Brand Identity Design’, Think of it as the logo being the dancer, but the total brand identity being the music, the dance floor, the lighting, everything that touches the performance. By creating an overall image that is in-line with your brand’s DNA, you create the core image and message that your customers will remember about your brand.”

What Does the Design Process Give a Website?

  1. Increases the likelihood of achieving the desired resource type: A clear statement of tasks, the definition of the target audience, and the modeling of user paths can get the desired result from the development.
  2. Saves time and finances: Eliminating inaccuracies during the creation of a website prototype is a simple process, it is enough to change a few text or graphic fragments. It will be much longer and more expensive to perform such actions at the stage of the layout. And for the programmer, such fixes will be even more labor-intensive.
  3. Divides work logically: A site prototype is an independent document, on the basis of which the customer can already create a site, independently or by another development team.

What a Web Designer Should be Able to Do:

  • Good understanding of graphic and logo design.
  • Work with programs for creating graphics, such as Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Sketch.
  • Look for the best methods of creating a creative layout, easy navigation, clear interface.
  • Be aware of the latest graphic design trends. Maintain consistency with the designs of other companies, especially Google and Facebook. This makes it easier to navigate the site and use the interface as it is already familiar to users.
  • Consider website branding, color palettes, and typography that affect the readability of web pages.

Designers do not just make a beautiful website. The ease of use of the interface depends on the result of their work, and, consequently, site traffic.

What is Web Development?

The whole point of web development is to write the code for the website to function. Web developers use integrated development environments and programming languages based on the project created by the designers to build a fully functional website.

Leland Diano emphasizes the importance of a good website in his guide:

“Your website is the center of your digital eco-system, as a brick and mortar location, the experience matters once a customer enters, just as much as the perception they have of you before they walk through the door.”

Web site development consists of the layout (client part) and programming (software part). Therefore, web developers are divided into two groups: front-end and back-end.

What Is the Role of Front-End Development?

The front-end or client-side of the application is the creation of the code and markup responsible for the visual design of the website. Front-end designers should be familiar with Hypertext Markup (HTML), Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), and JavaScript (JS). With the help of programming languages and styles, a developer can create a full-fledged site: from a general layout to inserting animations and images and using various fonts and interfaces.

For small sites, layout may be the only type of development that is necessary for the delivery of a project. For more complex projects, back-end development is a must.

What Is the Role of Back-End Development?

The back-end or software part of the application is responsible for processing and storing information transmitted through the interface. The use of a back-end is required if the site contains dynamic data. Information can be stored in a database on a local or remote server. To develop the software part of the site and connect to servers, languages such as PHP, Java, and C# are usually used.

Summing It Up

To summarize, a web designer is someone who is involved in the design of a website, while a web developer is in charge of coding. Both have different tasks, but a designer who understands how web pages are created will be more experienced and prepared to design those pages. Likewise, a web developer who has a grasp of the basics of design can better control the appearance of content from the user’s side.

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