Web design is simply as the name implies, the design of a website as is displayed on the internet. It is far more intricate than coding which is what web development is about. A web designer is responsible for the User Interface and User Experience of a website.
I know you're thinking, "oh, front-end developer then?"
Well, again No. It is important to note at this point, that the web designer's work has nothing to do with coding which is the core of a web developer's work.
The web designer improves the UI and UX of a page by working on the appearance, layout and sometimes the content of a website.
Appearance: relates to the colour theme, graphic design and typography used.
Layout: refers to how the content on the website is structured and arranged.
Content: sometimes the designer also manges the content of a website. This includes the information and images displayed on the webpage.
What Skills do Web Designers Need?
In order to decide how best a website would interact with a user, it is imperative for the designer to understand how to communicate with different demographics of people. This communication knowledge and skill would enable the designer decide the most effective design the users of a website would relate to, find most appealing and in general improve the user experience of the website.
Typography is deals with the font style, weight and size used on a website. The typography of a website is important in a designer's work; it influences the way the message of a text on the website is recieved by a user. For instance writing THIS and this are completely different case settings. The all caps draws attention and as such is suitable for headlines and making emphasis but very inconvenient for reading. The small case on the other hand, would require extra features like being underlined, italized or be bold to draw attention or make emphasis. The small casing is very suitable for the body of a text.
It goes without saying that to be a web designer, you are expected to have a sound knowledge of the fundamentals of design. A good understanding of design principles would guide you on the most efficient way to combine text, colour schemes, images and graphics in a structure that would appeal to the users of the website.
The importance of colour on a website cannot be overemphasized. Not just colour on itself, the right colours that matches the content on the website and at the same time, appeals to the demographic of the target users. The developer would require this skill inorder to create colour patterns that match and create a colour pallets for the website.
As Oscar Wilde rightly said,
"Mere colour, can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways".
Graphic designs make a website more appealing and improves the general outlook of a web page. With this skill, the web designer can create graphics and infographics to make the web page more interactive and consequently, improve the general User experience of the website.
Although, web design does not deal with coding, it is obvious that the work of a web designer is no comfy bed of flowers. It requires a lot of work too. And is equally as important as that of the web developer. Web designers also earn a good amount around N142k per month in Nigeria according to Salary explorer.
I hope, you'll be able to differentiate between a web developer and web designer now.