Web Designer vs. Web Developer

The difference in these two comes down to a few different abilities all of which will be discussed below in hopes to provide a little more clarity on this subject.

Web designers vs. Web Developers Quick Bytes

The skill set which each ones uses is essentially the main difference between Web designer and Web Developers.

Web designers are the ones that mainly deal with the visual ascetics and usability. This means they help layout the look and feel of a website or the User interface/ User experience (UI/UX).

Web Developers are the ones that take a design and actually make a functioning website from it. Web developers use coding like HTML, CSS, Javascript, PHP and other programming languages to create a website.

Let’s take a closer look at these two:

Web Designers

Web designers are involved with everything design. This includes all parts of the visual aesthetics and usability of a website. This in tales details like color scheme, layout, information flow, and everything else related to the visual aspects of the UI/UX (User interface/ User experience).Web designers also tend to use a different tools that focus on the more visual aspects like:

  • Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator) or other design software
  • Graphic design
  • Logo design
  • Layout/format
  • Placing call-to-action buttons
  • Branding
  • Wire frames, mock-ups, and storyboards
  • Color palettes
  • Typography

With these tools designer are able to really focus on the ascetics of a site as well as hone in on how a site will look from desktop to mobile.

Even though designers work mainly on the aesthetics of a site many also know how to work with coding like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Using these helps designers be able to create mock-ups of websites and web applications. It also plays a big role in perfecting the UX/UI of a design. Web designers also often work with templating services like WordPress or Joomla!. These allow designers to quickly make a website without ever writing code through the use of themes and widgets.

Web Developers

Web developers or programmers deal in all things code that make a website functional. Web development can actually be split in to two categories, the front-end and the back-end. The front-end or client-side is the part of the code that is responsible for determining how the website will actually display. This will be the designs mocked up by a designer but will now be fully functional. The back-end or server-side of an application is responsible for managing the data that is needed for the database of the website.

These are some of the main skills and code that web developer’s use:

  • HTML/CSS/JavaScript
  • CSS preprocessors (i.e., LESS or Sass)
  • Frameworks (i.e., AngularJS, ReactJS
  • Libraries (i.e., jQuary)
  • Git and GitHub

I’m sure you’re probably wondering what unicorns have to do with web designers and developers. What started out as a joke in the web world has now become reality. Designer/developer hybrid who can do it all. These developers/designers have a good grasp of skills across both sides of the spectrum, meaning they understand both design principals and coding making them highly sought after in the web industry.Both can take your project from the conceptual stage of visual mock-ups and storyboards, and carry it through front-end development all by themselves. The real value of these ‘Unicorns” is that they are able to speak each other’s languages between design and code. This leads to better communication between client, designer and teams when working in a group setting.