Web Designer vs Web Developer: What You Need to Know & Major Differences
Do you think a web designer and web developer are the same professions? If yes! Then you are not alone, many believe in the same notion. Read this article to know more about web designer vs web developer comparison for better clarity.
It is quite easy to confuse the idea of being a web designer and a web developer. Many believe both these profiles are the same. Although, many times they have similar roles, similar skills (to an extent), work with the same tools or something it looks like as a layman. In reality, the designers and developers have completely different roles and responsibility. However, the only similar goal is to create a website using the website builder platform of their choice.
So let’s dig in and understand Web Designer vs Web Developer, and explore their worlds.
Web Designer vs Web Developer – The Underlying Differences
Before, we dive deeper into the discussion about these professions. The first thing you need to be clear with, are the differences as there is a whole lot of confusion among these two professions.
Although the designer and developer have a common goal of choosing the best option to build a website, their roles are completely different.
To put it differently, the web designer manages the visual aspects which is the colour scheme, graphic designs trends and flow of information. And then the execution of these ideas on building a website is what web developer tasks are all about.
Now, let’s get to know more…
Web Designer: A web designer takes care of all the visual aspects of a website. It is their job to make a website look visually appealing and how it functions. While the set of responsibilities include the flow of information, user experience, user interface, layout and typography.
Now that you have an idea about the major differences between the both, here we are going to cover some of the major details.
What Does a Web Developer Do?
When it comes to web development, the main task is to build a website while maintaining its core structure. As a result, development is what it takes to turn a wireframe into a live running website on the world wide web. Besides, a web developer needs to ensure the website is bug-free, works smoothly, loads fast, and carries a seamless user experience.
In like manner, their job requires technical skills, coding, and advanced programming languages. So, what a developer does is they take the ideas from the designers and bring them to life by developing a functional website.
Specifically, the role of a developer is to construct a website. As a result, it covers configuring and coding the database and server on the back end, and also integrating important features and functionality in the website. For this a developer needs to conduct testing and debugging, to ensure the website that goes on the internet is bug-free. While they may also perform other roles like maintenance, web hosting issues, fix errors and more.
To better understand the job responsibilities of a web developer let’s break it down and understand more.
Types of Web Developers-
Notably, web development makes use of different programming languages. However, the type of language that is being used depends upon development tasks that need to be completed. Mainly there are three types of developer, let’s get to know each here.
Back End Developers
As the name suggests, the back end developer works behind the scenes using advanced programming languages like PHP, Ruby, Java, and Python. Thus the server-side development mainly covers all the aspects of the website happening in the back end. As a result, the developer handles all of the technical and functional of a website and application.
Front End Developers
Full Stack Developers
Skills and Tools Developers Need-
Web developers require certain technical skills and tools to complete their tasks and fulfil their roles. So, there are fewer roles that are needed.
- JavaScrip frameworks like jQuery
- Coding and advanced programming language like HTML, CSS, HTML,and, PHP
- Testing and debugging
- Content Management Systems
- Backend and databases
- Search Engine Optimization
Along with the technical skills, there are other non-technical skills like problem solving and analysis that go hand in hand in web development. While it is also important to have great communicable skills and understanding to know your job and communicate your idea clearly to the clients and co-workers.
In addition, to the technical and non-technical skills, there are also some tools that a web developer needs to be familiar with. Some of the major web development tools include MySQL, GitHub, Sublime Text, Lighthouse, and more.
What Does a Web Designer Do?
When we talk about web designing, it is all about creating a website concerning the layout and the visual appeal of a website.
The goal of a web designer is to make a website look better, user friendly, and also engage users to stay on a website for a longer time, thus improving the click-through rate. In like manner, it ensures the user interface, general site structure and streamlining conversions.
Types of Web Designers-
There are different types of web designers, each has a different role to play in website building. So, let us discuss them in detail here.
UI (User Interface) Designer
The UI designers play a crucial role in designing a website, as they take care of the interaction that may take place on the website. To point out, their role is to improve the usability of a website and optimize to improve the conversion rate.
Therefore a UI designer needs to have in-depth knowledge about colour schemes, typography, and UI design patterns. The key is to create a website with responsive designs. Besides, knowing animations and design interactions is icing on the cake.
UX (User Experience) Designer
The UX designer makes sure to design a well-structured website that engages the users and provides a top-notch experience. The designer needs to capture data and elements that are based on human-centric results. Thus, the designer gathers research and data based on testing and analysis, which reflects on the final design.
Therefore, a UX designer needs to perform in-depth user research, ascertain and design the structure of information.
As the name says, the visual designer takes care of all the visual aspects of a website. In like manner, the role of a visual designer is somewhat in between the UI and UX designer. Thus, this type of designer needs to make sure that a website looks great and is easy to use. As a result, one needs to take care of layouts, typography, images, colour schemes and more.
Therefore, one needs to have the strong graphic designing skill, and at the same time familiar with designing software like Adobe Creative Cloud, Adobe Photoshop and others. Besides, the ability to work with dynamic interactions and motion designs is also a plus point. These days Web Designers also make money by crowdsourcing logo creation.
