20 Sep Comparison between Web Designers vs Web Developers
Sep 20, 2020 5:41 pm
With so much business being conducted online nowadays, web designers and web developers are undoubtedly in high demand. But they are both different breeds just like Donald Trump and Joe Biden; each has different specific skillsets, backgrounds, beliefs and the university they graduated from
So how does it impacts your business and which one do you go (vote) for? Good news is you can have both, or you can prioritise the most important one first.
In this article, we are going to drill in deeper on what exactly does a web developer and a web designer do, the differences, their daily rituals and routines, and which one you need to hire for your company. The terms, however, can be bemused slightly, as many web companies offer both design and development services, ensuring an all-round service that can save you both time and value for money.
Web Design vs Web Development: In a Nutshell
To put it simply, a web designer is responsible for the aesthetic or cosmetic portion of your website and its’ usability. A designer will use a variety of software to craft ideas and create a visual layout, look and feel for the website.
Web Designer: Role and Responsibilities
The role of a web designer is to be at the frontline of the client’s website objectives. He/she will create a web design layout that is aesthetically pleasing and one that offers the user an excellent experience.
The design applications usually include colour scheme, balance, emphasis, consistency, and unity. The responsibility of the web designer is to also create a design that catches the attention of the desired target audience. They make it sells or else.,
The modern-day web designer will also carry other meaningful weights, including SEO, codes styling and website maintenance, this extension of the responsibility also means that web designers have had to sharpen their skill sets in order to remain competitive in their delivery approach.
Having said this, the taking of new skills by the web designer has also meant that there is now an amalgamated in responsibilities that occurs between the designer and the developer initial responsibility. This new breed is famously known as growth designers.
In the same origins, a web developer will also be expected to have SEO and maintenance skills but much more dexterous with CSS styling skills. Web developers create, plan, and code web pages, many of which use pictures, video clips, sounds and graphics, as well as text.
The commonly used software that usually shared between both designers and developers like Adobe Suite, Dreamweaver, Notepad, Photoshop, Powerpoint, Google Suites, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Filezilla or even subscribe to monday.com. These are the common communication tools between each other. Yes, these are costly for the company, and it is a factor as individual licenses. Some other paid by subscriptions, one-time or by web storages and spaces.
The Difference between UI and UX Web Design
UX design stands for “User Experience Design”. It tends masquerade on the facade of web design. It covers everything that is needed in creating a website, app, software, or web services. It includes user and design research, interaction design, information architecture, content strategy, CSS coding and usability testing.
UI design stands for “User Interface Design”. It is the graphical or visual side of the design process. Some UX designers will also be happy to carry out UI works. UX designers (individually) however will only go as far as wireframes or research. UI designers are often rich in taste in terms of typography, graphic design, vector arts, colour theory, photo direction, and motion graphics.
These combinations will also mutate into a new category of role and responsibility which is also known as UI/UX designers — it’s like Captain America worthy enough to hold Thor’s Mjolnir hammer.
Visual Designers vs Web Designers
Now lets drill in a little bit more about the DNA of a “designer” itself, since we are already 100ft deep. Web designers in reality is a subset of visual designers.
Visual designers are problem solvers within the design world. They don’t just bring a brand to life; they also play a role in defining what goes into the brand. Visual designer creates beautiful designs and known how to explain the decision behind concepts and their work.
Web designers therefore will translate their work into working functional interaction between the design and humans. Lets put it even simpler, visual designers exist since the early civilisation of mankind, while web designers only exist in the 20th century and famously multiplied in the 21st century — when all businesses decided to communicate via online instead of newspaper!
Qualifications Necessary to Become a Web Designer
Many web designers are self-taught nowadays, although a minimum Bachelor’s degree in Web Design is preferred by many web design companies. This emphasis enough that if he/she holds a strong degree, it means they are serious enough about their career and ready to cut the skin in the game — which also leads to promotions and leadership path in the organisation.
A degree in web design ensures that the designer has a practical education in all the elements necessary to take on the tasks of a web designer such as digital arts and design, visual communication, web application programming and publishing, multimedia production, and interactivity and usability testing. Certifications in web design can also be obtained through accredited bodies such as the “International Webmaster Association-HTML Writers Guild.”
