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What Is Interactive Media Design?

Interactive media is everywhere in this modern, technical world and many Americans use dozens of interactive media devices and programs every day. Read on to learn about more types of interactive media and the designers behind it.

Field Overview

Interactive media is any electronic that responds to a human command in a specific and defined way. Interactive media includes not only video games, but also is the underlying principal to applications on a smart phone because they react to your touch. Search engines are another example because they respond to queries you type into the search boxes.

Advertising has embraced interactive media. You can go to a variety of websites and upload your own photo to see what you'd look like with a different hair color or style. You'll also find websites with interactive media designed simply for personal amusement, where you can do things like see how you'd look if you were turned into a zombie.

Businesses and educational institutions have found a new way to connect across the globe through interactive media. Websites have different formats available that allow teachers to conduct classes for students, while both are present via avatars. Using interactive media, you can attend a virtual board meeting from the comfort of your own home even though your associates are each sitting in a different country.

Important Facts About Interactive Media Design

Degree Fields Interactive Media, Game Design
Common Courses Human computer interaction, advanced graphic design, interactive media for entertainment
Work Environment Office setting
Median Salary (20189) $73,760 (for web developers)*
Job Outlook (2019-2029) 8% growth (for web developers)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Skills and Abilities

The people who design these toys and tools have both technical training and an eye for art. Within an interactive media program, you complete a combination of computer programming, writing, and graphic art classes. Depending on your career goal, you may find yourself taking courses that include green screen and motion-capture techniques. Professional programs like After Effects and the Unreal Engine are software skills learned in interactive media design programs.

Job Options

Interactive media designers generally work as part of a team. Many academic programs include creating a professional portfolio as part of the curriculum. Along with advertising and video gaming options, some career or job choices open to you include:

  • Public relations professional
  • Page layout designer
  • Web developer
  • Social media developer
  • Instructional designer
  • Online journalist