When people ask us what we do we tell them we do “custom web development” and of course the first thing that they respond with is, “oh, so you design websites”. Well yes and no. Web developers can be involved in the design process but we usually leave that up to the designers. We tend to focus more on the code and the functionality. Or as we like to put it, “web designers make it look pretty, we make it work”. We take a design or multiple designs and convert them from images into the applications you use every day.
What does a web designer do?
Web designers typically attend art school or have a background in the arts. Developers tend to think of them as being more creative and outgoing. They spend their days working in Adobe tools like Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign creating mockups, layouts and coming up with the overall look and feel of the website. They usually don’t end up writing the actual code that runs your website. Instead they hand over the designs files or sliced up images to a developer and the developer takes over from there.
A designer has to be very creative and have a knowledge of user experience design because they are coming up with a design from a blank slate to fit the needs of their specific customer. They have templates and best practices they can use but it does take a talented eye to mix fonts, colors and iconography to create a cohesive experience that users will understand the first time they see it.
Designers tend to have a strong grasp on color, typography, special relationships and user experience.
What does a web developer do?
Developers typically attend engineering programs or technical schools and have a background in computer science. Designers tend to think of them as being introverted, head down workers who stay up late and drink lots of mountain dew. They spend their days working in a variety of different tools depending on the programming language they are most comfortable with. With code ranging from c# to php, ruby to java, the possibilities are endless when it comes to programming and just like any foreign language it takes a lot of practice before you truly become a master.
Developers try to assist in the design process because at the end of the day they are the ones responsible for taking the design that is created and building it. They can voice their opinions and make sure that designers don’t go crazy with features that won’t work across every medium.
Developers tend to have a strong grasp on programming techniques, search engine optimization, database interaction, testing and performance tuning.Skill Set
Why do web developer and designers have to work together?
You can’t have one without the other because both positions go hand in hand. In order to make an effective website you have to have a great team of web developer and web designers. The key to coming in budget on a lot of projects is cooperation between the design and development teams so that during the early stages of a project the designers aren’t coming up with new ideas that will go over the budget in development.
As the web as grown from desktops all the way down to smart phones, it has become increasingly important for the design team to work with the development team to modify how elements on the page get shifted as they scale from a large screen down to a small screen. It’s not possible to mockup every single screen size anymore so having one on one interaction with the designers to tweak elements on the fly is crucial.
Are there people that do both design and development?
Yes it’s possible but usually people tend to pick one and stick to it. This is because of the overwhelming amount of knowledge that is needed to use both design tools and development tools effectively. The web is moving at such a fast pace that to try and stay ahead in both spaces in almost impossible.
Who makes more money?
On average web developers make more money. Keep in mind these are just averages and there are always exceptions for truly talented designers and developer
- Min: $26,250
- Max: $77,490
- Min: $33,550
- Max: $105,220
Why are developer and designers so vital to every business?
Everyone wants to sell online or use online for marketing. It’s a 24/7 business that never turns off and can produce continuous revenue even when you’re sleeping. Think of your website as a sales person that never needs vacation, doesn’t need breaks, doesn’t need health insurance and is always trying to get you new customers. Designers and developers can turn your website into a selling machine. But a bad designer can cost you if customers don’t understand what they need to do and bad developer can cost you if things on your website don’t work or your website goes down.
So choose wisely the next time you have to pick a web designer and web developer.