Welcome to the World of Web Design

Web Design vs. Web Development

Web design and web development are often used interchangeabaly in daily conversation. This is primarily because they both have the same reference point, the screen displayed in front of a user. However, they are not the same thing. “Web design is actually a part of a broader process, which is web development.” Therefore, one cannot exist without the other. Web design involves the actual planning and creation of websites. Web designers often focus their skills on the appearance of a website which involves the layout, graphic design, color schemes, fonts, imagery, navigation and much more. Their goal is to make a website visually appealing and user friendly. On the other hand, web development involves the actual functionality of a website. Web developers focus on “building, creating and maintaining a website which includes the designing, programming, publishing and managing of a database.” Another key difference between web design and web development is the variety of languages used. Web design requires the use of markup languages such as HTML, XML, XHTML, and more in order to format the layout and design of a website. Web development requires the use of programming languages such as Javam C, C++, Python, and more in order to deliver particular commands and instructions to computers that would enable a website to actually work as intended to. Essentially, web designers can be thought of as the architects of a website, and web designers as the builders.

Despite the differences between web design and web development, both are equally important to the end result. For example, without efficient web development, a website would not be able to perform any useful functions. Without efficient web design, a website might struggle to even attract and retain any visitors. I find this point about web design particularly interesting. According to Aurora Bedford’s article Trustworthiness in Web Design, websites “must establish trust and present themselves as credible to turn visitors into customers.” In order to create this sense of trust, efficient web design is crucial. In the article, Bedford lists the four methods of communicating trustworthiness and credibility through a website. These four methods are design quality, upfront disclosure, comprehensive and current content, and connection to the rest of the web. Incorportating these methods into the design of a website can help enable a website’s success. The method that resonated with me the most was the design quality. The article helped put into perspective just how much certain details matter and the thought process behind them. For example, the color scheme of a website can make it a hit or miss with its users. I also liked the point that Bedford made that “the standard for what is considered a well-design site constantly shifts in response to trends that eventually become the norm.” I never really thought about how these shifts in trends often shape our expectations of websites over time. This brought to mind Instagram’s recent “makeover.” The app was redesigned and adopted a more minimalist style, which has become very popular in recent years and seems to be successful among young adult audiences.

The articles along with the Slack discussions and additional research, definitely allowed me to better understand the differences between web design and web development. They also allowed me to look deeper into the different aspects of the two, especially web design.




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