Web Design vs Web Development | What’s right for you?

What’s up everybody, I’m Jesse Showalter and today we’re going to figure out those differences between a web designer and a web developer and it’s a great career to be kind of pursuing. But when you’re first starting out, you kind of don’t know, maybe where you fit, and so there are some people that are kind of both and there is a lot of crossover between the two fields.

But I want to talk specifically about the roles, the tools and the expectations of the two different kind of fields and then, which one is the best kind of fit for you. Let’s, first start by kind of defining the two fields will start with web design. I’r going to use a car analogy, a web designer would be the person who kind of designs the aesthetics of the car. What the car looks like what the car looks like on the exterior on the interior, how it feels all of that stuff.

The experience the aesthetic that’s a web designer the web developer would be responsible for all of those internal kind of components like the engine and the transmission and and and all the other parts of the car that you don’t even realize, you’re using when you’re using it. That’s the web developer it makes it function makes it move, makes it go, but just like an engine is useless without the car and the car itself is useless without the engine.

The two have to go together. Inevitably, they’re going to go together, they’re either going to be the same person a web designer and developer or they’re, going to be working in the same team and they’re going to utilizing each other’s strengths and skillsets to accomplish their goal. I’r going to first start by talking about design, okay, so a web design or design in general. The tools of the trade for designer are going to be aesthetic tools like Photoshop or sketch interface, design, tools, user experience tools, but these would be the tools that have the aesthetic of any sort of design, whether that’s print design, web design, product design whatever it is.

These are going to be the things that you can actually create things to look at okay, so visual tools, knowing how to use those tools, and so it’s important that you know those tools. It’s important that not only do you know the tools, but you know some of the principles and the foundations of design, so we’re talking about color and space and line and form and all of those things. This is the realm of a designer, but but yes, also web designers, now web designers don’t need to know how to code you can be.

I know plenty of designers that are purely designers and they work at web agencies. Marketing agencies they do freelance and – and they themselves do not code, okay, but knowing what code is and how it kind of interacts will help you kind of better design. For the medium. Does that make sense like like knowing what’s possible and what’s not possible, so knowing you don’t have to code, but knowing some ideas about code what’s possible, what’s not possible what needs to be documented? What needs to be explained? That’s that’s the signs of a good web designer web developers and and all developers work with code.

The web developers, specifically, I would say, spend the majority of their time working with. What’s called client-side code, okay, so client-side languages like HTML, CSS, JavaScript and there’s even some JavaScript frameworks like react or node or backbone working with those three: that’s the bread and butter of a web developer. Now a developer in general learns and speaks coding languages. So if you kind of drip into back-end development, which a lot of web developers do, they would speak more server-side languages like PHP or Ruby and and on all those different server-side kind of technologies.

If you want to be a web developer, specifically, you probably need to know your HTML and CSS and your JavaScript, like that’s your bread and butter. You need to know that and have that, like Pat, and you probably want to have a good idea – or at least some experience with server-side languages like Ruby or or PHP or whatever so that’s kind of the realm of a web developer. You spend all of your time in a text editor in a code editor, but that is the realm of a web developer.

It is not visual, it is taking the visual and making it functional. Remember like engine and car. Ok, let’s talk day to day kind of like operations, the designer is going to spend a lot of time, looking for inspiration, making visual sense and trying to visually communicate the message of the brand or the company or the site itself, they’re going to spend the majority Of their time, doing, visual things and, and that can be anything from wire framing – to mood boarding to creating brands and logos and websites and animations, and all that kind of stuff you’re doing everything and anything that is visual for a web developer on their day to Day, they’re going to be spending time in code, they’re going to be receiving the visuals and the documentation from the web designer, and they should be working in tandem.

They should be working closely not in a silo but closely with the designers, to make sure that the functionality is everything that the site or the client or the project demands. But it’s also on par with the styles that the designer has handed over. Those deliverables that are handed over need to be executed by the developer and so they’re going to be spending the majority of their time in code, creating branches in github.

We’ll talk more about that in different article, but basically creating and making the vehicle move per the restraints of the designer and the designer is designing things, / restraints of the client or the project so which one is the right field for you. Should you start pursuing design, should you start pursuing development? Should you start pursuing both I’m going to give you a couple opinions of mine on how to kind of decide where to go from here so which one is going to be for you? My opinion is this from stick it from somebody, who’s done both and does both.

If you are a person who enjoys the visual aspects of things and and remember, design is problem-solving. It’s just it’s not just making pretty things, but if you’re somebody who likes to express your problem-solving through visual modes of solution, like III, think I could make sense of that using color, I feel like I could make sense of that using typography and photography and all Those things, then, then design might actually be more for you, okay, somebody who likes to make sense of problems that way, if you are a person who likes to do puzzles, face down if you’re a person who likes to analyze things, and if you were the kid That liked to take your remote-control car apart and see how it worked.

You might be the person who’s, a developer just say: maybe dabble try a little bit of both of them out and see which one suits you and then follow it and here’s. I think the good news is none of this is final, because these things are so closely related in the creative or tech kind of world. You have the ability to change your mind. You have the ability to kind of flex and decide where you want to be.

Where you want your kind of space to be, I started out doing thinking. I want to do nothing but print design and package design, and I realized very quickly. I hated math and I moved over to digital design and now I do primarily interface design, experience, design and front-end development and that’s what I really really love to do. But it took me some years to figure it out. So I hope this article has really helped in some way for those of you that are just starting out trying to figure out which one would be for you.

I think both of them are awesome careers and we’re really really excited for you to start down. One of these paths, both those of both of these paths, whatever it is, that that kind of floats your boat and suits you. I just hope whether you go down the path of the design or down the path of like development. I just hope that you enjoy yourself, because this is really a career that has a lot a lot of people to escape jobs, that they hate and be part of something and actually create something and make things that they really care about either way.

You are a maker of things and that’s huge, that’s just so huge, and so I just really want to encourage you today to be making awesome stuff be designing, be developing. However, it is that you make make amazing things and do it in excellence. If you have any questions, please let me know down in the comments or if you want clarification on anything, I would love to answer. Your comments also make sure you subscribe to this blog and like this article and maybe even hit that little Bell icon down below.

So you get notifications when a new article comes out. Hope you guys are having a great weekend talk to you guys soon. Aloha

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