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What Does an Interactive Designer Do?

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  • Written By: M. Kayo
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 22 November 2016
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    Conjecture Corporation
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An interactive designer creates processes that help people to work more easily with product and service-oriented technology. They know how certain products work, and help people more easily adapt to using technology and the high-tech electronic gadgets that are so much a part of the modern world. One of their roles is to help create a successful interaction between humans and electronics. Interactive designers also work in non-technological areas like retail stores or government agencies.

The primary job of interactive designers is to make technology more user friendly and functional. The concept is a simple one: to design processes, functions, or operations that attract people and guide them toward a specific goal. These designers are trained to take a system or process and create a design that will attract, inform, or direct people to do something in response. Although there may not be a consensus among academics as to the type of formal training required, most schools or training centers do agree that the basic function of interactive designers involves a mixture of traditional design, psychology and technology. These skills and talents are combined to assist the interactive designer in creating ways to encourage people to use technology .

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Most interactive designers work with websites, software, and mobile electronic devices. It is very common for a website to include many interactive functions designed to help users navigate through a site, make a purchase, or simply find information. Many types of software are also designed with an interactive function that helps users get the most from what that software has to offer. For example, when a smartphone rings, the user touches the screen to get a desired response. This type of function was likely conceived and developed by an interactive designer.

There is more to an interactive designer's job description than just working with high-tech electronic devices. Sometimes they design things that have no technological component to them at all. For example, when interactive designers analyze the layout of a retail store, they may be looking for ways to move people in a certain direction by designing signs or displays with which a visitor can interact. Other interactive designers work with a combination of technological and non-technological processes. Governments use them to improve processes that people typically consider to be difficult and unpleasant, such as waiting in line to pay taxes, or getting a new driver's license. The fundamental role of an interactive designer is to create processes that are useful to people.

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