Till not so long ago, the role of the web designer and that of a web developer was clearly defined and demarcated. In easy terms, designers “design” while developers “code”. However, in modern times, you will rarely find a designer who does not know the basics of HTML and CSS or a developer who cannot rudimentarily structure a website. This might be true now but it will still be relevant to study the two separately even though web design and development are talked about in the same breath.
- Web Design – When you visit a website and is visually attractive to it, it is the expertise of the web designer that is displayed before your eyes. The colour scheme, font size, layout and flow of information all contribute to the aesthetics and user friendliness of the site. User interface and user experience (UI/UX) are two crucial factors that designers focus on. A site that cannot hold on to visitor’s attention at first glance will have a high bounce rate that is, visitors will leave quickly. This will be detrimental to the purpose for which the site has been created.
Some of the skill sets that a designer should have and the tools used include graphic and logo design, placing call-to-action buttons, branding, typography and working with Adobe Creative Suite or other similar design software. Designers also work with WordPress and Joomla which are templates that can be used to create specific themes and widgets in web design.
- Web Development – Web development is responsible for optimising functional efficiencies of a website. Basically, there are two sides to it. The first is the front-send or client side which determines the manner that the designs structured by the designer will be displayed to visitors to the site. The second is the back-end or server side of an application which manages data from inside the database and then brings it up to the front-end to be ultimately displayed. Hence, it is the front-end aspects of a web developer that mostly overlap with the work of a web designer.
These points are just the basics of web design and web development which have been greatly simplified and only the core issues highlighted.