Almost everywhere you look someone is talking about or calling themselves either a web designer or web developer. But what does it all really mean?
Who really is a designer or developer? Can you be both?
While this can be a topic of hot debate, we help break down the terms, what they mean and how they relate to each other.
A Designer’s Job
First, it is important to really think about each job on it’s own.
A web designer uses graphics and graphic design software (think Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign) to create a look for the web. This design is then married with coding to bring it to life online.
The designer may not always be the person writing the code and in some cases can work independently of the team who will take a website design live.
Much of a designer’s job is creative and uses both intuition and imagination, often characteristics of people who are considered right-brained. People in this field may continue their educations in a variety of fields but are most commonly drawn to graphic design and the arts. Designers collect work portfolios to showcase their projects for potential employers.
The best designers have a strong grasp on a variety of concepts including color and typography, spacial relationships, audience and user experience.
A Developer’s Job
While aspects of a developer’s job may resemble that of a designer, it can be quite different as well.
Web developers are often thought of as left-brained workers. Skills from technical ability and thinking to logic are an essential part of their repertoires. Web developers may have degrees in a variety of fields such as computer science or programming. Most employers will require a portfolio during the hiring process.
Two Jobs, One Goal
At the end of the day, both web designers and web developers are working toward a singular goal – to create a website or app that entices and attracts users.
To do this, both the design and development must be sound. A site needs to look good and function properly. The colors and imagery need to reflect the brand and the interface needs to encourage visitors to take a desired action.
The defined lines between designers and developers are becoming more blurred as more designers are learning to code and more developers are paying close attention to design theory. (Just one of the reasons why design and development articles and tutorials are so popular.) We are all beginning to see that the future of the field includes the title web designer/developer.