Web Designer versus Web Developer: Our 2020 Update

PublisherSol Minion Developmenthttps:https://assets.solminion.co/logo.svg?mtime=20200915165531&focal=nonePublishedsoftware developmentcustom software

We still hear this from our clients. Do I need a developer and a designer? Which comes first? It’s not as confusing as it first seems. When it comes to web designer versus web developer, the important thing to know is that they need to work together. And you can start with your developer. Before that, let’s dig a little deeper into what these two roles are within your project.

What is the difference between Design and Development?

We can’t fault business owners for being confused about the roles of web designers versus web developers. The two are often wrapped up in the messages from marketing companies. But there are clear distinctions:

  • Web Designers: Web designers create the look, style and feel of a website, including branding, layout, and color schemes. With a web designer, you’ll hear things like User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI) -- UX/UI.
  • Web Developers: A “web developer” makes the website function, through custom code and other integrated pieces of software. In terms of a website, a web developer builds the content management system and integrates the site with other, third-party applications.
  • Software Developer: A Software Developer is going to build a custom solution for the business and use a website or app as the primary user interface.

Additional Reading: Picking The Right Partner...When You Need a Developer, Not a Designer | How to Know When You Need a Developer Instead of a Designer | The Difference Between Design and Development

Which comes first, Design or Development?

The key thing to understand is that software developers are not designers. If left to us, we’ll create something simple enough to perform the necessary functionality, but it won’t be a marketing wonder. The design will be modern and responsive to different devices, but it won’t have much branding outside of the logo, color scheme and copy provided by the client.

That said, there has to be a balance between the design and the functionality of the site. During our projects, we work with our clients to discover their needs, business objectives and the overall desired functionality of the application. Once we have that, we can begin to develop the different user interfaces required to gather and present data to the users. At that point, a designer can step in and begin to create beautiful layouts and designs, based on our initial creations.

Designer and Developer Working Together

This part can be tricky. Most often, the technology used by each party -- Wordpress and CSS for designers, Twig and SASS for developers -- can make it difficult for each other to dig into the other’s work. Because of that, it’s very important that there is a clear understanding of responsibilities at the launch of the project so that everybody knows who does what within the framework. It is usually best to leave the design for after those application functions are complete.

How to choose: Designer, Developer, Both?

You’re going to need both a designer and a developer for your web-based software application. If you’re developing a revenue-generating online product, you’ll need to start with your developer and build out the user interface once the functionality is finalized, like we mentioned above.

Taking The First Step

The first step is easy. Contact us to start the process of building your project, and we’ll bring in your design team to create a design that fits your branding. If you’re looking to create a new, digital product or add a new piece of web-based software, having that first conversation with a developer is a great start.

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