Often terms such as web designers and web developers are easily used interchangeably in media and advertising. But actually, these are two different specializations.
The design includes everything that the visitor sees on the site, while web development is solely responsible for the functional part of the site. In this article, we will try to find the differences between web design and web development.
So, the website consists of such important aspects:
visually sensitive – this is mainly the graphics, color scheme of the site, navigation, etc.
site content (content) – information, the product itself, as well as everything available on the site.
Functionality – consists of interactive features available to site visitors, as well as the necessary infrastructure for the implementation of the functionality.
Usability is a look at a site through the eyes of a visitor. Includes software interaction, navigation, and site usefulness criteria.
This is the look of the site. The graphic designer decides what colors and fonts will be used on the site, and how to place each page of the site.
The designer has a good sense of form and composition, can successfully combine colors and images to make the site look the way the customer wants.
The functionality includes all the interactive aspects on the website, it can also be animation. In general terms, this process can be described as follows: programmers create a functional part of the site using various programming languages for web servers and browsers.
Flash animations can be used to animate graphics. And to create high-quality dynamic pages, programming languages such as Perl, PHP and Java are used on web servers. Such pages can work independently, but most often they are connected with databases, which provides the necessary functions on a web page.
There are also so-called CMS systems that are not visible to site visitors. It can be programs that edit the external shell of the site and content, as well as other “admin pages” that allow people without special knowledge of programming languages to work with the organization of content on the site.
To work on the site, all these programs must be integrated into the HTML code.
Usability is a look at a site through the eyes of a visitor. We check the site, answering the following questions:
How many graphics do you get?
How convenient is navigation?
Does the visitor navigate to the desired page on the site?
How fast does the site load?
Do apps work well?
Design or development?
Unfortunately, web design and web programming are often intertwined. And when you rush from the process of creating content to usability tests – this does not lead to anything good.
Can one person cope with all these tasks?
Of course, some people can do this, but most web professionals do one thing.
Most often, web design involves the process of creating content and graphics, while web development is responsible for the functional part and usability.
Web designers must be proficient in graphic design tools such as Photoshop. Many also know HTML, which helps them create a working website based on their design. However, the use of animation on the site, as well as the location of the content, is also part of the work of the web designer.
Many site owners provide web designers with content. In turn, a web designer should be able to edit, or even rewrite content, if necessary. Also, web designers often test site navigation and loading speed relative to usability.
Web developers create the site’s functionality, but it must be integrated into the HTML pages on the site. As an alternative, HTML content itself can also be integrated into the program. Programmers also conduct usability testing on the site, at least the functionality they create is tested. It follows that the web developer also needs to understand HTML.
In any case, the web designer and web developer must work together so that the website is exactly that and works exactly as the customer wants.
In conclusion, we can say that only large companies can afford to hire individual experts in web design, content, programming, and usability. But most often, a web designer and a web programmer are two different specialists who work together to create a successful website.