WEB: Designer vs Programmer?

19 Apr WEB: Designer vs Programmer?

Its as simple as this: designers rarely program and programmers rarely design. They may be able to do the basics, but when you need serious design or complex programming, hire accordingly. If you need both, then hire both… preferably professionals that have worked together well before. Its rare that you find an individual that can do both well… its like trying to win the lottery, it happens to those lucky few.

As a designer, I’ll be the first to admit I don’t do complex programming. I can manipulate code and customize stock web and email templates, but if you need someone beyond this, then you need a programmer. Even this is more than what most graphic designers are usually capable of or willing to do. Programming is nothing like design, its a complex skill of languages and programmers may specialize in particular languages.

Designers deal with the aesthetics and branding, but web design is very different than designing for print. It involves information design and organization, user friendly functionality, and structuring the graphics so that it translates to files the programmer can use and that will load faster on the web. Today, open source CMS applications, such as WordPress, opens the door for designers to create and maintain simple custom websites. And if you are a designer who is pretty decent with code, then you can get deeper into the code and create more complex custom websites, but with more effort and time. But if you have more specific needs than wordpress can provide, then you are back to needing a programmer.

If you need to hire both a designer and a programmer, then you need to find a programmer that can work with designers and particularly a designer that can work with programmers. Web programming has its own language which you need to understand to communicate. Most designers knows the difference between an image file formatted for print vs web, but what is involved in web programming and design goes so far beyond that, its takes years of experience to really get the feel for it.

So if you find yourself at a loss as to what you need? Talk to a seasoned designer thats done a good amount of web design. They will most likely be able to steer you in the right direction because they know what they are capable of and when to take on a programmer.