SERP Matrix builds, develops, and maintains custom content management-based websites and mobile applications that allow businesses to thrive online. Our web design and development team can work closely with you throughout the entire process so you can be assured that your visitors have positive experiences.
Web design and development have evolved considerably over the past two decades. It will take an entire team to launch a polished website, and there are two important roles on any team: Web designers and developers.
Although designers and developers usually work together, they typically do different tasks to get a website online. It is possible that someone may be a designer and a developer at the same time, but these are often two different roles.
Difference between web design and web development
The difference between web design and web development will be the focus. Web design stresses creating a website’s look and feels via design tools while web development will be concerned with bringing a look and feel to life via programming languages.
Web design will focus on creating different graphical elements for online use. Designers could create infographics, ads, logos, and primarily the visual look and feel of a website.
Activities that web designers typically take care of include:
- Wireframe design prototypes
- Creating home pages, inner pages, and landing pages
- Working with developers and project managers to build and redesign websites
When they work on websites, designers often focus on how they can create a good user experience (UX) for website visitors. Designers could use tools such as Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator to create the elements that will make up a website.
UX design has become an emerging form of web design that is all about making sure everything a person creates has a user in mind. UX designers will make sure websites are designed for different devices, and a layout will be practical and easy to follow.
Designers often have knowledge of code, such as HTML and CSS, but a lot of their work will focus on a website’s appearance.
Whereas web designers focus on the visuals of a website, web developers work on bringing visuals to life. Designers use different programming languages, such as HTML, PHP, and Java, to develop a website’s core functionality.
Functionality could be things such as what happens when someone clicks a button or how the main navigation loads when a user scrolls or clicks on it. A developer could work with a content management system (CMS) to get a website online and available to users.
Some of the common systems include:
Much of a web developer’s work also focuses on maintaining websites, so doing things like upgrading CMS, managing security, and offering web support for any issues that arise. When a company wants to improve its website, it should think of web design and development as two essential areas that work together.
It will not be a designer against a developer in most cases. Both parties must know how to design a website and have a modern website that works well for users.
What do web design and development agencies do?
If you hire an agency that focuses on both web design and development, you will be getting the best of both worlds. You not only get a team of people dedicated to making sure a website looks modern and captures a brand identity, but you are also sure that your website will do what you want it to do.
If you want an animation on your homepage, designers and developers can work on that. If you need to create interactive graphs that tell a story, designers, and developers can do that, too.
When you hire a full-service agency, the agency will likely include search engine optimization (SEO) in the web design package so more people can find the company when they’re using Google, Bing, or another search engine. SEO is incredibly important because over half of all web traffic comes from organic search results.
To be successful, a website needs to look good, create a good user experience, and be optimized for search engines. A good design and development team will make sure a website meets all of these criteria.
A web design team, typically led by a project manager, can work with a person to figure out their needs and desires, so they get the website they have always wanted. Designers and developers will take time to understand a business and competitors, so they can be confident their website captures the essence of their company.
If you are thinking about hiring a designer or a developer, why not hire both? You can also hire an entire team of web design and development professionals.
It can help to separate website creation into two categories: what users see and what they do not.
What a user sees occurs in a browser and involves design and front-end development. Design defines a website’s colors, layout, font, and images and requires tools like Photoshop, Illustrator, Fireworks, and Sketch.
Some designers code and some front-end developers design, but some designers will not touch a piece of code. There are also some front-end developers that will stick to coding and nothing else.
What a user does not see takes place on a server and involves back-end development. A website needs a back end to store and organize all the data that comes through the front end.
This means that if a user buys something or fills out a form, they will be entering information into an application on the front end of the website. The information will be stored in a database that lives on a server.
A website will work the way a person wants it to because the front and back ends of a website are always communicating. A back-end developer is basically a conductor who makes sure applications, databases, and servers work together harmoniously using languages like Ruby, PHP, .Net, and Python along with frameworks like Ruby on Rails and Code Igniter.
Web designers are constantly solving problems for users. Websites must make it easy for users to go where they want to go and do what they want to do.
Frustrated users are less likely to stick around, let alone come back to websites. This is why each web design element is in service of making the website as easy to use as possible: so people visit and interact with the website over and over again.
Elements of Web Design
Layout: A layout will be the arrangement of a website’s header, navigation menu, footer, content, and graphics. A layout will depend on a website’s purpose and how a web designer wants the user to interact with a website. \
Visual hierarchy: Users should be able to access the information they need by glancing at websites. Visual hierarchy comes in here because it is the process of determining which aesthetic aspects of the website should stand out using size, color, spacing, and more.
Navigation: Navigation will help a user get from point A to point B using navigational tools like site architecture, menus, and search bars. Simple, effective navigation helps users find the information they’re looking for quickly and easily.
Color: Color will give a website personality, make it stand out, and show a user how to take action. A color palette might be determined by a brand’s existing identity or by the content of a website.
Graphics: Graphics will include the logos, icons, and images that live on a website. They should complement the color palette, layout, and content.
Speed: A user’s first impression relies on how long it takes for a website to load. If it takes too l