Web development and web design are commonly interchanged. Although they do have certain similarities, they also have a few differences. To help you to distinguish between them, we’ve listed several facts about the relationship between web development and web design.
1. Web design is part of the web development process.
Web design is part of a broader process, which is web development. One cannot exist without the other. Web development is about building, creating and maintaining a website which includes the designing, programming, publishing and managing of a database, while web design refers to layout, graphic design and web content generation.
2. Web development uses programming languages, while web design uses mark-up languages.
Programming languages are designed to deliver particular instructions to computers/mobile devices, while mark-up languages are designed to format layout and style. Basically, programming languages are for commands, while mark-up languages are for appearance.
Programming languages include Java, C, C++, C#, Python, Ruby, .NET, SQL, PHP and many more. On the other hand, mark-up languages include HTML, XML, XHTML, etc.
Although web developers and web designers use different languages to deliver their work, they are also aware of certain languages outside their scope. For instance, web designers need to be aware of certain programming languages in order to incorporate their design with the actual function (which is within the scope of web development). Sometimes, web developers use mark-up languages if web designers do not manually write the codes of their designs (i.e. converting Photoshop documents into actual web pages).
3. Web design focuses more on the user, while web development focuses more on the client.
Web designers focus on the aesthetics of a website so that users can understand and use the website efficiently. The aesthetics include the colour scheme, layout, graphics, web content, etc. Web designers also focus on the information flow of the website.
Web developers make sure that the client/owner of the website can respond to the users whenever they enquire, make comments, subscribe, purchase products, etc.
However, that doesn’t mean that web developers are responsible for the user experience. They develop functions for certain user-interface designs. The main job of a web designer in this instance is to make sure that the website is user friendly.
4. Web development is a logical process, while web design is a creative process.
Since web design focuses on appearance and web development focuses on functionality, one can easily conclude that web design requires creativity more than logical thinking and vice versa. Web designers make websites visually appealing, while web developers turn these designs into a functional website/page. Web developers usually work on the technical side. As web developers make codes work, web designers coordinate graphics and colours.
Web development and web design are different in certain aspects but they do have the same goal – hand in hand they create an appealing and functional website. One won’t work without the other.