In the past, the main difference between web designers and web developers is that designers perform web designs, whereas developers are responsible for coding. However, nowadays, these terms are almost always used interchangeably as “web companies” alternate the way they describe their service offerings.
These two terms reference fundamentally different aspects of a website building process and require two very unique skill sets. Because of this, it is important to know the difference before you look for someone to design and develop your company’s website.
Here, we’ll share the difference between web design and web development so that you can have a better understanding of the two.
What is web design?
Web design refers to everything involved with the visual aesthetics as well as the usability of a website. This can include colour scheme, layout, the flow of information, and everything related to the visual aspects of user interface along with user experience.
Website design always start from the consideration of a client’s website objectives before the designers move on to an Information Architecture, also known as IA. IA is used to set up a website’s information hierarchy and help guide the website design process. From here, the web designers will create wireframes before moving on to the design stage. A wireframe, also referred to as a page schematic or screen blueprint, is a visual guide representing the skeletal framework of a website.
Besides an aesthetically pleasing layout, web designers also have to ensure their designs offer an excellent user experience. There are five important principles that web designers should try to follow to create a great website design.
Visual balance is just as important as physical; our brains tend to favour balance and recognise it on a subconscious level. To achieve balance, web designers often use the correct proportion of heavy (large and dark colours) and light (small and lighter colours) elements. Other elements include using objects, textures, and white space to create a balanced composition.
Contrast in web design is a useful method to ensure different design elements work well together despite their differences. For instance, contrasting colours are often placed opposite one another on the colour wheel. Apart from colours, website designs also offer a few other areas where contrast is applicable – contrasting sizes, textures, and shapes are often used to draw the user’s attention to various sections of the website.
Emphasis in a website design creates an area or object that becomes the focal point for the page; this is a useful way to make a single element stand out in the overall design. The focal point may sometimes be larger than the other elements of the design or even be brightly-coloured to draw attention. A useful tip when you’re designing a webpage is that you can add emphasis by choosing a word or phrase, and assign it to a colour or font to make it stand out.
Consistency is a key factor in website design for both your visual elements and user functionality. It ensures that the different design elements of your website such as headers, footers, sidebars amongst many others, look coherent and work harmoniously across the site.
The concept of unity in web design refers to the group of elements that can work harmoniously together to create a greater whole. Having unity helps the user to visually organise information by grouping the various elements into categories to communicate a specific message.
What is web development?
Web developers take the design created by web designers to build a fully functional website. Essentially, web designs are considered as a non-interactive version of the site, and the role of developers is to take that design and break it up into its individual components. Some of the basic tools they use would be HTML to incorporate programming languages to develop the various website pages. Other advanced web developers, like the professionals here at eFusion Technology, often choose to utilise a Content Management System (CMS) to streamline development whilst allowing their clients to have an easier way to maintain or update their website.
As one of the leading web developers in Singapore, eFusion Technology excels in customising CMS websites with amazingly aesthetic presentation and functional features. Furthermore, having a CMS allows you to assign unique meta keywords and descriptions to respective pages – this allows your website to be search engine-friendly.
Web developers can also convert a static layout into a dynamic website through the use of image and content sliders, active states for links as well as buttons, or other interactive elements.
Many companies in Singapore that are looking for a website or to redesign their existing site may often be confused by the blurred lines surrounding the terms of web design and development. Although you can find individuals who are able to do both, many web design and development companies often have dedicated designers to create a customised website layout, and programmers to complete the development stage.
Backed by their team of professional web designers and developers, eFusion Technology is a leading web developer in Singapore providing a suite of web design and development services to meet the needs of your brand. Reach out to us to find out more.