Join James Williamson for an in-depth discussion in this video Front-end design, part of Web Development Foundations: Web Technologies.
Many web designers refer to themselves as front end designers. If you've ever heard that term, you've probably also heard the expression back end, client side, or server side within the same discussion. In this chapter, we're gonna be exploring front end technology. So it would probably help for us to define what front end refers to, and what front end design is in general. Well, in the simplest terms, front end could refer to the UI layer of websites, you know, the things that people see and interact with. Back end usually describes the processes that happen on the server that help make things work. Client side and server side generally refer to the same things and are often used interchangeably with front and back end.
As a general rule, front end designers are more visual designers than they are programmers. While languages like HTML and CSS are required to create their designs, most don't really consider themselves developers in the purest sense of the word. Here's a general list of some elements of web design that front end designers are responsible for. Creating mockups and establishing visual standards. Structuring content semantically. Ensuring the site's accessibility. Controlling typography, page layout, form design, interactivity, animation, and creating images and icon assets. Now, obviously, that is not a complete list, and some designers will specialize in specific areas of front end design, while others might have a blended skill set that allows them to work on broader tasks. The truth is, there's no one thing that accurately describes all front end designers, but most will work across multiple disciplines and tackle several areas of design. However, while it's not unheard of to have people that do both front end and back end development, most front end designers aren't full-fledged developers as well. In the end, if you're a front end designer, you'll probably focus on the areas of front end design that appeals to you the most. Just be sure to explore all of the various areas of front end design so that you have a broader understanding of how all the various technologies fit together.
- Working with web clients and servers
- Exploring HTTP
- How browsers work
- Structuring HTML
- Controlling presentation with CSS
- Dealing with data
- Working with a content management system (like WordPress)
- Using cloud services