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The Fine Line Between Web Development and Web Design

May 29, 2017 9:05:00 AM

shutterstock_429107575.jpgInexperienced users routinely get confused between web development and web design, and that’s understandable because of the fine line separating them. Both functions are equally important to a successful website, so we’re going to unpack the terms for you to create a deeper understanding of each.


Identifying the Differences

Web design includes the visual layout and usability of a website, ranging from the choice of colors and images through how information flows and guides users from points A to B. The design comprises the overall user interface (UI), which is the functionality enabling visitors to move around the site and find what they are looking for. This guides the user experience (UX), which determines how long a visitor remains on the website and whether they engage with the company or not.

Web development, however, while occasionally used as an umbrella term that includes website design, typically refers to technical aspects of a website and the code that enables it to work. It ranges from choosing a language to build a site, such as HTML, CSS or JavaScript, to creating systems it runs on. The purpose of web development is to combine a client's requirements with visual aspects imagined by the designer, to bring the website to life.


How Web Development Works

Web development processes typically involve creation of complex code to build necessary applications that work in a browser. These are pieces of software that run on a website to enable visitors to perform a function. Some examples of web applications include:

  • Online calculators that provide users with updated payment values, based on daily changes in exchange rates and other factors.
  • Web commerce options, such as online stores and payment apps or methods of viewing dates and making reservations (e.g., Airbnb).
  • Web-based software that provides a service, carried out right in the browser.

Web Development Examples

AndPlus has developed complex web applications that provide functionality for clients to deliver on promises to their own customer bases. Examples of these are:

  • Crunched, which offers small businesses simple, cloud-based accounting services. Users can perform multiple operations including invoicing, making and receiving payments, cash flow management, bank reconciliations and accounting. These are all done directly on the website, without having to download anything to their own devices.
  • Bloomberg Vault, a sophisticated, database-driven information application that enables analysis and management of mass data by compliance personnel for risk management purposes.

These examples show the difference between web development and web design, and how development goes further towards creation of a site.


Choosing a Web Developer

By now it should be obvious when you’re looking for a website that does more than display your logo and a list of products and services, you need a web developer. This team will create a custom application that lives in your web browser. An efficient web developer will make the application accessible through all devices, including your mobile phone.



Topics: Web Development

Brian Geary

Written by Brian Geary

Brian is a true believer in the Agile process. He often assists the development process by performing the product owner role. In addition to his technical background, he is an experienced account manager with a background in design and marketing.

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