Analysing Job Profiles!

For PPD, I have been asked to look at three different job profiles, within the Interactive Media industry, that I may want to be in after I graduate from this course. I will be writing a brief description of each job and then listing the skills needed to be in that specific job. Whilst looking at the skills for each job, I will then map my current expertise level against these skills and it will help me identify what areas I will need to improve before applying for a job.

Designer

In a nutshell, designers are the ones who create the visuals, the look and the feel of an interactive product. May that be a website, an app, a game, or whatever; they are the ones who create the user interface. Designers are formally known for using software such as Photoshop & Illustrator to do their work. They do their work by following a brief or looking at wire frames that have already been made prior to the design stage. Designers can either work by themselves or as part of an agency. It is commonly known that freelance work is pretty much small projects where as if you are working in an agency, you are working on a much wider scale and there is more than one of you working on it.

Skills needed to be a Designer;

Design Skills; THE MOST OBVIOUS ONE!!! Durrrr.
Good knowledge of relevant design and certain software.
Idea generating skills; very efficient if you possess this skill!
Communication; this is key as there can be some tricky customers shall we say.
Time management; being able to work quickly and meet deadlines.

Could I be a designer?

I’d like to think so yes! This is by far my favoured section when it comes to Digital Media! I love designing new things and making something look slick and professional. I’ve always had that creative side to me and loved putting my own stamp on things! I believe that I am in a great position in regards to my skills and feel confident when designing new products. I have a good sense of time management, and I feel that this will help me most definitely in the future. There is so much importance that rests on being able to manage your time sufficiently, and with this as a skill, it can only be beneficial to me.

Developer

The guys who are developers are the ones who build the designed product. In most cases, a designer would hand over the finish product for the developer to go and build. They use many different mark-up languages and scripting languages in order to create the product. For example, they could be building a web page using HTML & CSS; or they could build an App using x-Code. Just like designers, they can work either as a freelance, or work in an agency. If you are a freelance developer though, it’s good to know a bit of design skills as well incase you need to change anything accordingly. Whereas if you were working in an agency as a developer, it would be solely development work.

Skills needed to be a developer;

Good knowledge of programs to use.
Good knowledge of mark-up & scripting languages.
Interpersonal & communication skills.
Time management; ability to work under pressure and prioritise tasks
Basic design skills; could be transferable.

Could I be a developer?

I think I could if I put enough practice into it but I’d much rather stick on the design side of things. I would like to possess enough skills and knowledge in order to be able to build a simple website as I could bring in lots of freelance work. But looking at it from a careers point of view, it’s not something I see myself doing 9-5, five days a week.

Information Architect

“Information Architects, interpret high-level requirements in order to design the overall user experience of an interactive media product.” What this basically means is that an IA will gather all information from a client and put it together to create a clear plan/strategy of what the client is wanting from you. They will break up the product and analyse it’s purpose, objective, target audience etc. The IA will also look at the functionality of the product and how it is meant to work. Information Architects also play a part in designing the layout of user interfaces / wire frames which will sent to the designer. (You can see a pattern forming here.. IA > Designer > Developer!)

Skills needed to be an Information Architect;

Good problem solving / analytical skills; will most definitely come in handy!
Must have excellent verbal, written & interpersonal communication skills.
Good presentation skills; will be presenting all of the time.
Time management; just like in every job, this is crucial.
Attention to detail; very important when breaking down projects.

Could I be an Information Architect?

I think I could to be honest. I quite enjoy carrying out the IA process within projects, although it can be very tricky at times. For me to work as an Information Architect though, I must improve on my analytical skills because when it comes to breaking down a brief / idea, I can’t seem to get every possibility out of it. I am very confident that if I can improve on this, then I could actually be pretty comfortable in this job role.

Conclusion

I think after looking at the above three job profiles, you can clearly see which position I want to be in when I graduate. Yes, that’s right, I want to work as a designer! But After looking through the specifications of an Information Architect, I quite like the sound of that too. Without sounding ignorant to the job itself, being a developer would be last on my list. I just don’t see myself enjoying it as much as the other two, however, I am interest in possessing the knowledge of basic development.