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Making Good Multimedia Design (continued)

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OTHER DESIGN SKILLS

As Macromedia's twelve design roles suggest, there is more to multimedia design than the skills I've listed on the previous page. For multimedia design, I also believe it important to couple those skills with design skills that include being able to:

identify and glean design essentials from many disciplines

use design and development software. So much design in multimedia development occurs as part of the development process. If you are unable to use authoring software, it is difficult to truly understand the nature of the medium. If you can't create even a rough version of the graphical treatment, it may be difficult to conceive of the possibilities

apply visual skills such as composition, layout, typography and color

apply interface design skills. Interface design is the marriage of functionality and visual treatment. To create a usable design, it is important to focus equally on finding a visual treatment that compliments and enhances audience needs and task requirements

understand that it is important to act as a consultant, a bridge between the client and product who must write and speak clearly to manage internal and external design communication and expectations

work with multimedia development team members to improve design ideas and ensure that the design vision retains integrity even when straining under tight budgets and schedules

apply change management skills it is no longer enough simply to produce a great product. It is becoming increasingly important to understand the audience s perceptions in order to ensure that the product is accepted and/or purchased. Otherwise, it is too often the multimedia vendor who takes the heat for producing a poorly designed product.

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS?

And that's my starting point.

As someone in multimedia development, you probably have some knowledge and experience regarding good multimedia design. What disciplines guide you in producing multimedia? Regardless of title, what skills do YOU think are needed to create good design?

Certainly, much of this depends upon whether you are creating entertainment, art, training or reference pieces. Your expectations of how your products impact user behavior before and after product use also color design requirements. Despite this, I suspect there are core skills that many of us consider essential.

Let's evaluate and expand our own design perspectives. Please respond to this article with your thoughts regarding the need for skills I spell out here and other skills I may have neglected to mention.

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Karen Marker is an IICS member involved in interactive design. This article Copyright 1996 by Karen Marker. All Rights Reserved.

 

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