At the initial sight or sound of the two-word terms “web design” and “web development,” it is understandably easily to assume that they are one in the same.  Or at least similar, for that matter.  But really, the two major parts that go into the creation of a website are substantially different from each other.

How about a few comparisons that help to explain web design vs. web development:

  • Web designers are artists; Web developers are geeks (in a good way, of course).
  • Web design is an art; Web development is a science.
  • Web designers are architects; Web developers are builders.
  • Web design is creative; Web development is technical.
  • Web designers are right-brained; Web developers are left-brained.

The list could on, but these examples will probably suffice for now—and hopefully provide some initial clarity on the relationship between web design and web development.

What Does Web Design Involve?

Web designers basically practice a unique brand of graphic design.  Great web designers are creative artists that know how to bring design together perfectly with goals and desires in order to “paint a picture” that draws the visitor’s eye.  Web design is all about getting the colors right and getting the shapes and sizes right; it focuses on images, fonts, and where they should be on the page.  And naturally, it combines all of the elements found throughout a website into one cohesive look & feel.  Web design really is an art!

What Does Web Development Involve?

Web developers take the graphical web design—the look and feel, if you will—and make it work.  Web development is all about coding, software programming, and making the technical aspects of a website work exactly the way they should.  It also typically involves the ensuring that security and web hosting are setup and implemented just the way they should be…and that everything works well together from a functionality perspective. Your web developers are the mad scientists behind the scenes that bring the designer’s vision to life.

Now, For The Kicker…

Some web designers are also great web developers; and some web developers are also very proficient at web design.  If that sounds confusing, just remember, like anything in life, sometimes the right side of the brain and the left side of the brain work together in perfect harmony.  As a full-service web firm, here at Sleepless Media, we happen to be harmoniously proficient at both the art of design and the science of development.

Why Is Balance Between The Two Practices So Important?

You’ve probably seen websites that come across as way too technical and logical.  On the other hand, you’ve surely run across websites that theoretically look fantastic—but then they don’t work correctly or jam up your entire computer.  Either of these scenarios can happen when balance between design and development is off-kilter.

The bottom line is that in order for a web design to work, in order for it to achieve and carry out the goals expected of it, a fine-line combination of both web design and web development must be implemented with great care.

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