How Web Design is Different From Web Development?

Saurabh Tiwary | 28th November 2016

As the web technologies continue to advance and services tend to grow, there happen to be a need to name every technical branch with a specific name to get rid of any sort of ambiguity. When we talk about expertise in terms of web technologies, some words might sound similar but may vary tremendously depending on their actual implementations. Web Design and Web Development is one of those highly misunderstood terms.

We often see people muddling up about how the web design and development part varies in carrying out a web-based project. The need of the productive and advanced web applications have called for a number of individual departments that need to work concurrently to accomplish the web design and development goals.

web design and web development experts

Why do we Need to Set Up Distinction Between Web Design and Development?

In my earlier web design practices, around 10-15 years back, our design team might have failed if they were asked to distinguish between these two terms. At that time, whenever we used to talk about designing a website, it was an all in all responsibility considering every aspect of design or development. Be it a domain registration, interface design, a server update or any change related to the website code, everything was a part of designing a web application as one.

However, through the advancements in technologies and varied demand for software application products, it was crucial to set up a distinction between the web design and the web development.

A web application design project has now been split into two phases i.e. web development phase and the web design phase.

Also Read, UI Designer VS UI Developer

Comparing Web Design and Web Development

Web Design

The term web design refers to the design tasks associated with the visuals and graphics elements that the users can visualize on their screen. It deals with designing a website user interface and providing best of the user experience, ensuring maximum usability of any site. These all are basically a part of designing. We call this as  front-end elements as they are accessible to the users and can help the users accomplish any tasks.  

The design part basically has two phase:

  • User Interface(UI) Design

  • User Experience(UX) Design

Website User Interface Design is a Major Factor that Determines the Effectiveness of any Design.

The interface design tasks involve working on navigation design, form design, color palettes, button design, logo design and everything that is present on the screen and visible to the users. A well-designed user interface can amazingly affect your visual aesthetic allowing users to visit your website more often.

The User Experience is all about how a user feels while accessing your website. Is your website well-designed to provide him with what he needs? Is he facing any sort of difficulty while accessing it? Numerous factors go in achieving a prolific design.

A perfectly designed UI is likely to yield better UX. The more you work on improving your UI, the better UX you achieve.

There are numerous other elements that in accordance with UI helps boost the website experience. Some other UI/UX components include:

  • Proper Information Architecture

  • Visual Hierarchy

  • Effective Use of Colors

  • Ease of Access

  • Usability

  • Workflows for enhanced usage

A web designer or technically known as a UI designer might use front-end design tools- basically, the applications that can be used to create graphical elements such as shapes, color boxes, icons etc.

These tools include:

  • Adobe Photoshop

  • Sketch

  • After Effects etc.

  • Coreldraw

  • Adobe Illustrator

Web Development

Web development tasks are associated with all the functional aesthetics of a web-based project such as implementation of the front-end elements, working on an internal architecture, database connectivity and proper functioning of front-end elements via programming codes.

All the UI design modules are activated through the web development processes. A web developer writes the program codes that run internally and are not visible to the users. That is why, web development process is also known as the backend development process.

All the visual resources of a web-based project need to be assigned a set of rules via program codes. A programmer might use a backed development tool to write those codes and ensure an efficient and smooth functioning of the every web element. These codes are then uploaded to the web application servers. The execution of these codes in accordance with design elements produces a full-fledged working website or web application that we use.

Also Read, How Does Design Differ From Art?

Most of the web developers use development tools also known as  integrated development environment (IDE) that assist them to write code with an ease. Web developers can be of two types:

  • Front-End Developers

  • Backend Developers

Front-end developers or UI developers specialize in writing codes for website front-end or client-side design elements while backend developers work on a server-side application such as setting up the foundation for the internal resources. A web developer might require certain skills as mentioned below:

  • HTML/CSS Javascript

  • Knowledge of CSS

  • Frameworks such as AngularJS, React JS etc.

  • Libraries (Jquery)

  • Git and GitHub

So, that’s all about the working area of the a web designer and a web developer. An important note on this part is that both design and development task must go hand in hand to achieve an outstanding web application development goal.

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Saurabh Tiwary

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