Becoming a web designer requires high level of discipline and proper ground education is essential to be able to grasp the needs of different industry portfolio.
Web Development: Roles and Responsibilities
Web developers are often known as programmers, taking the design for a website that has been created by the designer and building a website that is fully-functioning. A web developer will break up a design into different components, and then go on to use a variety of programming languages like PHP or HTML to develop them into various website pages.
Web developers may also choose to use content management systems such as Joomla or WordPress, in order to streamline the development process.
Such content management systems allow the client to update and maintain his own website without the necessity for an understanding of programming. Static layouts can be converted into dynamic websites using links, button, content sliders, and other active elements. The role of a web developer include the writing of efficient code, creating user interfaces/website layouts in HTML/CSS/PHP, integrating of data from back-end services, troubleshooting and debugging software, and verifying and deploying of systems and programs.
A web developer also keeps the website health and ensures that is immune to cyber-attacks or overflooded of crowds.
Qualifications of a Web Developer
Once again, the web developer may also be self-taught, but many employers prefer a professional with a Bachelor’s degree. The role of a developer is to have strong logical thinking skills. Kickstarting it during school days is the best time to muscle this part of the brain. By taking courses such as computer science, electrical and engineering or modern programming will help strengthen the mindset before jumping into the real world works!
In web development reality, there is simply no such thing as lucky or magic, but all purely relies on logic. Coding it systematically requires basic understanding of how a computer works.
The Difference between Front End Developers vs Back End Developers
Two popular terms used in web development are the front end and back end. They are both crucial in web development but are very different from each other. In order to improve the functionality of a website, the front-end and back-end developers need to communicate with each other as a cohesive unit.
Front End Developer
Front end languages include:
- HTML (HyperText Markup Language)
- CSS (Cascading Style Sheets)
Front end Libraries and Frameworks Include:
- Bootstrap: An open-source tool that is used for creating responsive web applications and websites.
- SASS: A CSS extension language.
Back End Developer
A backend developer is mostly in charge of the server-side of the website. The developer stores and arranges data, and makes sure that everything on the client-side is working correctly. A back end developer is responsible for the part of the website that the user cannot interact with — usually the security side of things.
Does My Project Requires a Web Designer or a Web Developer?
When it comes to updating an existing website or building a new website, many people are unaware of the type of professional they need to hire. Hiring the wrong person can be costly as well as time-consuming, so it is important to get things right the first time. There are three types of web professional; web designers, back-end developers, and front-end developers.
As we explained above, back-end developers are essentially computer programmers. They focus on the creation of web applications, creating data management tools, content management systems, database and security features. When a website owner has a good back-end developer, he will enjoy security and flexibility, and his site will always be up and running.
A front end developer on the other hand is better at creating the necessary tools for enhancing user experience. If you already have a design concept that needs to be used on multiple browsers, a front-end developer is what you need. The general user experience of your website should remain seamless, regardless of whether the user is using a tablet, smartphone, or desktop computer.
A web designer may know the basics of CSS or HTML, but they generally don’t have a great deal of experience with computer programming. So, if you need a website built from scratch, you need a web developer and not a web designer. A web designer is a person you need if you are on the lookout for someone to create graphics that will catch the attention of your visitors, or create an aesthetically-pleasing landing page for your updated website.
Thankfully, nowadays, it is not necessary to hire three separate companies for the creation of your new website. Many companies are known as “web teams” and integrate all three functions that you will need. A successful web design company will have at least one back-end developer, one front-end developer, and one visual designer.
With “team” approaches becoming the norm, there is a most definitely blurry line between the job and tasks of a web designer and a web developer. Although the two tasks remain the same, and very different, you will nowadays find not only teams that have individuals skilled in each different field but also designers who are trained in web development and vice-versa.
When updating your current website or starting out with brand new design, it is always better to use one team that can provide you with all the services you need. These will include back-end and front end development, visual design, maintenance, and SEO. If you are interested in maintaining your own website, remember to use a WordPress or other similar Content Management System.