Building a Career as a Web Designer vs. Web Developer

Building a Career as a Web Designer vs. Web Developer

Building a Career as a Web Designer vs. Web Developer

Web designer vs. web developer: What’s the difference?

Design and development are two important aspects of technology. They can, nevertheless, appear to be the same from the outside. Because both professions are important in the development of world-class, user-friendly technology, it’s easy to get confused about the differences between web designers and web developers.

While there are many similarities between the two jobs, there are a few key distinctions to be aware of. That’s why we created this guide: to examine the similarities, distinctions, and career pathways of web designers and web developers in depth.

  1. Understanding the duties of a web designer and a web developer

In a technical team, web designers and web developers play crucial responsibilities. They not only cooperate with each other, but also with other members of the IT team and with other departments inside the organization, such as marketing and sales.
How they collaborate

Designers and developers collaborate in two ways:

  1. During the course of a given project.
  2. Across numerous projects or in a closed loop.

The typical workflow of a project is for a web developer to create a product that web designers then make engaging and intuitive for consumers. There will almost certainly be some back-and-forth communication to ensure that the product is working, but otherwise the process will be rather straightforward.

There is a closed loop between designers and developers across many projects. A web designer would most likely assist the development team with brand or product design standards, ensuring that future builds are better aligned to both corporate and end-user demands. In addition, site designers do tests on areas like usability, driving useful actions, and improving conversions on a regular basis (also called conversion rate optimization or CRO). The development team will then use these data insights to iterate on future product releases.

  1. There are several types of website designers.

UX designers, UI designers, and interaction designers are the three most popular types of web designers.

User experience (UX) designer

UX designers specialize in making technology useable for humans, with a particular emphasis on designing user-friendly websites and applications. That involves not just designing a visually appealing app with a simple flow, but also collaborating with other members of the product team to convert corporate objectives into a positive user experience. Because the user experience can make or break a technological product, it’s one of the most well-known occupations in tech. There are even prizes for outstanding user experiences, indicating that certain businesses place a high value on how their product looks and feels.

Visual / User interface (UI) designer

A visual designer, often known as a user interface designer, is a general phrase for someone who works on an application’s front end design. A UI designer will provide style guides for a developer to work with based on a company’s (or a specific project’s) general goals. They collaborate closely with brand teams to develop the company’s visual appearance and feel, which then extends to how goods are developed and designed.

Many firms combine the roles of UX and UI because of the overlap, which is why you might find a number of “UX/UI Designer” job posts or freelance call-outs. However, only apply for these positions if you possess the whole skill set required.

Interaction designer

Interaction designers consider the specifics of a UX designer’s blueprints or wireframes: What should the appearance of a button be? What happens when you click on a page element? How am I going to use color theory on this page? This project aims to combine the company’s mission (what they want people to perform in the app), a user-friendly design (to make the app more intuitive), and providing the most rewarding value to the user.


  1. There are several types of website developers.

A front end developer, a back end developer, a full stack developer, and a mobile application developer are the four main types of web developers.

Front end developer

On the user side, front end developers are in charge of how an application appears and feels. They concentrate on taking back end developers’ raw functionality and turning it into a user-friendly interface using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Front end developers will also work with web designers and other members of the technical team to ensure that all user requirements are taken into consideration, such as making the app accessible to persons with vision or hearing impairments.

Back end developer

On the server side, back end developers are in charge of all code languages. That is to say, they are usually in charge of developing a product’s essential functionality. They usually write out the application programming interface (API) and web services connections from there so that front end developers may take the raw functionality and create the layer that users see. Back end developers create connectivity so that mobile app developers may transform raw functionality into an iOS or Android app.

Full stack developer

A full stack developer, in other words, combines the talents of a front end and back end developer into a single position. The full stack developer professions include creating all back end components, such as a database and fundamental programs functionality, as well as implementing the user interface using front end languages. However, having all of the necessary skills does not imply that you must work alone. For specialized jobs or projects with a vast scope, full stack developers may cooperate with individual front end or back end engineers.

Mobile application developer

A mobile application developer produces a product to fit the requirements of mobile app marketplaces such as the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. They must transform whatever raw functionality the back end development team creates into a mobile app interface that people can download to their smartphones, while also understanding the user experience created by the front end development team.

