What is digital design?

Digital design is a type of visual communication that presents information or a product or service through a digital interface. Put simply, it’s graphic design made specifically to be used on computers.

 

This encompasses more than simply viewing graphic design on a screen. Any document these days can be scanned and uploaded to a computer, but digital designs are crafted specifically for devices, taking into account factors like user experience, interactivity, differences in screen size and more. In short, they are often designed to be used rather than read.

The difference between design and development

Digital designs require code to be functional and traditional graphic designs require paper and ink to be printed. Just as graphic design projects have a separate process for printing and distribution, digital designs have a separate process for coding, which is called development.

Digital designers make decisions on the visual direction of the product, and what they deliver to the client is typically an offline mockup (whether through Photoshop or a prototyping tool like Figma). Developers then use coding language to turn this mockup into a working digital design, like a website or newsletter.

While digital designers do sometimes offer development services (especially on the front-end), design and development are different disciplines that require different skillsets. When commissioning a digital design, keep in mind that you will likely need to hire both a designer and a developer to get a functional final product.

Types of Digital Design