Creative or technical?

Vy Nguyen | 30 Jun 2019

Are you creative or technical? What are the differences between a web developer and a web designer?

Web designer and web developer

Creating a good website is complex as it involves many different roles. We can differentiate the 2 mains ones; The creator of the website's appearance and the builder of the website. One is the creative mind and the other the technical one.

Web designer’s role

The roles of web designers are very similar to architect’s one. They work on the appearance of a website to create a clean interface and a good user experience. They are involved in the graphical and process aspects of a website. Their role is to:

  • Identify the target audience, the purpose and the functionality of the website by working with the clients.
  • Design the website with software like Photoshop, Illustrator, Pencil, Mockflow...
  • Give guidance on the layout to the web developers.

The conception of a design requires the web designer to work with these 5 fundamental elements:

  • Layout: the way information are structured and categorized.
  • Color chart: The choice of color according to the brand and the content of the website.
  • Graphics: Logos, photos, cliparts, icons...
  • Fonts: A combination of typeface style and size.
  • Content: Written text use to share website’s message. The content of the website is also used for search engine optimization (SEO).

Web designers make sure the website they create is appealing to the users. The design has to be attractive to the eye and in the same time ergonomics when interacting with. This is the reason some web designers, a part from having graphical skills also know about the basic programming languages (HTML, CSS, JavaScript).

Web developer’s role

A web developer is a programmer who is specialized in the application development (mobile and web). The difference between a web developer and a web designer is that the web developer is concerned with the programming when the designer is concerned with the design. Their role is to:

  • Write the programming code with languages such as PHP, HTML, JavaScript, Python, Java... To ensure a clean, fast and maintainable code, the developer will often make use of frameworks or libraries such as ReactJS, Angular, Bootstrap, Laravel, NodeJS... All have their pro and con, so it is important to choose the right one for the project.
  • Test the website and identify the problems.
  • Upload the website on the server once the website is complete.

Three kinds of developers could be identified:

  • Front-end developers: A front-end developer's job is to recreate the web design the client or the web designers gave to them.

  • Back-end developers: The back-end is the hidden part that end-user doesn’t see or interact with, it is only available to administrators and developers. The role of backend developers is to build the database and to make sure the data or services requested by the front-end system are delivered correctly. They also maintain the entire back-end system and performs the testing and debugging of the system.

  • Full stack developers: Full stack developers are simply developers who are proficient in developing both front-end (client side) and back-end (server side).

Conclusion

Web designer and web developers work hand-in-hand to deliver the best websites. One is focused on the graphical aspect of the websites and the other in the programming aspect. One is more creative while the other is more technical. An attractive and responsive design, a functional website and a well references one is all you need to make your business take off.

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