Are you considering a career as a web designer? Uncertain about the distinction between a web developer and a web designer? To learn more, read this article.
A web designer is a graphic artist who is in charge of creating a website's structure, usability, and aesthetic appeal. A web developer is someone who creates and updates a website's fundamental framework.
A web designer that is effective has to have a wide range of technical, visual, and creative abilities.
If you're thinking of working as a web designer or developer, you must have a thorough awareness of the various jobs, as well as the educational requirements and skill sets needed for each. Additionally, think about things like the typical salary, chances for professional advancement, and the many categories of web designers and developers.
In this article, we'll compare the responsibilities of web designers and developers and go through how to choose between the two career choices. Let's get going!
The Role of a Web Designer
A wide range of duties and obligations are assigned to web designers. However, a designer's primary responsibility is to produce a website's aesthetic elements and layout.
Making ensuring the site is both aesthetically beautiful and user-friendly with the intention of retaining visitors for as long as feasible is frequently their objective. This entails evaluating and creating conversion-generating features in addition to the overall framework and layout structure, as well as developing web pages in a way that works effectively across different devices.
Web designers must follow a set of standards and best practices, as well as remain current on web design trends. They frequently work with logos, color schemes, typefaces, and other branding elements. To guarantee that every website has a uniform appearance, several people even establish web design style guides.
The creation, management, and supervision of a few other important papers and resources falls under the purview of designers. This comprises:
- Web design contracts
- Website briefs
- Website design questionnaires
- Website proposals
A web designer must conduct some testing and research as part of their work. Making ensuring the website is created to fulfill user expectations and client requirements is crucial.
A web designer must also think about how their design may impact the website's code. Developers then use the site's code to bring the site's structure and mockup to life.
The job of web designers frequently involves certain post-launch services. They could offer services for content production and updating, maintenance and monitoring, and regular performance evaluations.
Types of Web Designers
There are several kinds of web designers, each specializing in a particular and distinctive kind of work. Which are:
- User Experience (UX)
- User Interface (UI)
Let's explore these responsibilities in more detail so you can choose the web design specialization that's best for you.
UX designers work to make sure that the website is organized in a way that engages users and provides a satisfying user experience. Their responsibility is to develop data-driven, human-centered designs. This calls for extensive testing and study to collect and evaluate data that will be utilized to guide their final design decisions.
A website's design team should include UI designers as well. They emphasize interactions in addition to the experience it offers. More precisely, their job is to improve a website's usability and optimize it so that it can assist promote conversions.
As their name implies, visual designers deal with a website's visual components and layout. In this project, elements of both UI and UX design are combined. A visual designer's responsibilities center on making the interface both aesthetically beautiful and simple to use.
The majority of web designers work with a limited number of devices, applications, and programs. The most significant of them are design and editing applications and software, for instance Adobe Photoshop.
Additionally, they could make use of technologies for picture reduction and optimization as well as sources for stock photos. Additionally, a CMS like WordPress and a platform for building websites like Elementor are frequently used by web designers:
Tools for wireframes and prototypes are also beneficial. They allow web designers to plan and generate models and mockups for the site's structure to be tested while the project is being developed.
The Skill Sets Web Designers Need
Depending on the function and speciality of each individual, different skill sets are needed for web designers to be successful. However, in general, some crucial abilities include:
- HTML and CSS knowledge
- Understanding the Principles of website design and web accessibility standards
- Responsive and interaction design
- Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)
- User journey mapping
- Wireframing and prototyping
- Branding, color theory, and typography
- Design tools and software
A variety of non-technical abilities are also crucial for web designers to possess. For instance, effective customer communication to manage expectations requires great communication skills. Additionally, in order to make sure that each project runs as smoothly as possible, having the capacity to work with others on a team, such as web developers, is crucial.
The Role of a Web Developer
Building and maintaining a website's fundamental framework is the major responsibility of a web developer. Their job entails doing a lot of technical labor, which includes using sophisticated computer languages and intricate code. In a word, they translate the thoughts and ideas presented by designers into actual, live, and fully-functional websites.
More precisely, a web developer is responsible for building the website. This entails adding user-facing features and functionality as well as coding and setting up the server and databases on the back end. They may also undertake a variety of post-launch activities, such as continuous support and maintenance and resolving server or hosting difficulties, in addition to performing testing and debugging.
It could be helpful to make an analogy between web development and another industry, like building, to better comprehend what it entails. As a building company is to a new home, a web developer is to a website. The developer builds the foundation for a practical, sound building using the design plans and blueprints created by the architect (web designer).
Types of Web Developers
Web developers often concentrate on a small number of programming languages. However, the languages they employ will vary depending on the web development job they conduct.
There are three major kinds of web developers:
Front-End Web Developers
With the use of Content Management Systems (CMS) like WordPress and other languages, front-end developers create the real website code. The majority of front-end development, sometimes referred to as client-side development, is coding and programming the user-visible graphic components of a website. As a result, front-end engineers and web designers frequently work together and overlap.
Back-End Web Developers
Advanced programming languages like PHP, C#, Java, Ruby, and SQL, as well as NodeJS and other server-side frameworks, are used by back-end developers to write the database and server. Back-end development, sometimes referred to as server-side development, mostly refers to website features that take place "behind the scenes" and are invisible to front-end users.
Full-Stack Web Developers
The Skill Sets Web Developers Need
As we mentioned before, specific technical skill sets are necessary for web developers to do their duties. A web developer should have at least some familiarity with:
- Testing and debugging
- Back-ends and databases
- Content Management Systems (WordPress, etc.)
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Non-technical skill sets are also useful for web developers in addition to technical ones. This includes the ability to solve problems and think analytically, both of which are beneficial while debugging. In order to effectively collaborate and communicate with clients and other significant parties (such as web designers), it is also crucial to possess these abilities.
There are quite a few more tools and platforms that web developers utilize in the course of their work. This includes GitHub for code versioning and Jira for issue tracking:
Additionally, developers frequently use tools like Chrome DevTools for testing and debugging. It's also essential to be conversant with File Transfer Protocol (FTP) applications like FileZilla and hosting control panels.
Web Designer vs Web Developer: What’s the Difference?
Hopefully, by now, you are more aware of the main distinctions between a web designer and a web developer. Let's look at a short summary of the key differences between these two jobs to bring everything together:
- Developers concentrate on functionality and structure, while designers concentrate on aesthetics and usability.
- By building a mockup based on visual, UX, and UI components, web designers envision the idea and appearance of a website. If the idea is both technically and financially feasible, web developers program and code the website.
- Web designers need to have a strong foundation in technological expertise. This involves being able to comprehend sophisticated programming languages and frameworks. Although some research and analysis is required, a web designer's job is more about the aesthetics and creative aspects of a website than it is about the technical aspects.
- Web developers come in a variety of flavors, such as front-end, back-end, and full-stack developers. UX, UI, and graphic designers are the three primary categories of web designers.
- Coding libraries and frameworks, code versioning and issue tracking software like GitHub and Jira, hosting control panels and FTP clients, and CMSs are some of the tools and applications that web developers frequently utilize. Along with wireframing and prototype tools, web designers frequently employ WordPress, a CMS similar to Photoshop, and a website builder similar to Elementor.
Website creation, development, and maintenance require the skills of both web designers and developers. In the end, the two jobs rely on one another to provide a high-quality result.
The primary distinction is that developers concentrate on the technical facets of the project, including coding and programming. Designers conduct the conceptual and graphic work required to guarantee a strong UX and UI.