Web design and web development can easily be confused for the being the same thing. You could be forgiven for thinking that as both roles concern the functioning of a website. However, where one concerns the aesthetic of the website and how users interact with it, the other is focused on making the site work.
Web Designers, also called User Experience (UX) Designers, plan out the website and webpages. They consider the intent of the website and how users will interact with the content. They may do this by creating wireframes of the site to understand how it will hang together. The Web Designer can then move on to designing the website, following brand guidelines to create the designs for the client to review.
Following the Web Designers work, a Web Developer works to make this design a reality. Web Developers can be front-end or back-end developers, or sometimes they may be both. No matter their specific skill set, it is their responsibility to ensure all aspects of the website work as expected.
Web Design and Web Development Working Together
The nature of web design and web development mean that these roles work closely together. So much so that sometimes one person will fill both roles. In either case, the design and the development of a site must be a collaborative process where both sides take into account the capabilities and intentions of the other. A Web Designer must understand the feasibility of what they are designing and how this could be created. Web Developers must consider the intricacies of the design they are to follow and the importance of the design choices that have been made.
While web design and web development are different disciplines, they are closely related roles that must work together to create attractive, intuitive and functioning websites. To read more about web development, take a look at our blog on The Stages of Web Development.