Web Developer vs Web Designer
1.The Role of a Web Designer
Web designers have a varied set of tasks and responsibilities. However, a designer’s role revolves around creating the layout and visual aspects of a website.
Their goal is often to make sure the site is both visually pleasing and user friendly and encourages visitors to stay around for as long as possible. In addition to the general framework and layout structure, this also means considering and constructing conversion-generating elements, as well as designing web pages in a way that translates well across various devices.
Web designers need to stay updated on the latest web design trends and adhere to certain standards and best practices. They often deal with brand imagery, color palettes, fonts, and so on. Many will even create a web design style guide to ensure that each website looks consistent:
2.There are a handful of other key documents and resources that designers are charged with creating, administering, and overseeing. This includes:
There’s also a fair amount of research and testing involved in a web designer’s job. It’s important to make sure the website is designed in a way that meets users’ expectations and client specifications.
Additionally, a web designer will need to consider how their design affects the coding of the website. Designers create a site structure and mockup, which developers then bring to life by coding the site.
Web designers’ work typically also includes some post-launch services. They may provide content creation and updates, maintenance and monitoring services, and ongoing performance checks.
3.Types of Web Designers
There are different types of web designers, each focusing on a unique and specific type of work. These are:
- User Experience (UX)
- User Interface (UI)
In order to decide which web design niche is right for you, let’s delve deeper into these roles.
UX designers help ensure the website is structured in a way that engages visitors and delivers a positive experience. Their role is to create human-centric designs that are based on data-driven decisions. This involves conducting a lot of research and testing to gather and analyze data, which is used to inform their final design choices.
UI designers also play an important role in the design of a website. In addition to the experience it provides, they also prioritize interactions. More specifically, their role is to enhance the usability of a website and optimize it in a way that helps encourage conversions.
Visual designers, as the title suggests, work with the layout and visual elements of a website. This work combines certain aspects of both UX and UI design. The duties of a visual designer are based on ensuring that the interface is both aesthetically pleasing and easy to use.
Most web designers use a handful of tools, software, and programs to perform their tasks. The most important of these are design and editing software and programs, such as Adobe Photoshop, for example.
They may also use stock photography resources, as well as image optimization and compression tools. Additionally, web designers often use a CMS such as WordPress, and a website builder platform like Element
7.The Skill Sets Web Designers Need
The skill sets web designers require to be successful vary, depending on each person’s specific role and specialty. However, generally speaking, some important skills include:
- HTML and CSS knowledge
- Understanding the Principles of website design and web accessibility standards
- Responsive and interaction design
- Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)
- User journey mapping
- Wireframing and prototyping
- Branding, color theory, and typography
- Design tools and software
There are also a number of non-technical skills that are important for web designers to have. For example, strong communication skills are necessary for properly communicating with clients to set and manage expectations. Additionally, having the ability to collaborate with others on a team, such as web developers, is important for ensuring that each project goes as smoothly as possible.
1.The Role of a Web Developer
A web developer’s primary job is to build and maintain the core structure of a website. Their role involves a lot of technical work, including using complex coding and advanced programming languages. In a nutshell, they take the ideas and concepts laid out by designers and turn them into real, live, and fully-functioning websites.
More specifically, the duties of a web developer involve constructing the website itself. This includes coding and configuring the server and databases on the back end, as well as incorporating user-facing features and functionality. They also perform testing and debugging and may handle an array of post-launch services, such as providing ongoing support and maintenance and fixing server or hosting issues.
To better understand the role of a web developer, it might help to compare it to another field, such as construction. A web developer is to a website what a construction company is to a new house. The developer takes the design plans and blueprints drafted by the architect (web designer) and lays the foundation to ensure that there is a functional, sound structure in place.
2.Types of Web Developers
Typically, web developers focus on a handful of programming languages. The languages they use, however, will depend on the type of web development work they do.
There are three major kinds of web developers:
3.Front-End Web Developers
4.Back-End Web Developers
Back-end developers code the database and server using advanced programming languages such as PHP, C#, Java, Ruby, and SQL, as well as NodeJS and other server-side frameworks. Back-end development, also known as server-side development, mainly encompasses the aspects of the website happening ‘behind the scenes’, which visitors don’t see from the front end.
5.Full-Stack Web Developers
6.The Skill Sets Web Developers Need
As we touched on above, web developers require certain technical skill sets to fulfill their roles. At the least, a web developer will need to be knowledgeable in:
- Testing and debugging
- Back-ends and databases
- Content Management Systems (WordPress, etc.)
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
In addition to technical skills, there are also non-technical skill sets that come in handy as a web developer. This includes problem-solving and analytical thinking, which can be useful during the debugging process. It’s also important to have solid communication and collaboration skills for working with clients and other key parties (such as web designers).
To perform their job, there are also a handful of tools and platforms that web developers use. This includes Jira for issue tracking and GitHub for code versioning: