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Interactive Media Design: Tools of the Trade

In the field of interactive design knowing the tools of the trade is critical to being successful. Understanding the different industry instruments in order to deliver high quality, creative products not only helps meet clients’ expectations but also allows interactive designers to think about the final product in new ways.

The list below will help you understand the tools you’ll likely use in your interactive design career so you can eloquently explain your methods to future employers or clients.

Application server software — For web developers and designers, application server software is a big part of their job. Application server software supports the development of dynamic websites, web applications, web services and web resources. Some examples of this software are: IBM WebSphere, JBoss Application Server and Oracle Application Server.

Computer aided design CAD software — There was a time when design was done completely by hand. CAD software provides an electronic way to create. It helps formalize the creation process and makes it more efficient to make modifications. These types of programs help in both 3-D and 2-D visualization, design and modeling. Examples of specific CAD software are: Autodesk 3ds Max for Design Visualization, Autodesk Alias Surface, AutoDesSys form Z and solidThinking.

Development environment software —Development environment software helps interactive designers develop applications for desktops and mobile devices. It may be an app that lives on a user’s desktop or something that is on their tablet or smart phone. For professionals who specialize in game creation, development environment helps them create games more efficiently. Some examples of this type of software are: Adobe Systems Adobe AIR, C, Unreal Technology Unreal Engine, and XML User Interface XUI.

Graphics or photo imaging software — Interactive designers often need to manipulate, edit or retouch a photo. That’s where imaging software comes in handy. Need to lighten a photo? Remove a blemish? Add text to create a meme? Imaging software can help you do that and a lot more. Some examples of graphics and photo imaging software are: Ability Photopaint, Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator, Corel Painter and VectorDesigner.

Object or component oriented development software — This software is used for computer frameworks or programming languages. Knowing this software is important for web developers as they can be used to create websites, web or mobile applications or other web resources. Web developers will often specialize in object or component oriented development software but having a basic working knowledge of all of them will provide more opportunity for career growth. Examples of object or component oriented development software are: Apple Cocoa, C++, Microsoft ActiveX and Python.

Video creation and editing software — For any interactive designer that goes into a career producing animation or visual effects video creation and editing software is key. The ability to reorder frames, add music beds to scenes and insert graphics will be recurring parts of the job. Some examples of this type of software are: Adobe Systems Adobe Director, Adobe Systems Adobe Premiere Pro software, Apple Final Cut Studio and Chaos Group V-Ray software.

Web platform development software — There are many ways to build a website. Web platform development software helps web developers create web pages and add needed features. These tools will help web developers create interactive user experiences for websites and web and mobile applications. Some examples of web platform development software are: Adobe Systems Adobe Shockwave Player, Hypertext Markup Language HTML, JavaScript and Microsoft Silverlight.

The Interactive Media Design degree program at Bryant & Stratton College will prepare you to be successful in the interactive design field. Call 866-948-0571 to learn more about this exciting degree today!

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