Web Designer and Web Developer: A Conclusive and Insightful Comparison

The terms “web designer” and “web developer” are often used interchangeably by people for many reasons; it could be because of the recurring instances where designers often learn to already have some skills of web developers and vice versa, or they are not as knowledgeable when it comes to the constant blur of those two web-related jobs. In the article Web Designers and Web Developers: What are they and Their Clear yet Distinguished Qualities?, it was clearly defined about what web designers and web developers are, as well as their classifications based on the aspects that they truly excel in.

In this article, we aspire to provide you with the clearest comparison between a web designer and a web developer, starting from their scope of roles to their similarities and differences.

Web Designer
Photo Credits: Behind the Screens

Scope of Roles

Web Designer

Web designers are those people who are focused on the visual appeal of the website, giving more importance even on the mere placements of the buttons that will help users move through the website with ease. Within web designers are three types that determine the parts of the website where they are the most adept with: User Experience (UX) Designer, User Interface (UI) Designer, and Visual Designer. These three types also determine the roles of web designers and they have their own specific focus.

User Experience (UX) Designer

UX designers put priority and take responsibility for the actual engagement of the users visiting your website. They move through to make evaluations before finalizing a website design and many other valuable steps to ensure that users make the most out of the website. All the tests that they would run would be necessary for optimal user experience as well as user satisfaction. Additionally, they are the ones that would figure out the needs and wants of the users that are visiting from specific webpages. Under this specific role are tasks that they perform such as:

  • Determining and summarizing user personas
  • Building and forming user stories
  • Executing tests among users and generating feedback

UX designers make sure that your website contains the following aspects for good user experience:

  • Logical web flow
  • Intuitive interactions
  • User needs fulfillment

Remember, good user experience design means good user experience. When a UX design is too complicated to grasp or it is too detached from user fulfillment, there is a good chance that 89% of customers would be lost and would look for other websites  that would most probably be one of your competitors.

User Interface (UI) Designer

UI designers ensure that the processing upon the clicking of buttons is seamless, regardless of the sizes of the device that the users are using to view the website. It is under their responsibility to make sure that every button and navigation serves its purpose without much of a glitch within the website.

With user interface designers, the possibility of having the smoothest flow with the websites is more often guaranteed than not. This is also ensured by UI designers so that there would not be much of a problem with the other parts of the website.

Listed below are the things that UI designers put heavy focus on:

  • Aesthetics
  • Elimination of unnecessary elements depending on brand guidelines
  • Layout
  • Less complicated usability
  • Neatness and interactivity
  • Visual display
  • Visual consistency

One thing to always keep in mind when forming your user interface for your website is to never settle for less. An outstanding user interface can improve and bring good results to your website’s conversion rate, upping it by 200%. 

Visual Designer

Visual designers are basically the fusion of both UX and UI designers and they could shoulder both roles on their own. Their digital product depends on your brand voice and they carry the responsibility for both the aesthetic appeal of your website as well as the technicalities of design and some programming.

Web Developer

Web developers focus on the technicality of building a website and the servers that make up one. There are three main roles that web developers can fulfill: Front-end developer, Back-end developer, and Full Stack developer.

Front-end Developers

Front end developers work closely with web designers as they are around to fulfill any demand that has anything to do with the user. As the front-end of a website is all where clients are directly in contact with, it is also referred to as the client-based part of the website. The main priority of front-end developers is to ensure that they get to implement the website according to the full design given by the web designer. 

Back-end Developer

Back-end developers handle the servers that make up a whole website and they are usually the ones in charge of either making or maintaining the site as a whole. They handle the heavy part of website-building, making their priority more on the accuracy of every program that they handle.

Full Stack Developer

Given that full stack developers produce work that is a mix of front-end and back-end development, they usually contain more expertise on the receiver of their digital products. This includes further knowledge with the functionality of the internet on different levels, if not all. The following are a few of the things they are more than versed with:

  • Database operations and querying
  • Server-side application programming interface (API) coding
  • Web page structuring and designing via HTML, CSS, and JavaScript
  • Website debugging

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Similarities Between Web Designers and Web Developers

Web designers and web developers are both important for companies, especially when they are in need of establishing and maintaining their online presence. Both roles also require heavy knowledge of their expertise and how they excel in programming is also heavily expected from both web designers and web developers. As they usually work together, they constantly had to go back and forth with the design and its parallelism with the program to ensure smooth and seamless transitions of the buttons and navigation located on the interface.

Web designers and web developers also sport strong determination to analyze and solve every problem that would come up, both during and after building the digital product or website and also during its maintenance. Additionally, both are usually up to date with the trends and innovations within their field as this knowledge helps them generate and produce ideas that they would program for the business. This way, they would also provide a lot of concepts that are the most suitable for the business or the company and their vision.

Mostly regarded with the relationship similar to cat and dogs, web designers and web developers have one priority in mind; that is to ensure that the client and the users are satisfied with the website and they would experience excellent user experience. 

Differences Between Web Designers and Web Developers

The same way apple is an apple and orange is an orange, web designers and web developers have their own distinctions that set them apart from each other. It is mentioned that both web designers and web developers have their shared set of skills. However, it is important to note that these skills differ depending on their roles and their mastery would also depend on their own field.

As mentioned, web designers specialize on the visual appeal and layouts of websites so it is already expected that they are more knowledgeable for anything that would put emphasis on the cleanliness of the layout, the graphics, and most especially, the aesthetics of the website. The softwares and programs that they utilize in doing their work also depend on the digital product that they aim to showcase.

Most of all, web designers unleash their creativity and somehow boast all their prowess through finding the right products that would perfectly fit and represent their clients; from its logo, colors, and landing pages, they make sure to keep in perfect unity. 

Web developers excel on their mastery regarding their programming skills to provide the best outcome for the proposed website design. They are the most excellent in running the behind the scenes of every website to provide a smooth experience with its functionality. With the specific software languages that they have extensive knowledge of, it is nearly admirable that they manage to conclude a website and keep it running after it is opened through the world wide web.

In simpler terms, web designers are the right part of the brain which is responsible for creativity as well as innovation, and web developers are the left part of the brain and handles all the technicalities and complex codes needed for programming.


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