Creating something that is accessible globally via the Internet is essential for almost every business in operation today. The type of project you need depends on the industry you are in and what your ideal target audience needs from your web application. Picking the right partner is something you have to consider very closely.
These days, many people believe Web Designers and Web Developers are the same thing. And it’s not their fault. If you search the internet for help with a web project, you will come across many companies and individuals that use the term interchangeably. Don’t be fooled! There is a difference between Web Designers and Web Developers, and you should know what they are.
What is a Web Designer?
When someone is referring to web application design, they are referring to the appearance and usability of the website or application. The platform and theme that make up the site are determined by the web designer.
So, what exactly is a web designer? A web designer is someone who uses a platform or a program to create the website or application. Common programs used by designers are Adobe Creative Suite, Photoshop, WordPress, and Themeforest, just to name a few. Within these resources, the designer works hard to balance the look, feel, usability, and purpose of the application so the user will enjoy their experience while following the correct calls to action. You’ll want to work with a designer if your web project is pretty simple.
An example of a simple web project would be a blog or a website that consists of a few pages that don’t require much functionality or “back-end” support.
Now, Enter the Developer…
Web developers (sometimes they are referred to as programmers) go beyond the simple design phase of a web application. A developer focuses on the back-end programming, function, and code to make the web application dynamic. So, instead of the application being “static” or stationary, developers put in commands to make the application “interactive.” Here’s an example:
A company wants to create a web application that allows users to get specific results based on the information they enter in. So, let’s say if Person A enters in her answers, she’ll get a different set of pages or fields to follow than Person B. If the company wants the application to adjust to the needs of both Person A and Person B (as well as hundreds if not thousands of other people), the developer would have to set up programs and conditions that allow the application to “think outside the box.” In this case, the box would be a set of stationary commands that keep the user in one location.
Don’t be confused! There are elements of web design in web development. A developer must have a design in place before the development of the application can begin. However, the designer does not use development or programming in their work. The program or template takes care of that for them.
How to Tell If You’ve Outgrown A Design Project…
Many people who start a web application think just hiring a designer will be sufficient. This may be fine in the beginning. However, there are a few telltale signs that you need a developer.
You’ve expanded the scope of your needs.
In the beginning of your project, you may be in a rush to get your site up quickly. But over time, your web needs will change. As your project expands, your current website may not support your the functionality you require. This is the perfect time to consider developing an application that is more flexible.
You want more customization.
Some designers brag about being able to give the client “exactly what they want or need.” This is virtually impossible if you are using pre-designed software. Developers create custom applications that fit the needs of the client. If you need something that is unique to your business, a developer will be able to accommodate you.
Your project requires several moving parts.
If you are in the market to create a rather large application, your first stop should be talking to a developer. Web designers may want to take on the project, but they may not know what components are needed to complete the work. If you start with the developer first, they can fuse both the design and development aspects of your project early on, which will save you time and money.
Picking the Right Partner Matters.
Whether you’re working with a designer or a developer, one thing should be true: he or she should steer you in the right direction. If you’re not sure if your web project needs design, development, or both, connect with us. We’ll give you our honest opinion on which route will be best for you and the scope of your project.