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Web Designer or Web Developer? Which One Are You?

Most Web Development students fall into one of two disciplines: web designer or web developer, also known as front-end developer and back-end developer. Web designers are more concerned with a website’s appearance, while web developers are more concerned with the technical side of the website or application. What is the difference between web designers and web developers? Which one are you, a web designer or web developer?

What is a Web Designer?

A web designer develops, creates, and codes web pages and associated apps. The web designer works to provide technical and graphical aspects of the website or application. Web designers are familiar with internet technology and have excellent computer programming and coding skills. The web designer must understand how networks function and have great attention to detail.

Debugging website problems is a frequent task, so the ability to problem-solve is crucial. Excellent time management skills and the ability to meet deadlines are required to be a successful web designer. Good customer relations skills and patience are beneficial. Excellent verbal and written communication is very helpful, as well. Web designers must know one or more computer coding languages, as well as have some graphic design skills.

Web designer tasks include:

  • Conceptualizing, creating, developing, and designing and producing websites and web applications
  • Interpreting the creative “look” of websites and web applications

A web designer has the following skills and traits:

Attention to Detail – achieves thoroughness and accuracy when accomplishing a task through concern for all the areas involved.

Problem Solving Skills – works through several steps or stages including problem identification, then structures the problem, looking for possible solutions, making a decision, implementing the decision, and finally monitoring feedback.

Time Management Skills – understands the difference between urgent and important. Urgent tasks demand your immediate attention whereas important tasks matter, and not doing them may have serious consequences.

Good Customer Relations – the way a web designer communicates and interacts with the client to gain and retain them. It is necessary for a web designer to cultivate good customer relations to attract and keep a loyal base.

Verbal and Written Communication Skills – being a good communicator by being a good listener. Web designers should be clear and concise, using a friendly tone, having confidence in what they are saying, showing empathy to customers and coworkers, keeping an open mind, and most of all showing respect to those they are communicating with.

Creative Skills – the ability to perceive the world in new ways, to find hidden patterns, to make connections between seemingly unrelated phenomena, and to generate solutions.

Holistic Approach – comprehension of the parts of something as intimately interconnected and explicable only by reference to the whole.

What is a Web Developer?

Web developers build the structure and functionality of a website or application. Excellent oral and written communication skills are a must for the web developer. They must have good presentation skills. The web developer must be able to work in a team environment.

Strong consulting skills and good problem-solving skills are essential for the web developer, too. Web developers must pay attention to detail and must meet tight deadlines. Since web developers typically build websites from the ground up, they need to know relevant programming languages, such as JavaScript, HTML, and CSS. The web developer must also have a general understanding of relevant hardware.

Web developer responsibilities include:

  • Testing and documenting software for websites
  • Writing, modifying, and debugging software for websites
  • Writing code to generate web pages and access databases and business logic servers
  • Working with designers and content producers

A web developer has the following skills and traits:

Oral and Written Communication Skills – being a good communicator by being a good listener. Being clear and concise, using a friendly tone, having confidence in what they are saying, showing empathy to customers and coworkers, keeping an open mind and, most of all, showing respect to those they are communicating with are all hallmarks of a good web developer.

Presentation Skills – carefully considering step-by-step preparation and the method and means of presenting information.

Customer Service Skills – gaining and retaining the web developer’s clients by communicating and interacting with them. It is necessary for a web developer to cultivate good customer relations to attract and keep a loyal base.

Problem-Solving Skills – working through several steps or stages including problem identification, then structuring the problem, looking for possible solutions, making a decision, implementing the decision and finally monitoring feedback.

Programming Skills – having impressive technical skills, a willingness to learn, debugging capabilities, problem solving skills, a business perspective, ability to plan, a teamwork mentality, and respect for deadlines.

Team Player – playing and working well as a member of a team or group. A team player shows genuine commitment, is easily adaptable, uses confident communication, is reliable and responsible, actively listens, shares opinions, is always ready to help, supports and respects others, has a problem solving approach, and is willing to compromise to come to an amicable decision.

Analytical Thinking – skills that allow a web developer to gather and analyze information, look at something through different points of view, and solve problems. Analytical skills help you be more focused and more concentrated and make better decisions. These all go into analytical thinking.

Logical Thinking – applies a systematic, sequential decision-making method. The web developer identifies the problem, investigates all factors, compares alternative solutions, and ultimately comes to a decision.

Sequential Thinking – processes chunks of information in a linear way, setting a plan or set of steps to follow.

Left Brain (Web Designer) vs. Right Brain (Web Developer)

The left brain is also referred to as the digital brain. It controls reading and writing, calculation, and logical thinking. The right brain is referred to as the analog brain. It controls three-dimensional sense, creativity, and artistic senses.

The left brain is logical, analytical, sequential, linear, mathematical, language based, and deals in facts and thinks in words. The left hemisphere of the brain is dominant in language, processing what you hear and handles most of the duties of speaking. It’s also in charge of carrying out logic and exact mathematical computations. When you need to retrieve a fact, your left brain pulls it from your memory.

The right brain is creative, imaginative, holistic in thinking, intuitive, non-verbal, based in feelings, and visual. The right hemisphere of the brain is mainly in charge of spatial abilities, face recognition, and processing music. It performs some math, but only rough estimations and comparisons. The brain’s right side also helps us to comprehend visual imagery and make sense of what we see. It plays a role in language, particularly in interpreting context and a person’s tone.

Have you figured out which one you are? Are you a web developer or web designer? Learn more about the two different disciplines and what you will learn in each at Hunter Business School.

The Hunter Business School Web Application Design and Development program covers both web development and web design classes and training. Learn more now.

References

Web Designer Salary
Web Developer Salary
What Is the Difference Between Web Design and Web Development
What Is a Logical Thinker?