Web Design vs. Website Development: 2 parts of an equation

Reading The Psychology of a Website by Matthew Capala has opened my eyes to the importance of art and design being critical for the site’s success. While a website must be pleasing to the eye (encouraging engagement), it must also meet the business’s goals and be an asset for converting prospects into customers. Function and form must join together the same way our brains work, with the left half responsible for ‘logic’ and the right half ‘creative.’

Web Design

Graphic design makes or breaks web design. Are your pictures or graphics consistent throughout the site? Does the page look right; do you have the optimal theme? Does it have a balance to it pleasing to the eye? Website colors and fonts demand thought and attention. And most importantly – is it optimized for mobile?

Website Development

If you know what your site should look like – congratulations. You now move on to develop your vision with the tools you know or are willing to learn. Do you have the optimal keywords on your landing pages? Do you have great meta descriptions enticing traffic to your site? Images need alt-tags for visually impaired visitors but SEO purposes as well. Do you have CSS and JS minified? The most crucial aspect of development is the placement of the ‘Call To Action.’ 

Strike a Balance

I’ve found it best to plan for these functions individually, grouping them into left brain and right brain slots. Said another way – I will get design and images set in place first generally. Later I will come back and do all of that tedious ‘left brain’ stuff. These are two very different functions of building the best website, and focus helps make this easier. 

Right or Left – what’s better?

So what is better – having a slick website that looks great or having an optimized website that looks like 1996 is back? By now, dear reader, I would hope you know that you need both. Leave a comment with your favorite website that has an excellent balance in the comment section.