As a developer, I can say that there are many overlaps and integration needed between web design and web development. When you rush into a mix of content creation and usability testing, you are confronted with a real mess. In general, the difference between web design and web development is that:
Web designers should have experience with graphic web design tools, such as Photoshop or InDesign. Most also need to know HTML for a better understanding of the work and the ability to implement their own websites and projects. However, the use of animation on the site and the layout of the content are also part of the responsibility of the web designer.
Web development involves the creation of the website functionality and its integration into the HTML pages. Web developers also do usability testing on the site, at least for the functionality they create. Therefore, the developer must also have knowledge of HTML.
In essence, any website contains several different aspects. Creation of these aspects can be conditionally divided between web designers and web developers.
• Appearance – first of all graphics, color scheme, navigation elements, etc.
Appearance is how your website looks like. A graphic designer decides which colors and fonts to use and how each page will be placed. The graphic designer should also have a sense of aesthetics, understand how colors are combined, and how the images will be projected by the image that the site owner wants to show the visitors. This aspect refers to web design.
• Content – information, products that are available on the website.
• Functionality – the functionality includes interactive features that the website provides visitors and the necessary infrastructure to ensure them.
The functionality includes all interactive aspects of the website, as well as animation. A common denominator is that programmers using different web programming languages work either on a web server or in a web browser, creating all these functions.
Flash is used to create animations. Perl, PHP, and Java are programming languages used on the web server to create complex dynamic web pages. These pages can work independently, but most often with a database to create all the functions that we used to expect from a website.
There are other backend applications that are invisible to visitors, such as form processing, content management, and other programs that allow non-programmers to maintain certain aspects of website data.
All these programs must be integrated into the HTML code that will be used on the web page and here comes web development.
• Usability – a site from the visitor’s point of view, which includes such things as an interaction of elements, ease of navigation and usefulness of the resource.
Usability is how a website looks and functions from the user’s point of view. It mainly involves testing things, for example:
• Does the look convey the proper image of the website?
• Is navigation easy and intuitive to use?
• Does navigation lead a visitor to where they need to be?
• Is the website loading fast?
• Do applications work properly?
These issues require a complex approach and joint efforts of designers and developers.