Website Design, Website Development, And User Experience (UX)

What Is Web Design?

The simplest way to come to an understanding of what web design is if you were to imagine a website that looked fantastic but didn’t work. The visual aspects are there but the functionality is not. When you click the buttons – trying to schedule an appointment or order a stuffed animal – nothing happens. A design doesn’t even have to be a live website, it could be a series of photoshop files or jpegs and some information such as font styles and sizes. With only these items – you would have a complete design.

What Is Web Development?

Knowing what functionality you need is the first step in the design/development process. Web development is the process of going from a design to a functional website. It is the building of the actual site, including the front-end (what you see) and the back-end (what the website does, such as e-commerce). One way to differentiate the front-end from the back-end is to think of the entire website (or application) like a car. The front-end would be everything you would see while looking at a complete car if that car had nothing under the hood. The back-end would be the motor and the transmission. Items that would not be visible – but without them – you aren’t going to make it very far.

What Is User Experience (UX)?

UX is the overall impression a user would have when visiting your website. Do they understand what your website is trying to do? Can they figure out how to navigate it? Is logging in and purchasing an item an intuitive process? Visualize walking into a corner store on a Tuesday morning, pouring a cup of hi-powered coffee, grabbing a pack of gum and heading to the counter to pay. When you get there, the person says that you have to pay for your items in the bathroom and that they only take payment in quarters from 1997. This would be an example of a bad user experience. You can still get what you want, but you probably won’t get anything.