What is the difference between a designer and a developer?

Creative | 3 minute read

For B2B companies, a website isn’t just a digital shop window but a primary driver of leads and sales. That’s because no less than 89% of B2B customers search the web before making a purchase.

In this article, we take a deep dive into two of the roles instrumental in ensuring your website makes a great first impression on your target audience: designers and developers.

We’re often asked what the difference is between the two. After all, both designers and developers work in the digital realm bringing B2B websites to life. So let’s start by looking at what each role involves.

 

What is a designer?

Think of a designer as the person who makes your website look great. They use their artistry skills and creative juices to design the look, layout, and functionality of your site.

Their vision includes being responsible for the aesthetics (such as colour schemes and typography), the flow of the content, and meeting the needs of the end-user.

Some designers specialise in all of the above, whereas others choose to specialise in certain areas:

  • Web Designer: Making the site look and feel appealing is their goal focusing on the visual elements.
  • UX designer: Their primary focus is to discover the user’s needs and ensure that the flow of the site is in line with their requirements.
  • UI designer: They use the user information gathered by UX designers to ensure the interface design and every touchpoint is user-friendly.
  • Visual designer: Their role includes elements of UX and UI, such as visual design and creating an effective user journey.

 

What is a developer?

In a nutshell, web developers bring a designer’s designs to life. Using a variety of programming languages (known as code), their job is to make sure that the site is fully functional and ready for web visitors to use online.

Sometimes referred to as ‘devs’, the programming language developers use to build and maintain sites include HTML, JavaScript, PHP, .NET, Ruby, Java, and CSS.

As with designers, developers often focus on specialist areas such as:

  • Front-end developers: They look after the user-facing aspect of the site creating the frameworks that the user interacts with.
  • Back-end developers: Their focus is the areas of the site that the users don’t see – the coding on databases and servers.
  • Full-stack developers: As the name suggests, full-stack developers do it all, coding both the front-end and back-end.

 

Why you need both

If you want a website, you need a designer and a developer. It’s only when their powers are combined that the end result is a high-quality, user-friendly, great-looking site.

Ideally, your designer will have some knowledge of the digital landscape, or your developer will have their work cut out getting the designer’s functionality to work as expected!

In today’s digital-savvy age, some designers also develop and some developers also have design skills. This greatly benefits the project as it means everyone has an understanding of the entire process.

Plus, there’s plenty of research that shows the importance of having a website that looks good and works seamlessly:

In conclusion, designers and developers may have very different roles, but they are both vital components of an effective website.

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Whether you need design or development help, we’re the go-to choice. Our designers create beautiful, clever designs, and our developers turn the designs into user-friendly sites, apps, and partner portals. Find out more here or get in touch.

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