A layout designer and a front-end developer. What's the difference?

A layout designer's tools include a text editor for writing and editing code, as well as a graphics program for working with the layout. It is impossible to imagine web page layout without HTML. This is a markup language responsible for the content of the page: headings, paragraphs, lists and more. It tells the browser exactly what to display. CSS, the language that describes the appearance of the page, is responsible for the design of the page. It is thanks to the CSS code that the browser determines how this or that element looks, how it is positioned in relation to other elements, etc.
In the Magenta Favorita blog we continue to delve into the multifaceted world of IT careers. Today we are going to talk about layout designers and frontend developers. Both create websites and web applications. We will understand the similarities and differences between these professions, what tools and knowledge are needed to do the job.

Creating a website is quite a complex process. It consists of several stages. It all starts with the brief - a document that describes the structure of the future site. Based on this, the designer creates a layout - the appearance of the pages. These images then need to be translated into code that opens in the browser. This process is called website layout.

The concept of 'layout' came to IT from the publishing industry. In books, newspapers and magazines, blocks of text and images are arranged in such a way as to maximise the perception of the material and interest the reader. Websites are no different. Vertsalchik places the elements correctly on the page and makes them comfortable to work with. Website layout is a responsible task that requires attention and patience.
It may seem that layout is a simple thing to do. You just need to know the code, know how to use a few programs, and that's it. In practice, it turns out that not everything is so simple. The code written by a layout designer has a number of requirements:
  1. The code must be valid, i.e. it must be error-free and conform to standards. The absence of errors is one of the main indicators of layout quality. The quality of the layout, in turn, depends on the speed at which pages load and the accuracy with which they are displayed on the site.
  2. Crossbrowser compatibility. The site should be displayed correctly in different browsers. Although they follow common rules and standards, there are exceptions. In some cases the same element can be displayed differently. It is obligatory to specify in the specifications which browsers and their versions the site should work with.
  3. layout adaptability. The site should be fully visible in browser windows, whatever their size. The site can be opened on any screen: from a smart TV to a mobile phone. Adaptive layout replaced the idea of creating separate mobile versions of the site.
Frontend Developer
Frontend refers to everything a user sees when they open a web page. A frontend developer is a specialist who creates and maintains the user interface of a website or web application.

In addition to layout, frontend developers know how to bring pages to life - to make buttons respond to clicks, to make sliders scroll, to open an authorisation window when clicked, and much more. They use JavaScript, a programming language that works in all browsers for all users. Front-end developers layout in HTML, CSS, write code in JavaScript, use frameworks and libraries, and know how to work with layouts in graphical editors. They also understand the principles of UX/UI design, SEO, mobile development and server-side technologies, and how to work with version control and databases.

A layout designer and a front-end developer are two different professionals. The former only deals with the layout according to the layout received from the web designer. He designs the appearance of the page, creates its structure, blocks and elements. The functionality of a frontend developer is much broader. An experienced frontend developer can design and program the site independently. He often acts as technical manager and team leader at the same time, defining the strategy, agreeing terms with the client, allocating tasks to contributors, checking deadlines and being responsible for the end result.
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