Web Designers create the visual aesthetic of a website with a layout program or Photoshop. This includes the “UI” or nav bar, background image, graphics, menus etc. they then export these images as 72dpi web files. a designer is responsible for the look and feel of a website, and keeping it consistent with current brand standards.
A Web Devloper, takes the designers plan and combines the designers images into an html framework. The developer is responsible for the function and operation of the website.
These are two very different skill sets one is creative, the other is scientific. Some peoplecan do both, but very few do either well.
A web designer:
- Focuses on look and feel of a website
- Is competent in color scheming, graphic design, and information flow
- Creates a great user experience
- Is right-brained: Strong intuition, creativity, & imagination
- Portfolio is worth more than a degree
- Median salary: $47,820
A web developer:
- Creates the inner workings of a website
- Is competent in programming languages (PHP, .NET, Python, C, Ruby)
- Develops the user interface
- Is left-brained: logic, linear thinking, technical
- Hands-on coding experience is required (either your own products or github)
- Median salary: $85,430
So which profession do you choose?
Everyone I spoke to recommended not to.
Haney thinks it is important to not think of web design and development as two entirely different entities.
“Without them both, there is no usable web. Whether you’re in charge of both or working within a team doing one or the other, make sure your process flows in both directions,” he says.
If you don’t know what you want to do and are still deciding between the two, then try working with Photoshop one day, and Sublime the next. Like Steve Jobs said, “As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on.” So start looking. Go find it.
Do either of these careers sound interesting to you? Let us know in the comment section or read some of our related articles below.