Multimedia design is a technical art that involves a variety of web areas. This could include interactive employment applications, government information kiosks and massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs). Multimedia means a variety of presentation mediums are integrated to communicate with the audience through text, images, sound, video and animation. The web area a multimedia designer will work with depends on their specific education and job title.
Wed designers craft webpage mock-ups based on brand, platform and corporate input. They present design proposals with user flows, site maps and B2B/B2C channel maps. Some web designer’s primary job is to edit and improve the navigation and performance of websites. This means that they may create vector images, manipulate graphics and work with other IT professionals to test functionality and ensure smooth traffic flow.
Some web designers work on the front-end by helping upload new content and prepare promotions. Others work on the back-end where they establish design guidelines and review best practices. Web designers tend to work with the same content management systems. Web designers will need to have a strong understanding of CSS, PHP and HTML.
Multimedia artists use software, illustrations and design principals to create animation and interactive graphics that could result in a game, movie or visual effect. They may work in teams that are made up of programmers, illustrators, directors and technical staff. Multimedia artists usually specialize in certain mediums, such as apps, online games or CGI videos.
Those who work with video games may only create certain things like scenery, location background or character movement. For example, a character artist who works at an online game company will translate simple sketches into realistic character models that are futuristic, yet familiar. These multimedia design professionals will apply their understanding of human anatomy through traditional drawing and painting skills.
Web Graphic Designer
The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that graphic designers convey information through photos, text and art. Web graphic designers create a variety of digital projects through software like GIMP, Drupal, WordPress, Illustrator, Photoshop and CorelDraw. Web graphic designers may help create a company’s logo, search engine ad and other digital marketing materials.
Some web graphic designers monitor websites to ensure they conform to layout, typology and style specifications. Senior graphic designers will ensure that digital content is proofed by following the quality assurance guidelines. Web graphic designers sometimes have the difficult task of translating complex information into a user-friendly design with logical navigation and simple pictures.
Multimedia designers are generalists who are skilled in many types of visual communications design and development. They are expected to have ample proficiency with concept development, page layout, graphic manipulation and typography management. They may be asked to translate technical requirements into prototypes, page layouts and screen flows.
Multimedia designers may develop new navigation layouts, establish user interface design standards or educate leaders on web site requirements. Multimedia designers often work on temporary projects, so they must understand production costs, time management, effective communication and asset organization. They should have an acute sense of website aesthetics, creative workflows and team collaboration with multiple stakeholders.
The Multimedia Design Process
Regardless of the web content or career specialization, multimedia design projects follow the same process cycle. During the blueprint stage, strategic planning, feasibility studies and cost-benefit analysis are completed. Objectives, deliverables, milestones, technical parameters and content outlines are created. The statement of work will include a proposed plan, budget and schedule. During the design stage, flowcharts and storyboards help form the rapid prototypes that are tested by end-users. This generates usability test results that ideally triggers the next stage. During the production stage, A/V content is included, textual assets are edited and graphic deliverables are finalized.
Other employment areas of the web that a multimedia designer may find employment include graphic illustrator, production specialist, digital analyst and web developer. Regardless of the job, a multimedia designer will need a bachelor’s degree and a strong portfolio that exhibits an exceptional design aesthetic and mastery of creativity.