Web Design vs. Web Development What's the Difference?

Blog / design vs. development

See all blog entries

March 22, 2015 - Andrea Jasek

Web Design vs. Web Development What's the Difference?

What is the difference in roles between the website designer and the website developer? This is a very common question that designers and developers are asked by prospective clients. Understandably so. It can come across as a little confusing. Unless you know the ins-and-outs of the web design and development industry, it can seem as if just one person does all of the website architecture for a given project. This is not usually the case. Instead, the web designer and the web developer have separate roles, and work very closely together to create an attractive, responsive, and fully-functional website that is specifically composed to meet the client's needs. The duties of the two positions do vary greatly. In fact, they are literally opposites of one another. Generally, the designer roles don't overlap developer roles, and vice versa.

The Role of the Website Designer

In a nutshell, the role of the website designer is to construct the look and feel of the website via color schemes, information flow, images, and other visual elements. Through these means, the designer conceives the “branding” of the website for the world to see. Before the web design concept is sent to the developer, the designer works with the client to establish the desired vibe of the website. One common practice in client-designer communication is to use a “mood board” because explaining a feel tends to depict more eloquently through pictures as opposed to words. Once the client and designer agree on a theme for the website and all of the graphics have been established, the data is then delivered to the website developer.

web design planning

The Role of the Website Developer

The duties of the web developer are sometimes referred to as the “analytical” side of website creation. The web developer evaluates the website requirements, prepares the structure with the information from the designer, and creates templates. These are the nitty-gritty inner workings of the website; the programming and the coding that is methodical, logical, and systematic. The developer is also responsible for all things relating to databases, widgets, apps, and security. With the web developer is where the data is processed, and the designs come to life through the user interface.

All Together Now

A good web design and development company will have a designer and developer who work extremely well together. The successful team will be a duo who can make their two very different, and specialized, roles fit together like puzzle pieces in the end product. Those are the differences in roles between website designers and website developers, in a nutshell!

Because originality matters.

- Andrea