  1. Technical skills and education comparison

Employers used to demand computer science degrees (or something comparable) from both web designers and web developers. The criteria have drastically altered in recent years.

Website designer skills

Web designers may be thrust into various projects and told to work it out on their own. As a result, they should be able to work in a variety of design techniques and languages. This includes the following:

  • HTML5
  • CSS3
  • JavaScript
  • Graphic design fundamentals (for example: Figma, InVision, or Sketch)
  • Adobe suite (for example: Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator)
  • UX tools (for example: Axure or OmniGraffle)
  • Systems for managing content (for example: WordPress or Contentful)

Website developer skills

The only education necessary for web developers is familiarity with the programming languages used by your firm (or customer). The team you’re working with and your career ambitions will determine what additional coding skills you learn.

At a minimum, web developers should be aware of the following:

  • Databases (for example: SQL, Oracle, or MS Access)
  • Frameworks (for example: Angular JS, Express, or Bootstrap)
  • Version control/GIT
  • Front end design languages (HTML, CSS, and JavaScript)

Take a course—there are lots of them available—to understand the programming languages of web design vs web development. If you didn’t have the chance to get a computer science degree, you may enroll in a coding bootcamp or take advantage of a selection of online developer courses.

  1. Web designer and web developer psychological traits and non-technical talents

Both web designers and web developers require the following abilities in addition to job-specific tools:

  • Attention to detail: A single pixel or line of code might completely derail a project.
  • Logical thinking: Planning anything from beginning to conclusion while taking into account a variety of factors.
  • Problem solving: It frequently fails the first time, and you must determine what went wrong.
  • Creativity: There is no such thing as a linear solution or a notion.
  • Communication: It’s not only about constructing something; it’s also about informing others about it in a way that makes sense to them and encourages them to participate in the project.

Aside from these process abilities, a successful web developer or web designer must possess a number of attributes, including:

  • Curiosity: When confronted with difficult situations, you must be endlessly interested.
  • Grit: There will be moments when you want to give up, but you won’t be able to.
  • Friendliness: Understanding the needs of others is critical too much of your work.

These are the intangible abilities that distinguish exceptional employees from poor ones on the workplace.

  1. There are five frequent misconceptions concerning web designers and web developers.

There are many misconceptions about what these responsibilities represent and how they interact since they are not always understood.

  1. Developers earn far more than designers.

Developers make substantially more than designers, according to a prevalent cliché popularized by stories of developers becoming billionaires in Silicon Valley. While it is true that developers earn somewhat more on average, the gap is not significant. Furthermore, because there are so many other job routes to choose from, selecting design does not always restrict your long-term earning potential.

  1. Designers don’t code

Designers are in charge of making goods attractive and usable, but it doesn’t imply they don’t code as well. Not at all. In order to create accessible websites, designers use a variety of coding languages like as HTML and CSS. While a designer may choose to utilize design-focused programs such as InVision or Figma, they are usually familiar with the fundamentals of coding.

  1. Developers do not create designs.

When creating a product, developers must consider the entire process. They risk constructing something that isn’t functional if they don’t. As a result, developers will frequently collaborate with designers to prototype functionality while keeping design in mind. It’s a team effort that may begin with designers but is shared with — and worked on by — engineers as well.

  1. Learning development is more difficult than learning design.

Design employs many of the same complicated processes as development. While the structure of coding appears to be more complicated on the surface, both professions include components that are simple to acquire and others that are extremely difficult to learn or master.

  1. Web design and development will be suffocated by no-code technologies.

Many people believe that web design is a disappearing profession or that no-code tools would eventually replace web developers. No-code tools, on the other hand, shouldn’t worry you if you’re thinking about a career in web design rather than web programming for two reasons:

  1. The majority of no-code solutions are designed for fast prototyping rather than scaling up. Projects must eventually be programmed.
  2. Because no-code tools are still developed using code logic, a designer’s or developer’s skill set is still valuable.

Webflow, Canva, Bubble, Adalo, and other no-code solutions are among the most popular. They’re worth a look, even if just for ideas.

Leave your thought here

Select the fields to be shown. Others will be hidden. Drag and drop to rearrange the order.
  • Image
  • SKU
  • Rating
  • Price
  • Stock
  • Availability
  • Add to cart
  • Description
  • Content
  • Weight
  • Dimensions
  • Additional information
Click outside to hide the comparison bar