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Web Design and Web Development: What’s The Difference?

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Web Design and Web Development What’s The Difference

Creating a website requires both a web designer and a web developer and someone new to the tech industry may get confused between the two. However, it is important to note that while both are equally important to create websites, their job profile differs. In this blog, we have highlighted the difference between a web designer and a web developer, along with the fundamentals of each and the tools that both use to build a website.

1] What is a web design, and who is a web designer?

Web design: A web design is the design of a website displayed on the internet. It refers to the ‘user experience’ aspect of a website rather than development. A web designer works on the appearance, layout (how the information is categorised & structured), colours, font and images, and in rare instances, the content of a website.

A good website design is aesthetically pleasing, easy to use and navigate, and aligned with the brand’s image. A site that fosters and wins the trust of the target audience, removing as many potential points of user frustration as possible is a crucial consideration.

Web designer: A web designer is an individual who makes your website look good. They primarily focus on the style and the overall feel of the page. They also use various tools to customise websites as per the design brief . There are three types of web designers, they are:

  • User experience designer (UX): A UX web designer knows exactly how to craft a website to keep your visitors hooked. They do thorough research into the website’s requirements and users’ demographics, not to mention tons of site restructuring and prototype testing. If people like your website, they are most likely to revisit or recommend it. This can help promote more organic traffic.
  • User Interface designer (UI): A UI web designer helps improve the way users interact with different elements on the website by translating complex brand ideas and values into an enjoyable and easy-to-navigate website. The difference between UX and UI is a subtle one. UX helps build a solid foundation for a favourable user experience i.e. how a user interacts with the product and how they feel when they use the said product.
  • UI, on the other hand, focuses on creating great aesthetics. Some of the common UI elements include carousels, icons, search fields, buttons, screens, toggles, tags, pagination, and forms. The user interacts with these visual elements when using a website or an app.

  • Visual designer: A mixture of UI and UX designers creates a visual designer. It’s their job to improve a user’s journey by using coding and creative skill to solve design issues. They help ideate a brand’s remarkable style or tone of voice. In short, visual designers are a master of web design trades, and their specific roles can vary depending on the requirement.

1.1] Fundamentals of web design

  • Layout: A suitable layout design makes the content on a page easy to read. While planning the layout, the common elements included are images, shapes, lining, white space, content, and spaces.

    For instance, websites are typically image and text-heavy. When deciding how to balance the different elements of a design, it is crucial to consider the context and user experience. A website user is mostly searching for information or inspiration, so ensure that you provide quality content. This will ensure that they spend more time browsing the web page, thereby increasing your site’s dwell time.

  • Hierarchy: Hierarchy is the order of significance of the elements. Size is one way to create a hierarchy. As a general rule, the largest element on a web page is the most important, followed by the second largest, and so on. Large elements are vital as they catch the eye of the viewers.
  • Colour Theory and Psychology: Colours evoke meaning and emotions and are a powerful tool for a brand to communicate and gain recognition. Multiple colours have different meanings associated with them. It is vital to understand the relationship between colour theory, psychology, and harmony to create an effective colour palette. A great palette aligns with the brand’s target audience, values, and messages.
  • Contrast: Contrast contributes to legibility and hierarchy in a website design. It also helps emphasize important elements.
  • Typography: Choosing the right typography can make or break your design as it is the first thing a user comes across when they visit a website. When it comes down to visual communications, typography serves two purposes. The first is legibility if they can read it, and the second is how you can use typography to create a mood or design aesthetic to attract a specific audience. There are limitless ways you can play with characters, evoke a certain mood or achieve a goal. Post mastering the basics of typography, pair it with an additional font to create more hierarchy and diversity.

Check out this guide to learn more web designing tips to give your website a professional look!

1.2] Tools used in web design

  • Adobe Photoshop: Although Photoshop is mostly known as an image editing software, it can also create design mockups and website wireframes. Photoshop is useful for creating website banners and other visual elements.
  • Adobe XD: Unlike Photoshop, Abobe XD is specifically used for UI/UX designs.
  • InVision Studio: InVision Studio helps create various combinations of patterns and colours. This adds to the ease of designing a website.
  • Sketch: Sketch is another popular tool for creating UI/UX designs.
  • Google Web Designer: Google web designer gives you the power to create beautiful and engaging HTML5 designs. You can use animation and interactive elements to bring creative concepts to life and enjoy seamless integration.

2] What is web development and who is a web developer?

Web development: The difference between web design and web development is that web development refers to building, maintaining and redesigning websites. It is the behind the scenes work that makes a website look great and provides users with a seamless experience. Web developers do this by using different coding languages. The languages depend on the type of website they are building and the platform they are working on.

Web developer: A part of a web developer’s role is to build the web designer’s concept. The difference between a web developer and a designer is that a web developer specialises in designing websites and building the framework for a website. They use either JQuery or Javascript and aim to create a smooth-running website. Given below are the specific roles of a developer:

  • Backend developer: The backend is where the website’s core structure is created. These developers are experts in using complex computer software languages such as C#, SQL and Java. Their work is never seen by users as it involves coding on web servers and databases. Their job is to create analytical, functional websites using various computer programmes. They also spend time testing and solving bug issues.
  • Front-end developer: This is connected to web design and backend web development since it involves using CSS, HTML and JavaScript. Like backend developers, those developing front-end require coding skills to build frameworks for user interaction.
  • Full-stack developer: A full-slack developer works across varied stacks or layers, including front-end and backend.

2.1] Fundamentals of web development

  • Structure and hierarchy: Web developers use HTML tags to create a structural and organisational hierarchy for web pages.
  • Responsive web development: All websites need to be responsive, meaning they need to work seamlessly across all browsers and devices (desktop, tablet and mobile).
  • Web hosting: Once development is completed, the developer is responsible for making the website live. This process varies depending on the hosting server where the website was developed.
  • Security: Web developers also help their clients maintain and secure their websites from hack attempts, spam and malware.

2.2] Tools used in web development

  • Sublime text: For a web developer, a code editor is extremely essential. Here, Sublime text is a popular choice as it is easy to use and efficient.
  • Chrome developer tools: Chrome has built-in DevTools that allow a developer to edit a website’s CSS, HTML and JavaScript code in real-time without impacting the live site.
  • GitHub: GitHub is invaluable for version control. It makes it easy to revert to a previous version if there are any errors in the code.
  • jQuery: jQuery is a feature-rich JavaScript library that helps simplify and standardise the interactions between the JavaScript code and the HTML elements. While JavaScript allows websites to be dynamic and interactive, the jQuery tool helps streamline the process.
  • CodePen: CodePen is a social development environment useful for front-end designers and developers. They can build and deploy a website, show off their work, build test sites to learn and debug, and find inspiration. However, this tool only supports HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Need help building a website? Check out the web design and development services that we offer to know how we can help!

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