Understanding the Prime Difference between Web Design & Web Development

between Web Design and Web Development

Most of the business firms and individuals keep searching for two terms, namely Web Design and Web Development and, quite often end up using them interchangeably. However, the truth is that these two terms refer to two different fundamental aspects of the process of website building, and also require two unique skill sets. A person must know and understand the difference between the two terms if he or she is into designing or developing a website. In simple terms, web design refers to the aesthetic portion and usability of a website. Web designers use a variety of design programs, including Adobe Photoshop, for creating the layout and other visual elements of a website or webpage. On the other hand, what the web developers do is, create a fully functional website by using the website design. They use programming languages like JavaScript, PHP, Python, JavaScript, CSS, to name a few, for bringing the design elements to life.

A Closer Look at Web Design

Every web designer must begin by first considering the objectives of the client’s website and then further move on to Information Architecture (IA – the process of structuring, organizing, and labeling content sustainably and effectively) for setting the website’s information hierarchy and guiding the design process. In the next step, web designers can begin creating wireframes and then eventually move to the design stage. For achieving an aesthetically pleasing layout and offering an excellent user experience, web designers can implement the basic design principles, which are as follows:

  1. It is always essential for web designers to create a balanced layout. Furthermore, using the right proportion of heavy elements (large and dark colors) and light elements (small and lighter colors) play an integral role in achieving the target of balanced website design.
  2. According to the color theory, contrasting colors are always placed opposite to each other like on the color wheel. When it comes to web design, there are a few other areas as well, where contrast is applicable. For defining a few sections of a website, the designers need to pay attention to contrasting sizes, shapes, and textures for giving a well-organized appearance.
  3. In web design, the term “emphasis” refers to highlighting the crucial elements of the website layout. It is imperative to make a point of the fact that if you highlight all the elements on a single page, you will end up emphasizing nothing. Hence, there is a dire need to look at the Information Architecture for moving in the right direction.
  4. Consistency, or what we commonly refer to as repetition or rhythm, is a critical web design principle. For providing the best user experience to all your visitors, you must implement consistent and clean navigation.
  5. Unity refers to the relationship between the different parts of the website layout and their composition as a whole. For having a brilliant web design, you should put in sincere efforts to organize information by grouping elements into categories.

A Closer Look at Web Development

Web developers, also widely known as programmers, take the design created by the web designers and then build a fully functional and structural website. To put it in simple words, consider the web design as a non-interactive picture of a website. What the developers do is they take the design and further break it up into its components. In the next step, they either use a markup language like HTML or a dynamic programming approach like PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor) for developing the different pages of a website. At times, a web developer may even opt for utilizing a Content Management System (CMS – a software application that manages the creation and modification of digital content) like Joomla or WordPress for streamlining web development and enabling the clients to maintain and update the website at ease. By using images, buttons, content sliders, links, and other interactive elements, web developers may also convert a static layout into a dynamic website.

Final Thoughts

With the blurred lines surrounding the two terms – Web Design and Web Development, various small and medium-sized companies that are either planning to create a website or re-design their existing one may often end up getting confused. It is a matter of fact that yes – there are a lot of individuals who are proficient at both; however, most of the companies usually have dedicated web designers, who create the website layout and then pass over the design to the web developer or programmer, who completes the stage of web development. Hopefully, this blog shall clear up the common misconception that both web design and web development are the same.

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