Web Development

Web Design

Web Design vs. Web Development

Web Design vs. Web Development: Understand the differences in skill sets and roles for effective website creation.

Design and development play a common role in building functioning features for a website, but while they may seem similar, these roles require different skill sets. That’s the key difference between web development and web design.

In understanding the different skills needed for these two stages, you can adequately address modifications and additions during each process.

Interested in working with WANDR for your Web Design and Development goals? Schedule a free consultation today!

Here are the key differences between Web Design and Web Development:

Web Design

Web design is how most people generally categorize any aspect related with creating a website. When websites were simple and consisted of standard text blocks, and a few images, categorizing it all as web design made sense. However, in 2022 there is so much more involved in creating a functioning website. Today web design can be defined as creating the visual aesthetic - design systems, color, layouts, how the information is presented, and the user experience of a website which is based on efficiency and usability.

Web designers are tasked with the overall vision and outcome of a website, but this also involves user experience and user interface design. It’s more about what users are seeing as they enter your website, and the designer's job is to ensure that the design is friendly, easily usable, and visually appealing.

Dribbble - Balkan Brothers

Skill Set

The skill set needed for web design involves using applications such as Figma, Sketch, Photoshop, and any application that allows designers to customize and refine every detail visually that will go into the website. These applications can also be referred to as visual editing applications, and aid designers in forming layouts, and generating prototypes, among other tasks. Note, that web designers don’t have to know how to code, I mean, of course, a little knowledge of HTML and javascript can be useful they are not entirely necessary for designers. This is where the hand-off to the developers happens.

Web Development

Web development is entirely different from the design aspect, you can think of it as the technical side of creating a website. Web developers are responsible for building out the functionality aspect and turning the designs into a usable website with either frontend or backend coding languages. The developer's role is essentially taking the design systems or visual assets created by the web designers and implementing them into the site. While a technical role, the web development process of a website is what brings the site to life in a sense, from the clickable features to the SEO, it just doesn’t work without code. Web developers also need to consider the best UX/UI practices when developing to decide the optimal technology necessary for the users.

Dribbble -  Halo Lab

Skill Set

There are technically two kinds of web developers, frontend developers, and backend developers. Frontend web developers are in charge of translating and implementing the mockups created by the designers into fully functional designs, such as activating visual assets like buttons, scroll bars, etc. Within the frontend development, it can be highly beneficial for the developers to understand the best UX/UI practices as mentioned above. Developing with the knowledge of UX/UI principles, allows them to enable and optimize these same ideals as they are building the site through the development process. You wouldn’t want a developer that just mechanically builds a website without considering how the functioning outcome feels to users, or else you could have numerous problems with the UX/UI of your website.

Backend web development on the other hand focuses on the codes, web applications, logic, and data. Customers don’t necessarily see their work up front, but all the moving parts that bring the website to life can be credited to a lot of what the backend developers work on. Programming like Python and Java, using servers such as Linux and Express, and an extensive understanding of how all these languages work and be applied to a website in development.

Some web developers will know both the frontend and backend development processes, also referred to as full-stack developers.


Web design and web development are equally important you can’t have a well-functioning website without investing in both stages. If you really take a look at some of your favorite websites you’ll notice how crucial it is to pay attention to every step and detail that goes into a website. From how the website is visually presented at first glance to your interaction throughout the site, what aspects are properly functioning for users has a lot to do with the development process, however, the user notices the buttons to get there in the first place are what the designer brings to the table. Web design and development are all about working together, and knowing when to delegate tasks to each role is essential and useful knowledge when creating a website.

Interested in working with WANDR?

Book a free consultation call with our team, here.

What Questions Do You Have About Web Design and Development?

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