Web Design vs. Web Development: What’s the Difference?

Web Design vs. Web Development: What’s the Difference?

As similar as their titles may sound, web designers and web developers have very different roles. Understanding the difference is key to ensuring you hire the proper team to address your needs.

Differences Between Design and Development

The broadest difference between web designers and web development lies in their areas of expertise: designers specialize in the look of a website while developers deal mainly in its functionality. However, the full answer is a bit more nuanced, and there’s certainly overlap between the job descriptions.

Vision: A web designer’s ultimate goal is an attractive, cohesive website that incorporates modern trends without sacrificing brand image. While of course developers want this as well, their specific goal is a logical and responsive site that does what it should.

Workflow: Web designers typically use design software such as Photoshop or Sketch to define the aesthetics of a website, which developers then translate into a usable website using HTML, CSS, JavaScript, along with various back-end technologies like PHP. Web designers may code or prototype, but in collaboration, the final coding ultimately lies on the developer.

Experience: Both designers and developers are highly qualified to contribute to a website’s creation, but their specific skillsets tend to differ, following from their differing roles. Designers, for instance, are more likely to have a graphic design or marketing background while developers must have strong experience in coding.

Of course, in practice, web designers care about usability and developers care about aesthetics, and the precise divisions of labor are not always set in stone. Still, the most effective websites come together through a collaboration between designers and developers, which ensures a balance between consistent theming and seamless functionality.

Although, you’ll notice that many people use “web designer” and “web developer” interchangeably. It’s always good to know to which side the developer or designer leans.

Neon Rain Design and Development

The experts at Neon Rain have diverse and extensive experience spanning design, development, and marketing. Combining their talents, our proven process puts user experience first while integrating your brand image into every design element. Get in touch with Neon Rain Interactive today to find out how we can take your web presence to the next level.


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