Multimedia job description

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Nick Harper is a multimedia designer. He helps build the interactive elements and animations that make up websites, CDs and DVDs for clients in different industries.

Can you describe your multimedia job?

My role involves creating animation or interactive tools for the web or CDs/DVDs. A typical animation starts with a consultation with the client. From that, we build up a good idea of what the client wants. Using this information we then develop a technical specification.

Next, we compile a series of storyboard sketches that show the animation as drawings on paper. Our storyboard and notes are used to create prototypes, which we show the customer for feedback. Using this feedback we complete the scripting and programming, and carry out tests. Once we are happy, we return to the client for final approval and sign-off.

What is your daily routine?

A typical day involves a morning review of our current project. I then plan out my day based on tasks and objectives. If I'm working with a colleague, we split the work.

I might spend my day writing a project plan, creating a storyboard, liaising with clients, writing a specification or developing a graphical design. Usually there are informal design meetings with colleagues and occasional telephone calls to clients. Variety is part of the routine and helps make the job exciting.

What hours do you work?

I typically work from 10am to 6pm, Monday to Friday. Flexible hours are available and I often work extra hours to ensure jobs are completed on time.

Who do you work with?

Depending on the size of the project, I can work alone or with several colleagues. I also work closely with the client at each stage of the project.

What skills do you need for a job in multimedia?

Creativity is essential. An eye for graphic design and knowledge of programming are also important in this role. We often have to take a vague idea from a client and turn it into a working model or project. An outgoing personality also helps when dealing with clients. Good time management is also a very important part of the job.

What tools or equipment do you use?

I work with photo and animation tools on my PC, and I have a graphics tablet for fine drawing connected to the computer.

What do you like/dislike about your multimedia job?

I love the freedom and creativity involved in my job. I also like dealing with clients, especially when we really impress them with what we've produced.

However, occasionally clients can be difficult to deal with – they can change their minds at any time with little or no regard for the work that's already been done. It can be very disheartening.

What are the main challenges?

It can be difficult to think of something original and creative on the spot. When I face these challenges, I often chat with a colleague, go for a walk or sleep on the problem. A solution usually presents itself.

How do you see your future?

As a director, I see my role changing from being hands-on towards a more administrative.

Nick's route to his multimedia job

  • Masters Degree in Engineering.
  • Developed an online portfolio.
  • Professional certification exams for the packages he uses.

Nick's multimedia job tip

  • Put together an online portfolio of your work. This is a great way of proving to employers that you have what it takes, and gives you an opportunity to experiment with your own projects and ideas.

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Multimedia job salary

  • Starting salaries typically range from around £16,000 to £18,000 a year.
  • Experienced designers may earn £30,000 a year, or more.
  • Freelance or self-employed designers may charge by the hour or project, and their income depends on their reputation and the amount of work they take on.

Multimedia job description

  • Most multimedia designers have a degree or HNC/HND, but it isn't strictly necessary. Practical experience and a good portfolio count for more.
  • Relevant courses include multimedia design, new media or graphic design.
  • Skills and experience in using computer packages are important, but many designers learn these on the job.

Modified: 16 June 2013

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