Digital Content Designers: Designers of the future
We teach about the fundamental knowledge of how to produce content. How to design the layout, design the content, and understand the end user as well as the user experience.
Helena Hammarbäck, Medieinstitutet Stockholm
At the media school Medieinstitutet in Stockholm you can train to become a “Digital Content Designer”. The school aims to develop the designers of tomorrow by aligning its students with the market’s demand for digital design across multiple digital channels.
The new speciality track is very popular and one of its kind because it only focuses on how to design content and not on design in itself. We had a chat about the vision for this different type of design education with David Nachmann (DN) and Helena Hammarbäck (HH), Education Managers at Medieinstitutet.
Why did you create this new kind of design education and how does it differ from the rest of the offerings at design schools in the Nordics and the rest of the world?
DN: There are a lot of designers, but unfortunately there aren’t jobs for every designer. If you look at job ads seeking designers they mostly ask for UX design. That is the reason why we created a new kind of design education which the market needs. We have been providing education in graphics design for many years but until now, no design school has focused on what content actually is. To me, it is a pity to see students leave a design education without understanding the role content plays in design – my experience tells me that in about 90% of digital design, the design doesn’t align with the content and the user experience will end up bad.
Is the education about content or about design?
HH: The education is about designing content and not about design – instead you’ll learn about digital workflows. To create great design you need to control the workflow. The training is the first of its kind that teaches how to create content for all kinds of digital screens, including how to use data for data-driven design, understand analytics, conversion rates, heat maps and so on. We teach about the fundamental knowledge of how to produce content. How to design the layout, design the content, and understand the end user as well as the user experience.
But what about creativity?
DN: One of the big challenges of working with digital design is creativity. The digital tools are often very forgiving and it is easy to build on something from pre-made themes and templates. Design education risks losing the creativity part when all schools go digital and you never need to create anything from scratch. But let’s face it: all design schools are moving to the digital platforms.
Will the education as Digital Content Designer be the future for the creative educational institutions?
HH: Yes indeed. I think it is the beginning of the future of how graphic design education should be taught.
If you look at the media landscape today we are all confronted with 10 to 20 screens a day. It is everywhere. As a designer you need to be able to understand the platform and the user experience.
What will be the most important skill for a Digital Content Designer?
DN: Right now one skill is especially trending. Students need to be good at motion design. Today, motion design is about 20% of the daily work as a Digital Content Designer, but in five years it will be around 60-70%.
About the education
Students of all ages are training to become a Digital Content Designer at the Medieinstitutet in Stockholm. You need to be good at working with Adobe Creative Cloud, especially Photoshop CC and InDesign CC. Read more about the education at Medieinstitutet (in Swedish) here: http://medieinstitutet.se/digital-content-designer/