Web design vs Web development: which should you choose?

Creating a website involves a complex process that focuses on two main areas: web design and web development. Web design and web development are separate career paths, with different tools, skills, and approaches.

Web design vs Web development: which should you choose?
Photo by Farzad / Unsplash

Creating a website involves a complex process that focuses on two main areas: web design and web development. Web design and web development are separate career paths, with different tools, skills, and approaches. Understanding the difference is crucial if you want to launch a career in the tech space. This article will help you choose the right career path for you between web design vs web development.

What is Web design?

Web Design is the creation of a website's structure and visual elements. The goal of web design is to create an intuitive, and appealing user experience. Web designers may specialize in different disciplines that provide the skills to create beautiful and functional websites and digital products.

UX/UI Design

UX and UI design, are disciplines or branches part of web design, these focus on different aspects of web user interaction.

UI design or user interface design is the process of creating the visual and interactive elements of a website, or a digital product. UI designers create the layout, define the colors scheme icons, and other visual features like buttons, navigation menus, etc.

They are responsible for building responsive elements (elements that change depending on the user's device) ensuring the website's readability.

UX design or user experience design is the process of defining the experience that users will have while interacting with the website. UX designers create user personas and design wireframes, and user flows to help users navigate the website.

What is the profile of a web designer?

Web designers need a combination of technical and creative skills to succeed in their field here's a list of the top skills required.

  1. Knowledge of web design principles: Web designers should have a profound understanding of typography, user interaction, web layout, and other web design principles.
  2. Proficiency in software: Web designers should be proficient in different design software such as Figma, Adobe XD, Sketch, and other similar tools.
  3. Creativity and attention to detail: designers should be creative to translate clients' requirements into an appealing design, that aligns with the vision intended.
  4. Collaboration and communication: Web designers work with different professionals, such as project managers, web developers, and marketing analysts among others. Designers should be able to communicate effectively for a successful collaboration.
  5. Time management and project management: Web designers should be able to measure, and estimate the time and effort required to complete projects and meet deadlines.
  6. Continuous learning: the field advances rapidly and web designers should be willing to learn new technologies.

Web designer career overview

Focus: Web designers focus on the visual aspects of the website. They create mockups and prototypes of the website's design and ensure that the design is user-friendly and appealing.

Skills: Web designers require skills in graphic design, typography, color theory, and user experience (UX) design. They work with software such as Figma, Illustrator, and Sketch among others.

Responsibilities: Their responsibilities include, understanding client's requirements, creating website designs, demonstrating mock-ups and site drafts, and creating appealing products.

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What is Web development?

Web development is the creation of a website through coding and different programming languages, web development includes front-end development (what the user sees and interacts with) and back-end development (the database and server programming). Web developers can specialize in front-end or back-end. There's also Full-stack development which includes both front-end and back-end specialization.

What is the profile of a web developer?

Developers use different skills, programming languages, (the set of rules, and instructions for a computer to execute specific tasks), and frameworks to create websites.

Here's a list of fundamental web developer skills:

  1. Proficiency in programming languages: Web developers should master several languages such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and others depending on the company's needs. These languages create structure, visuals, and interaction of websites and their elements.
  2. Database and server programming: Databases store several forms of files, images, text, numbers multimedia, etc. Websites read, store, or display this data. A server is a piece of hardware or software that provides a service and allows other devices, or programs to connect to such service. This is fundamental for web developers to create several applications for their websites.
  3. Testing and debugging: Web developers should be able to test and debug their applications to ensure proper functionality and security.
  4. Communication and collaboration: Developers will interact with different professionals from different backgrounds. Designers should be able to understand their requirements to successfully complete their projects.
  5. Time and project management: Developers should be proficient in prioritizing, delegating, and eliminating tasks, and dominate different project management methods to complete their projects.
  6. Continuous learning: Just as web design, the web development field is evolving. Developers should be willing to update their skills and knowledge to stay relevant to market needs.

Web developer career overview

Focus: Web developers focus on creating and maintaining functional websites, through front-end and back-end coding.

Skills: Web developers use programming tools such as text editors, libraries, and version control systems to write and maintain a website's code. They specialize in different coding languages such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript among others.

Responsibilities: Building web pages and websites, testing website functionality, ensuring website security and scalability, optimizing content, etc.

Factors to consider when deciding between web design vs web development

Factors to consider when deciding between web design vs web development
Foto de Kelly Sikkema en Unsplash

Interests and skills: One of the top factors is to consider your personal interests and skills. Some people lean toward analytical and problem-solving career paths, while others enjoy the aspects of creative, aesthetic, and visual processes.

Career goals: Another factor is career goals. You should consider your goals and choose a path that allows you to reach those goals. UX/UI design and web development are thriving fields with the opportunity to access lucrative careers. Consider which career you would like to pursue.

Job prospects: This one ties in with the latest entry, the job offer is an important aspect to consider. The demand, competition, and the market's needs determine the future of any career. Investigate your options to make an informed decision.

Education and training: You should consider the training necessary to successfully launch a career in either field. Both require learning that is up-to-date with the latest industry trends and tools.

Choose your career path and start your training with V School

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We customize curriculum specific to your background and learning needs. After, you will work on real-life projects to fill in the experience gap and have a portfolio that will get you hired.

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We're happy to help you decide and create a plan for your future career as a UX/UI designer or web developer.