Web Design Vs Web Development

October 16,2020 - 5 min read
 Web Development vs Web Design

In this blog, we talk about two important aspects of building a website that is often confused and used interchangeably. This blog is a comprehensive explanation of web design and web development. Both these domains are concerned with making a website and maybe that’s why the confusion exists. In reality, web development and web design are two different sets of tasks and activities.

We would discuss the major distinctions between web design and web development, popular tools that are required for web design and web development and their industry trends. We hope you read the entire blog and understand the difference between web design and web development.

Web design and Web development: Understanding the difference

Web development is basically about building websites. It is concerned with the core structure, functionalities and features of the website that is built using a complex set of code. Web design on the other hand is responsible for the creative and visual aspect of the website that is created with a combination of design software and languages.

In this segment we would talk about web development and web design in detail so that you are clear about both of these aspects of web development and the tools and languages that are used to implement both of them. It’s easy to understand the distinction between web development and web design by getting to know about the role of a web developer and a web designer and hence we would discuss their roles too. Let’s get started with web development.

Web development

Web development basically refers to the process of creating a website. Web development consists of all steps right from designing to implementing to maintaining it. The product of a web development process is basically a full-fledged website but it has changed considerably in the past few decades. Earlier web development was just a collection of static web pages but over time these static websites have advanced to visually attractive and interactive websites that are capable of storing, manipulating and accessing user data. In the age of AI, the world of websites is becoming more and more customised with the help of AI and machine learning. Web development consists of various parts that are undertaken by different kinds of developers.

Role of a Web Developer

A web developer is basically responsible for the development of web applications according to the needs of the user. Web developers usually dabble around with computing languages to make customized websites. Web developers choose one part of the whole process of web development and build that part from scratch. A web developer can be a front-end developer who is responsible for the visual side of the website or a backend developer who ensures smooth functioning of the website.

Front-end Developer

A front-end developer is also called as client-side developers simply because they work on elements that are directly seen by the user. Normally, front-end developers are expected to have a good knowledge of HTML, CSS and Javascript because they are the most widely used front end languages. HTML stands for Hypertext mark up language. It is a standard for markup language for documents that are eventually going to be displayed on web browsers. It consists of tags and elements that have the ability to build the structure of any website from scratch.

CSS is another language that is used for the designing of web pages. CSS stands for cascading style sheet. It styles HTML webpages by describing the behaviour, position and style of HTML elements. With CSS, developers can also decide the layout of the webpage.

Back-end Developer

A back-end web developer is responsible for maintaining and creating the part of the web application that handles the functioning and working of the website that is hidden from the user. Backend developers are also known as server-side developers and backend development is also server-side development. When the end-user performs an action or triggers a request on the website, the set of tasks that take place on the server and the database to respond to the user are termed as backend development.

One of the most popular languages in the backend is PHP. PHP stands for Hypertext processor. It is basically a server-side programming language which is used in developing webpages and applications. It is used with markup languages like HTML as it is embedded. PHP collects data from forms, access and edit the database and edit and use files on the server. Other languages that can be used in backend development are Java, Python, Ruby etc.

Javascript: An Important Language in Web development.

One important language in web development is Javascript. It’s popular and in huge demand simply because Javascript can be highly useful and efficient both as a backend and a frontend language. It was initially designed as a frontend language to make the websites more interactive and dynamic. Lately, it has emerged as one of the most popular languages of backend also because of the advent of Nodejs. Nodejs is a powerful Javascript framework used to develop server-side applications. it is open source and provides a runtime environment for Javascript. Nodejs can collect data produced through forms and add, delete or modify the database you are using in your project.

Hence, we can say that Javascript which was already popular as a frontend language has been in demand as a server-side language. There are many frameworks and libraries for Javascript apart from Nodejs that makes Javascript a reliable full stack language.

Full-Stack Developer

Another web development profile is a full stack developer who is responsible for all steps included in the process of web development. A full-stack developer is expected to possess a complete understanding of how a website works at each step. There are some popular technological stacks are of major help to full-stack developers. Some of them are MERN Stack, MEAN Stack, LAMP Stack etc. You can read more about MERN Stack in this blog.

Now that we have garnered enough knowledge about web development, it’s time we build a strong understanding of web design.

Web Design

As the name suggests web design is concerned with how websites are designed. They are concerned with how elements are created, placed and displayed on the web page. Web design is a creative but methodological process of making sure that the user has a pleasant and easy experience while surfing the website. A good web design is not only aesthetically pleasing but also serves the purpose by providing all necessary functionalities. Web designers also have the added responsibility of adding the brand logos and colours seamlessly on the website. Overall, web design is intended to be simple and focused yet attractive.

Just like in web development, web design also has a couple of profiles that work together to build a website with great design and easy interface for the users. Let’s discuss each of these profiles in detail –

UI Designer

UI designer stands for user interface designer. UI design is basically concerned with how a user would interact with a product. It focuses on the visual experience of the website or an app. UI designer works on each screen of the application through which the user would navigate. The main responsibility of a UI designer is to design all elements of a website keeping human behaviour in mind. A good interface of a website ensures that is easy for the user to navigate from one page to another without any hassles. UI designer has to carefully pick the right combination of patterns, elements, spacing and colour to ensure the user has a smooth experience.

An important term used in UI design is prototyping. Prototyping is useful because it lets the user test the designs. It shows the visual design in action which lets the UI designer test and identify flaws. There are various types of prototypes in UI design. InVision is a popular prototyping tool.

UI designers use a variety of tools and software to create and implement the design. The software used are Sketch, Adobe XD, Figma etc. Apart from these applications, UI designers ought to have a good knowledge of typography, colour combination, patter theory and other design fundamentals.

UX Designer

UX designers are shorthand for user experience designers. UX designers are expected to focus on the experience of users while they are surfing a website. A UX designer is involved in the complete process of conceptualising and assembling a product. Just like UI designer, UX designer also includes aspects of branding, design and usability. As the name suggests, the UX designers focus on providing the best user experience. They make sure that the look, feel and usability of the product i.e. website in this case.

UX design is preceded by intensive research that revolves around the main functionality and utility of the website. UX designers have to communicate with engineers and designers across domains to come up with a specific design of the website that serves the purpose, attracts the audience and makes the experience easy for the user.

Here we come to an end of our comprehensive distinction of web design and web development. We have tried to comprehensively cover each and every point that is important to differentiate between web development and web design. However, if you feel we missed out on some tools, techniques or concepts we missed, then we would love to hear from you.

Both web development and web design hold their own importance in the business of websites and web applications. None of them can be declared redundant or superior to another as both are essential in the process of website development.

Both web developer and web designer are required to possess a different set of skills as discussed above. This blog was an earnest effort towards making you aware of both the fields so that you make an informed decision when it comes to choosing a career. If you are a beginner or thinking of making a lucrative career as technocrats then both web design and web developers are good options. However, you need professional guidance in order to pave your way in any of the two fields be it web development or web design.

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