The terms web developer and web designer are used interchangeably in advertisements and in the media. However, they are two different things. Design involves what visitors see on your website while development involves the website’s functionality.
A website contains several distinctive elements.
Look and feel
Look and feel is about the general appearance of the site. A graphic designer chooses what fonts and colors to use and the layout of each of the website pages. The graphic designer should have an appreciation for aesthetics and feel what combination of imagery and colors will portray the image which the website owner would want visitors to have of his site.
Usability is the site viewed from the user’s perspective. It involves testing things like:
Development versus Design
A lot of integration and overlap is needed between web development and web design. Web design is usually about look and feel and content creation. On the other hand, web development is about creating functionality and testing usability.
Web designers should be conversant with graphic design programs such as Photoshop. They also need to understand HTML so that they can implement designs. Site layout and animation is also the responsibility of the web designer. Many website owners provide website content, but a web designer should be able to rewrite or edit the content when necessary. Usually, web designers also do usability testing for site loading speed and navigation.
Web development programmers are responsible for website functionality. Much of that functionality needs to be integrated in the HTML pages of the site. Web developers also carry out usability testing for the functionality created. Therefore, they need to have some knowledge of HTML.
The web development programmer and the web designer need to co-operate to ensure that the site does everything the owner demands.