Web DesignWeb Development

The Difference Between UI/UX Designers and Web Developers

By January 14, 2019 No Comments

You’ve maybe heard the term UI and UX thrown around when talking about web development. But what do they mean? What’s the difference between a UI/UX designer and a web developer? UI/UX designers are more focused on the end user. They ask questions like “How will the user interact with this?” and “Is this easy to navigate and understand?” Web developers are more focused on the functionality and technicality of a website. They make sure the website is working properly. Both of these positions are extremely important to making a great website. Both must work together in order to make sure the website isn’t broken and is easy to use.

UI and UX Design

User Interface and User Experience are very important to a website. After all, the whole point of a website is so people can use it to solve problems and get information as easily as possible. User experience (or UX for short) focuses on the customer and making sure their experience is as pleasant and painless as can be. It takes a broader look at the product or service  being offered and makes sure it’s meeting the needs it set out to address. UX also deals in areas like accessibility and credibility. The product or service offered needs to be easily accessible by all people, no matter what language they speak or what disability they have.

“A user interface is like a joke. If you have to explain it, it’s not that good.”

While UX takes a broader approach to the product or service being offered, User Interface (or UI) focuses on the interface the end user interacts with. This could be anything from your Facebook dashboard to the interface used to order items on Amazon. We’ve all been frustrated trying to figure out a confusing website or application. UI designers try to make using these services as easy to use as possible. It’s often said that great design isn’t even noticed. Using a website should be so painless and easy to use, you don’t even think about it. UI designers plan out how a website will be presented to the user and how they will navigate to different pages. Will the website scroll from top to bottom or left to right? How will the content be divided up as to not be too overwhelming? These are all important ideas to keep in mind when making a website. Although an interface could make perfect sense to a UI designer, making sure the end user also understands is equally important. 

Web Developers

While UI/UX developers focus on the interactivity and presentation of a website, web developers focus on the technical aspect of a site. They make sure the site is actually running and is functioning the way it should. Web developers dip into many different areas of technology including programming, setting up databases, and Search Engine Optimization.

Basic code like HTML, CSS, and Javascript are all used on websites, whether it’s WordPress or Squarespace or not. All three of these languages are the backbone of all websites. Although WordPress or Square Space does a lot of the work for you, knowing how to use them is important when something goes wrong or you need to add a custom change to a theme or plugin.

Navigating servers and setting up databases is also something most web developers will have to do. When a website needs to go live, files need to be transferred to the server that will host the site. In the case of WordPress a database needs to be setup and the “wp-config” file needs to be configured properly.

Finally, Search Engine Optimization or “SEO” for short is extremely important for web developers to know. SEO is a field that deals with how search engines like Google or Bing rank websites. Knowing how SEO works is important because it can help your website show up in more searches. Search Engines look at the content and structure of a website and determine how relevant it is to the term someone is searching for. Web developers often work with clients to make sure their website is being ranked the way it should. SEO is such an important field these days that some people become professionals in it and make it their specialty. So although web developers often work with SEO, SEO professionals can take it to the next level.

To Recap...

When you visit a great website or use a cool application, there is a team of people who made it happen. Everything from the logo to where buttons are placed are all thought out by UI/UX designers, graphic designers, and web developers. All of these fields are integral to making sure the user can easily navigate and use a product.

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