The terms “web design” and “web development” are commonly used in media and advertisements. There is a lot of similarity and integration between the two words; however, they are completely different and have entirely diverse meanings.
It is the customer-facing part of a website, meaning the design is the first thing that internet users see upon arrival at any website. Since it is the 21st century, people expect a development in the way that websites look; in teenage language, “cool”. A web designer’s job is not easy. It is stressful and puts a lot of pressure on them because of people’s expectations. They are also concerned with how his/her website should look like and what the feedback of customers will be when his/her site is released.
A good web designer must be familiar with the principles of design and how to put them together to create a site that looks good. He/she must also know and understand the usability of a website and how to test it.
The Principles of Design
The basic principles of design apply, and are crucial, not only to website designing, but to any other type of design. Abiding by these principles will help web designers create and produce more pleasing designs.
1. Balance – is the distribution of light and heavy elements on a page. Larger and darker elements appear heavier than smaller, lighter elements. Balance will show you how to lay out your pages properly so that your website will work efficiently.
2. Contrast – when people think of contrast, they always think of color. However, there is more to contrast than just color. Contrast can be applied to shapes (square vs. circle), sizes (big vs. small) and even textures (rough vs. smooth).
3. Emphasis – This is what is eye-catching in a design. Web designers or artists have been tempted to emphasize everything; however, it just makes the design bland. Instead, a designer should determine the hierarchy of a page. Then based on that hierarchy, apply the emphasis to the elements.
4. Rhythm – can also be called repetition. Rhythm brings internal stability to one’s web designs. Repetition provides patterns for your site, and since patterns are easy for people to comprehend, they will easily understand your website.
5. Unity – is the principle of keeping similar elements together and keeping different elements distant from each other.
Web designers also need to be an expert with various graphic design tools, for instance, Adobe Photoshop. Most would also use HTML as a tool to their designs. Site owners would provide the content and space for a site, but it is the web designer’s job to provide the layout for the desired content.
Web development, on the other hand is the back-end of a website, or in other words “behind the scenes”. It involves the programming and interactions on websites. A web developer focuses on how a site works and what internet users do on their site. They can also conduct usability tests like web designers do, but only for the functionality they create. Good developers must be familiar with CGI, because they will need to program it. They must also be well aware of scripts like PHP and also HTML. Developers must know how web forms work and how to keep a website successful.
Despite being completely different from each other, web designers and developers need to work together in order to follow the owner’s wishes and produce a great and effective website.