Monthly Archives: July 2016

Web Design Vs. Web Development: What’s the Difference?

“By day, I’m a designer and developer hybrid working on client projects, a two-person, design studio his wife began two years ago,” he says. “We take on a wide range of work including web design and development, user experience design for apps and mobile as well as many other design projects.”

When he is not working on contract projects he teaches web development and graphic design classes as an adjunct instructor at the CDIA.

In high school, Haney tried “every programming language he could get his hands on,” and so, naturally, he enrolled as a computer science major in college. It wasn’t long before he realized that he needed a balance of web development and design and changed majors.

“My first few jobs out of college were development focused, and while I really enjoyed what I was doing, I felt it was lacking something,” he says. “Eventually, as I began to write more HTML and CSS, I realized that the design side of the web was really intriguing. The ability to make something work, but then to make it enjoyable to use, that’s where I found my passion.”

web design langages HTML CSS JavaScrift

A good web designer must know HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Patrick is one of an increasing number of people who consider themselves a designer and developer hybrid, which makes sense in a world where clients lump web design and web development together as if they were the same thing.

“What’s on their screen is ‘designed,’ and they might not understand the mechanics and complex system under the hood,” Oliveira says. “It’s probably simpler for those people to just pick one and go with it; just like when you call a tissue a Kleenex or folks in the south who call any and all sodas Coke.”

These “unicorns,” or people who are great designers and developers, are fairly rare and incredibly sought after in today’s market. The difference in the number of jobs available for designers versus developers is drastic.

web developer vs web designer

Job demand is heavily skewed in favor of web developers.

So why does one get paid so much more than the other if they’re both working together to produce the same outcome: a beautiful and functional website or an application?

Web designers are architects of the web. They focus on the look and feel of the website; and so, they should be visual arts experts, who are skilled in color scheming, graphic design and information flow. Designers are typically more in tune with their right brain hemisphere, utilizing their creativity, intuition and imagination, to design amazing user experiences.

designer developer right brain left brain

Development is for left-brained people; Design is better suited for the right-brain.

The education requirement of a web designer is debatable. While a  degree may not be needed, a full portfolio of your past work is a must. Of course others would argue that a degree from a university is just as important. Also, you should be skilled in software such as Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and Dreamweaver.

web development certification worthless

The education required for web designers is less than that of web developers.

Amanda Cheung, lead interaction developer at DockYard, works with designers and other developers to create great experiences on the computer and mobile web. She creates and reviews Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), ensuring the code is clean, maintainable, user-friendly and responsive.

Cheung actually began as a designer and had a natural progression into web development because like Haney, she felt something was missing. “I studied fine arts in school, concentrating in painting and graphic design,” she says. “Once I graduated I started working as a graphic designer, but the job I was doing wasn’t too fulfilling for me so I took an introduction to web design and web programming classes at night. I was able to get several freelance gigs, realized how fun it was and made the transition into web development full-time.”

Kyle Bradshaw is the senior front-end developer at Digitas, and he classifies himself as solely a web developer.

“I went to an engineering school so I enjoy programming. I was never very interested in the design aspect of it. I lack artistic talent,” he says. “I could always remix other designers’ designs if it came down to it. I enjoyed the development part more.”

Oliveira is a developer as well. He enjoys how there is always an answer in code and that computer science and programming filled the proverbial creative void.

“There is always an answer – true or false, 1 or 0, works or crashes, but the means by which you could get to that answer were limitless,” he says. “How liberating! The space in between fascinated me. How efficient could I be? How fast? How cute? How confusing? How clear? The journey to finding the answer to a problem has been the reason I’ve stayed in the field to this day.”

Most developers would agree with Joel because programmers tend to think with the left side of their brain, which is the logical, linear thinking and technical side.

If web designers are the architects of the web then developers are the builders. Without coders, the plans would never come to life. They work with designers in making semantic mark-up languages like XHTML and CSS and transform static PSDs into interactive working web browser pages. Typically, programmers are skilled in programming languages such as PHP, ASP, Ruby on Rails, Python, HTML, CSS and more depending on what they specialize in and their experience level. The nice thing about being a good developer is that since their skills are in such a high demand then any programmer with a good portfolio can easily get a coding job.

back end vs front end web development languages

Web developers speak a different language (or more than one) than front-end designers.

No matter how different or not different being a designer and/or a developer may be, the two occupations do seem to come with the same pros and cons.

Flexible work hours and ability to work from anywhere seem to be the biggest perks aside from doing something these people love to do.

Oliveira says the ability to work from anywhere can also be a huge con.

“Because I have my laptop with me almost all day and night I can and will work. It’s a constant struggle to be mindful of my work/life balance. I enjoy what I do immensely (obviously a perk), but the possibility of burnout is a very real thing,” . We would be happy to help you get your ideas on web development, please Contact US for any information.