Interactive Designer Learning Path

With the interactive use of media and information, and the presence of digital, user-friendly products, a new culture of design emerged. The internet has formed an open communication between consumers and artists; giving everyone the ability to interact in their own preferred method, such as with interactive design. The most suitable definition for interactive design is the study of significant communicational media through a collaboration of technology and expert skills.

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Where to Start

An interactive designer that specialises in media, helps to create the overall components of communication products and solutions. Through the use of graphics, sound, animation, text, and data, an interactive designer helps collaborate technology for internet websites, online learning products, video games and interactive television. Many interactive designers work within a product development team, which involves several tasks such as helping prepare rough design outlines, developing a client summary, and producing visuals with the use of industry-standard software and graphics. They also help develop animated drop-down menus for websites, and hypertext links.

The overall interactive designer employment rates are high, with recent graduates who are the generation of technology. Many interactive designers are employed through communication agencies, marketing and advertising firms, and graphic design organisations. The industry is very competitive and both large and private design firms have a full staff. Freelance seems to be the most reliable method to get your foot in the door of the industry.

Education

Many employed interactive designers are recent graduates of an educational institution that specialises in art or design. A degree in a design-focused subject is very useful, particularly if it is concentrated on graphic or media design. If you are looking to be hired by an agency after university, experience is vital. Employers will require a portfolio of your work. In some locations, you can acquire an internship/apprenticeship within an agency to allow you to earn experience while receiving an education. Many companies will hire their apprentices after they graduate if they are pleased with their performance.

Equipment and Software

Excellent software and equipment can make your job as an interactive designer that much easier. You will need a high spec computer and something that can handle the necessary requirements for high-level graphic work. You will also need the right pieces of software: this includes applications such as Adobe’s Animate and programs like HTML, CSS and JavaScript, which are standards in Interactive Design roles.

Portfolios

A portfolio can make or break you when it comes to getting a role as an interactive designer. Even if you do not have the complete educational background necessary for a role as an interactive designer, if your portfolio is exceptional, most employers will consider work experience as a replacement for formal education. You want to make sure only the best pieces you have go into your portfolio, it showcases your talent, abilities, and your creativity.

Get Involved

A typical work schedule for an interactive designer is Monday through to Friday, with a typical 8-hour working day. However, if they are trying to meet a deadline, then they will commonly be required to work until the project is completed. Many designers also choose to work freelance, meaning that they have no particular schedule that they have to adhere to, and they can take work based on their own agenda. Their workdays are spent at a computer workstation for long periods of time, either in an office or a design studio.

Own It

It is important that an interactive designer have certain characteristics or qualities to prepare them for the type of work they will encounter. A person who is naturally creative and imaginative is very successful in the design industry, and additional knowledge about technical processes and computer technology is vital. Other personal characteristics include the ability to work in a team setting and the ability to communicate successfully and professionally. For a freelance interactive designer, the above mentioned qualities are true, but it is also extremely important that they have organizational skills and self-motivation to help excel in the industry.

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