What is New Media Design?

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  • Written By: Jason C. Chavis
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 11 October 2019
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New media design is the concept of creating information and data for the emerging technologies of computerized, digital and networked data and the communication techniques involved with their implementation. Anything capable of being manipulated, networked or compressed is considered new media. The general concept is to design a platform that enables interactive participation with the information. New media design works with the Internet, computer technology, video games, websites, CDs and DVDs. It is different than old media design, such as film, television, magazines, literature or any other printed format.

Since the advent of computer technology, new forms of information exchange have become prevalent in order to facilitate the sharing of data. This was especially true during the 1980s and 1990s, as personal computers entered the home from the workplace. Artists and entrepreneurs used the digital realm to explore new facets of media. Throughout the implementation of the world wide web, the general populace became exposed to instantaneous and interactive information. This caused designers to explore new ways for users to adapt the Internet to their personal needs.

New media design helped the transition from a simple broadcast model to the model of user interaction. The new media arena opened up the doors for person-to-person advertising as well as a way for users to control to which information they become exposed. Image manipulation software was integral to this development, allowing smaller and smaller firms to engage in the concept of desktop publishing.


According to analysts of new media technologies, certain aspects of the form must exist to be considered part of the platform. Geographic distance must be transcended, allowing for a large increase to the volume of communication. The speed of information exchange is much faster than previous models. All new media design techniques also involve interactive aspects of communication, empowering users. In addition, these technologies are able to interconnect and overlap. A good example of this would be the release of a video game, which advertises on the Internet, features a website with downloadable desktop themes and a mobile application for cell phones.

One of the major results of the implementation of new media design is the shared cultural aspects available to people all around the world. Designers of this technology are able to share information across borders to markets traditionally untapped by old media techniques. The same website can be viewed in English in the United States and also in French in France. Both receive the same information in the same format, regardless of language and culture.


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Post 5

@redstaR - Speaking of interactivity in video games, I recently played a Japanese game known as Mother 3, and was completely surprised at how deep it was. The story reads like a novel, and the main character (Lucas) gets some amazing development.

Speaking of which, early on in the game, there's a tragic scene where Lucas' father (Flint) finds out that his wife was murdered. She was pierced in the heart by a robotic dragon. What follows is an incredibly intense scene where Flint goes crazy and beats the villagers with a log.

Mother 3 is a perfect example of how interactive video games have become. Despite being a Game Boy Advance game with pixelated sprites, the story and depth it presents rivals that of cinematic masterpieces.

Post 4

@redstaR - Movies are still interactive in a sense, even if you can't control the character(s). Often, we might react to a scene with a mixture of emotions, which is what the filmmakers intended. If we're watching a movie with a group of friends, we might even make comments to one another about scenes that stand out.

Lastly, when movies are well done, we begin to feel for the characters. Even though they're fictional, we care about what happens to them, and we experience their growth in the story. Movies have a lot of depth, even if they lack the expansiveness of the internet and video games.

Post 3

@redstaR - You make some very good points about new media, especially with the internet and video games. When surfing the web, you are in complete control. Advertisements can be blocked, videos can be filtered, and you can even interact with people in ways that wouldn't have been imagined years ago. I also agree with you about video games. Before, they were nothing more than mindless entertainment. However, the stories have become far more complex, and the themes have become much more mature.

Post 2

Another example to think about is YouTube, specifically viral videos. While it can cost millions to air an advertisement during the Superbowl, at the same time a company can upload an advertisement online for free and people can comment on it. If the video is clever enough to capture people's attention, then it can get millions of views and spread throughout the world in days. The key here is that the audience does a lot of the work of the company for them by commenting on the video, e-mailing it to their friends, posting it on their Facebook, etc. The important part is for the new media designer to be smart enough to make something that people want to interact with.

Post 1

I think a key aspect of new media design - especially nowadays - is interactivity. Unlike television where you just have to take in what is presented to you, on the Internet you have a choice about what you want to watch, read about, hear and see. A more obvious example of interactivity in new media design is in video games in which you literally control a character and interact with the video game world and the choices you make affect the outcome of the story. You can't control a character in a movie.

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