Skills and Tools Web Designers Need-
The skills and tools a web designer requires depend upon the role each tries to fulfil and the type of designer one is working as. However, the most skills include:
- Basic knowledge about HTML (create HTML website) and CSS ( knowledge about CSS makers for websites)
- In-depth knowledge of website designing and trends
- Designs that are responsive and interactive for the user
- Web server management
- Focus on layout, structure and performance of the website. Besides, it must be SEO friendly
- Familiar with the basic features of Content Management System to design effectively
- Wireframing and prototyping
- Knowledge about branding, colour palettes, and typography
- Experience with transitions, dynamic interactions, motion design, and branding elements
Along with these technical skills, as a web designer, one needs to focus on non-technical skills like time management, effective communication, and managing elements for proper designing. As a web designer, you need to learn tools to efficiently design a website. Although, there numerous tools available for designing there are some of the most widely designing software Figma, Sketch, Proto.io, Zeplin, InVision, and more.
Web Developer vs Web Designer: What are the Major Differences?
By now you would be clear what web designing and development is all about. So, now let us know the major differences that set these apart.
- While the focus of the designer is on the visual outlook and usability, and the developers focus on the functionality and structure
- The designer visualizes the idea and outlook of a website and creates a mockup of the website based on UI and UX elements. While the developer if the concept is financially and technically possible or not. And if yes, then code and program accordingly.
- The developer needs to up their technical skills, learn advanced programming languages and website framework. On the other, the designer needs to analyse and do proper research, the role of the designer is more on the visual and creative elements of the website.
- There are three types of web developers – frontend developer, backend developer, and full stack developer. While there are three types of designers- UX, UI, and visual designers.
- Typically, web designers use editing software like Photoshop, Content Management System like WordPress, and other website building platforms. While the web developers mostly use GitHub, MySQL, Grunt, ChromeDevTools, and more.
When we talk about website building and managing, both designers and developers play a crucial role in completing the job. Significantly, the two roles depend on each other to deliver the final results. To point out, the developers main job is to focus on the technical aspect of a website while the designer’s main job is to handle the visual and notional work of a website.
Busting Myths: Web Developer vs Web Designer
Although web designing and development are different because both revolve around building a website, many myths need to be debunked. So let’s begin now.
Website Designers Do Not Have to Code
Web Developers Make Way More Money
It is quite shallow to say that web developers make way more money than designers. To look at the wider picture, then it all comes down to the skills and experience. However, talking about the average scenarios, web developers do get a better package as a beginner. But since both professions have a wide scope, it is always good to choose what you are good at.
Once your Website is Live, That is It
As many would like to believe, this myth about website development and designing simply needs to go away. Surely, you have put a lot of effort into designing, developing, and then making a website live. But to make your website rank on the search engine, you need to keep on adding fresh elements to it, while also taking care of the site maintenance.
For this, you can check to add blogs on your website, edit website content, test the website for broken links, site speed, navigation menus, and more. A/B testing, like the CTA button, web forms, fonts, colour pattern, the layout can also be tested for better results.
Website Designing and Development is Just About the Looks
Although the website is about how it visually looks to the visitor, it is not just about the looks. It needs to have the content and relevant information, exactly where the user is looking for Besides, it needs to be user friendly.
Talking about the website design it is more about the colour scheme, font, layout, graphics, user experience, and user interaction. While the development is what goes into the backend and frontend of a website.
Can you be a Web Designer as well as a Developer?
Yes, you can surely have the best of both worlds. Many times you can see job profiles that require skills of both. But it all depends on the company you apply for and their job requirements. However, regardless of which profile you choose, it is always beneficial to have an idea about designing as well as development, as it helps create a website.
Are there Specific Skills that You Need to be a Web Designer and Developer?
Although a web designer and developer do need to work towards a common goal, that is to create an awesome looking website. However, there are a particular set of skills that you need to ace at both the job profiles.
Skills to be a Web Designer:
- Good communication skills
- Generate creative idea
- Experience with editing software
- Comprehensive learning
- In-depth knowledge about SEO and CMS platforms
Skills to be a Web Developer:
- Great analytical skills
- Communication skills
- Collaborative skills
- Experience in debugging and website testing
- Problem-solving skills
The Conclusion: Web Designer vs Web Developer
A Web Designer:
- The main focus is on the appeal and visual appearance of a website
- The creative idea revolved around a colour scheme, layout, graphic design, and flow of information
- The idea is to create a great user experience
- Requires skills like creativity, imaginations and strong intuitive skills
A Web Developer:
- Handles what goes inside a website that is the frontend and backend
- Advanced skills in a programming language that is .Net, Python, Ruby, C
- Focus is on the user interface
- Focus is more on the logical and technical side
- Need professional degree or course in coding languages
Web Designer vs Web Development: Final Verdict
The Major Differences:
- Website designers are all about creativity and ideas. While the web developers focus is more on the technical side.
- Web designing includes the aesthetic aspects of running a website. On the other hand, web development focuses on building user-friendly websites based on client’s requirements.
- The core job of a web designer is to transform the idea into a visually appealing website. On the other side, the developer transforms a website into full functional.
Final Words: Web Designer vs Web Developer
While they may sound similar, web designers and developers have completely different roles to play. The designer’s role is to deliver visually appealing results and focus on the front-end of a website. Thus, improve the overall usability, and the user experience. Also, talking about web developers, make sure to integrate concepts and ideas by the designers, code them and bring them to life through a fully functional website.
While trying to figure out which one to choose as a career, here is the drill. If you want to involve more on the technical side of creating a website, then being a web developer is a good choice for you. However, if colour palettes, branding, and visual elements are what interests you, and want to design ideas for a website that converts, then being a web designer is a great career choice.
Hopefully, this post gave you a clearer insight into the major difference between a web designer and a web developer. And understand both these professions with clearer insights. Do you have more questions or would you like to share your experience of being one? Mention in the comment section and I would love to discuss it. Also, for more such updates subscribe to our blogs.
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