How Do I Become an Interactive Designer?

G. Wiesen
G. Wiesen

To become an interactive designer, consider a background in graphic design or in website development, as you typically need a combination of artistic skills and computer knowledge. Colleges and art schools offer programs in graphic design that you can use as a degree toward this career, though you might consider focusing on User Interface (UI) development courses. While you are in school, work on your portfolio so that you can demonstrate your skills and abilities to potential employers. Once you have the education you need to become an interactive designer, then look for opportunities with webpage designers, software developers, and companies that make electronic devices.

Interactive media designers must know graphic design.
Interactive media designers must know graphic design.

The skills necessary to become an interactive designer are typically a combination of both artistic abilities and an understanding of different computer systems. Consider an education that allows you to combine both of them, though a focus on design and artistic work is often preferable. A degree in graphic design can help you become an interactive designer, especially if you take courses that focus on different computer systems. You might also look into a degree in website development, which can help you learn to build interactive applications and utilities.

As you are developing the abilities that you need to become an interactive designer, you can also be working on your professional portfolio. This is what you will use to demonstrate your abilities to potential employers, especially when you are first out of school and may not have much work experience. Create a portfolio to help you become an interactive designer that includes screenshots of your work.

Your print portfolio might feature conceptual work and prototypes of interfaces and applications that you have designed. A video portfolio, especially one that runs as a program on a computer, can more effectively demonstrate your abilities, so make sure you highlight your best work. The portfolio itself, in this format, can even illustrate your understanding of design and usability.

A strong portfolio is important as you begin looking for opportunities to become an interactive designer. It may be easiest for you to find work initially as an assistant or junior designer, which can help you gain professional experience. Look for companies that develop software, or website developers, as these types of businesses may have positions in which you can become an interactive designer. Many principles of this field can also be used in new product design such as electronic devices that include a User Interface, which are becoming increasingly common.

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    • Interactive media designers must know graphic design.
      Interactive media designers must know graphic design.