There seems to be a distinct difference in the type of people building web sites today.

The first type, I call the Web Developer (from Software Developer). This person builds a highly robust, functional website - plenty of scripting, forms, etc., while paying much less attention to the look and feel of the site. (I would guess that many of us would fall into this category.)

The second type, I refer to as the Web Designer (from Graphic Designer). This person spends their time making a web site look aesthetically pleasing - making incredible graphics, laying out navigation controls, etc., while adding little to no functionality.

I feel that both types of "Web Gurus" are needed and often work wonderfully together. In my current situation, I am able to concentrate on functionality while many of my co-workers are incredibly talented at making my work "look good." For me, this is a wonderful situation and increases my work productivity greatly.

Unfortunately, I sometimes feel at a loss when it comes to developing a site on my own. Because I feel that I am lacking in my skills as a Web Designer, I often feel that the pages I create are sub-par, although they may be bursting at the seams with functionality.

My meditation is this: Who has the advantage? Is the Web Developer more important than the Web Designer (does the functonality mean more than the graphics), or is it the other way around, or are they equally important? Also, does their importance vary depending upon perspective? (i.e. Might the site owner hold functionality higher and a site viewer hold aesthetic quality higher?)

Just something that rattles around in my head.