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What is the difference between web design and web development?

Like most of the technical IT fields of the business world, web design and web development are full of acronyms and complex sounding jargon. It’s small wonder, then, that people may conjoin web design and development into one role. I pride myself on keeping things straightforward and simple, and I think it’s important to recognise the particular skills in each of these fields. Understanding how they are different can bring enhanced odds of success to your web project.

The right person for the job

The roles of web designer and developer are much like the roles of architect and interior designer. When building a house the architect will decide how big to make the plot, what materials to use, how to layout the floor plan, and the size of each room. After the house is built, along comes the interior designer who will look at the empty house and help you get the sofas, appliances and room decoration to match your requirements. There will be communication between the two, of course, but each has their own set of skills. If you asked the interior designer to do the specification of the foundations, or the architect to pick the carpet and curtain colours, you may end up with problems. In short get the right person to do each job.

The world of the web developer

They will map out what features your site must have and will help you select the best platform for your needs. Then they will find the best way to fulfil these requirements on the chosen platform. They will plan the page layout and then build a framework that allows you to hang your content neatly and easily onto the site. All of this will be contingent on the overall requirements for your site. An e-commerce site, a content driven site or a site designed for artistic showcasing will all have different requirements.

Along came a designer

A designer will take the structure you’ve created and then work with you to achieve your desired look. Colours, fonts, logos, page layout and icon sets will all be tailored to build your dream site. Good communication with the web developer will mean that the design options are as open as possible to give the designer the biggest possible palette for creating the look you are after. As you can see from the above job roles the two are most certainly not interchangeable. Asking your web developer to pick a font scheme or a designer to implement a Content Management System will most likely cause a raft of issues. I work with a highly skilled team of specialists who I trust and communicate well with. This means that I can develop, the designer can design, the writer can create content and the SEO consultant can manage your ranking.

This approach is one of the ways I ensure project success; exceeding my client’s expectations while remaining on time and on budget. If this sounds like the approach you need for your project, please get in touch.