Although they are different jobs altogether, web design and web development now seem to merge and overlap in some of their functions, causing the demarcation to fade in some respect.
The reason for this is mainly cross-learning! In today’s highly competitive world, a developer cannot afford to stay aloof from what a designer does and vice versa. They happen to learn a little bit of each others’ tasks through mutual knowledge transfer that happens on the job.
This may somehow equip them with a general awareness of each other’s roles. But for gaining proficiency in the other stream they must have a natural talent as one is creative and the other, logical. Two extremes! Therefore, however, one conquers the other hemisphere, role reversals can cause the whole web building process go awry.
But, they are used interchangeably!
Generally, web development is considered as an umbrella term for a list of tasks that go into the development of a website. This includes web design as well.
But, they are quintessentially two separate functions.
Google treats the keyword web design and web development almost similarly. This is not actually because these terms convey the same meaning. It is because that the intention of most people searching for queries with these terms are interchangeable. Some times people use the term web designer to look for services that also involves web development and vice versa.
The Difference Between Web Design and Web Development
Web design functions are directed towards providing a better interface and experience to users. Whereas, web development involves programming and server-side functions that make the website functional.
- Web design is an artistic function
- It includes graphic designing, interface designing, page setting, choosing visuals, colors and fonts, etc.
- Web designers make the site attractive
- They use programs such as Adobe Photoshop, Indesign, Illustrator, Sketch, etc.
- They realize the client’s dream
- Web development is a technical function
- It includes server-side programming, database management, etc.
- Web developers makes it interactive
- They work on IDEs or text editors, local servers, multiple browsers, FTP and other developer-specific programs.
- Developers will be expert is any or all of the programming languages viz. PHP, .NET. Python, Ruby, etc
- They realize the web designer’s dream
Process Involved in the Creation of Website
Briefing > Wireframe > Web Designing > Web Development > Testing
It all starts with the client’s briefing on their requirement.
The web designer listens to the requirement and prepares a wireframe* of the website.
Following approval, they then create page designs of the website
The web developer takes it up from there and transforms the designs into a working website.
The output is then put for testing to detect and correct flaws or bugs.
*A wireframe is a simple graphical representation of the user interface that serves as a guide to designing the layout of the website.
What does web designers do?
- The web designer initiates the process of website building by drawing a wireframe* of the website according to the requirements.
- He creates a prototype of the website by simulating the real functionalities
- He finalises the UI and UX of the website and ensures it interests the site users and sticks to the client’s requirements
- He is in charge of choosing the right typography, color schemes and layout of website
- He helps the developer understand the design and requirement better
Design tools deployed by web designers:
Balsamiq/Mockplus for wireframe/prototype designing
Programming platforms used by web designers:
- Java script/Jquery/Ajax
What does web developers do?
- The job of a developer starts after the design is created.
- He creates the internal structure of the website and makes it working
- He facilitates transfer of data between the browser and server
- He does the back-end programming of websites and other web applications
- He works closely with the web designers to make the website functional
- He is responsible for writing testable and efficient codes and must be proficient in server-side programing languages like Python, Ruby on Rails, PHP, Java, ASP, ASP.NET
- He should be specialized in database management systems such as MySQL, Oracle, etc.
- He takes care of the framework, server-side functions, business logic and API integration of a website
Development tools deployed by web developers:
- ASP.NET Core
- Java EE
Programming platforms for web development:
Web design and web development are the art and science of the web building process. They are different in the skill-set required but they complement each other.
However, today we can see a rise in hybrid web professionals who break their comfort zone and train themselves in all areas of web building, earning the name of a full-stack developer. Yet there are times they fall short when it requires a high-level of creativity or knowledge in programming.
Knowing this, web development companies usually maintain a web design team for providing design-related services and a web development team for site enhancement services.
Only when you understand the difference you can seek the right help with your website.