[Introduction] In this world of continuous development of modern technology, interactive media is everywhere. Modern people use different types of interactive media devices and software every day. It can be said that our lives are inseparable from interactive media. So, which schools in Canada offer interactive media design majors? What about the professional skills learned, employment prospects and income? How do netizens and UtoCanada view this major? Let’s take a look!


Introduction to the Canadian Interactive Media Design major

Interactive media design refers to a new form of design that uses the network and mobile terminals as carriers, uses graphics, animation, and audio and video as interactive means and is guided by design concepts. Interactive media design is the integration of aesthetics, culture, technology and science. Without losing its dynamics, it enables logical connections to be established during the process of communication, forming a user-friendly interaction system, which focuses on the quality of human-computer interaction.
The era of interactive media has arrived, and the new media structure has matured. This major provides students with the opportunity to test the limits of their imagination, with the purpose of providing consumers with a powerful and meaningful experience. The interactive media design major provides students with the opportunity for their creative ideas to become a reality.
It should be noted that students studying this major need to:

  • Be familiar with current electronic media technology
  • Be imaginative and have problem-solving skills
  • Be passionate in the multimedia industry
  • Teamwork

Interaction design majors require students not only to have a solid foundation in computer proficiency, but also to have some artistic skills. Some schools require the preparation of a portfolio when applying for this major.

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What knowledge and skills do students learn in the Canadian interactive media design major?

According to different majors, there are different study directions. College majors in this field provide students with professional skills and knowledge. At the same time, students have the chance to participate in internships to prepare them for the industry. The college also provides a diverse learning environment and many extracurricular activities for students.

Students learn skills and knowledge in computer web design and programming, 3D, special effects, animation, film and video effects, and 2D design. Students will also take courses in design, coding, marketing, media management, and integrate industry standard tools such as Adobe, Maxon, and open source technologies for web application development. At the same time, students learn about various effective interaction methods, and how to enhance and expand their use.

Interactive media design also involves multiple disciplines and the skills of communication with people from other fields and backgrounds. Through an interactive design product, an organic relationship can be established between the product and its users, so as to effectively achieve the goals of users and achieve the purpose of interaction design. Students can also get hands-on training from industry professionals.

Students have a chance to explore key elements of media project planning and development, with emphasis on creativity and technology. Through courses such as web development, digital imaging, creation, animation, photography and video, emphasis is placed on practical media production techniques. Students plan and execute individual and team projects to gain hands-on experience.

Employment prospects for graduates majoring in Interactive Media Design in Canada

Graduates can work as designers or developers of electronic media interfaces. They take on roles as business experts or as part of a professional team. Many graduates also choose to work in video game companies or engage in VR product research. These positions require professionals with good communication skills, adaptability, creativity, innovation, forward thinking and teamwork skills. Positions may include web designer, user experience designer, interaction designer and user interface designer. This major actually has a wide range of employment possibilities, such as in computer animation, game design and development, digital video and audio effects, user interface design, multimedia development, web application design, e-commerce and so on.

After graduation, we can also engage in other fields: holographic production, virtual reality, interactive projection, digital sandbox, digital 360-degree display, digital ball screen, animated video, architectural projection, and social media.

》Job description of interaction designers

According to the PayScale description,

An interaction designer is responsible for the design and implementation of all aspects of custom interactive web design. This involves conceptualizing the overall design of the website, including user interaction, navigation structure, and page distribution. Then, the interaction designer implements concepts through high-quality visual effects and a strong underlying technical framework. They may also need to constantly update and modify the existing structure of the website. The interaction designer's other responsibilities include maintaining and updating websites, designing new tools and technologies, as well as designing weekly media such as emails, logo, print, social media and targeted media. They will be asked to conduct or manage user research to receive feedback and update the designs accordingly.
Interaction designers usually work in an office environment during normal working hours, and may also work from home. Working overtime may be required towards the end of a project’s deadline. For example, they must work closely with the company's other technical departments to ensure the accuracy of data required by the company’s website. They must also work with management to determine the overall direction and theme of the website and take action based on design feedback.
The academic background of interaction designers usually includes graphic arts, web design, marketing, art and other related majors. Extensive experience with HTML and CSS, and be proficient in using various design software is required. In general, the responsibilities of the interaction designer are:

  • Create designs across multiple media platforms
  • Evaluate and update design requirements of the project
  • Collaborate with the design team and develop concepts

》Salary for interactive media design graduates: The decisive factors & income

According to PayScale statistics,in Canada, the average annual salary of an interaction designer is $49,577 CAD, the lower-end is at $36,718, and the higher-end is at $74,497.

The best schools for interactive media design in Canada

Seneca College Seneca College

Seneca College is a comprehensive college that cultivates skill-based talents and has earned a good reputation in the Canadian education community. It is also one of the first Canadian colleges to be recognized by the Chinese Ministry of Education. The college offers a two-year college diploma course, a 120-hour internship opportunity. This course provides courses in design, development, implementation and management knowledge of digital and multimedia applications. Students will learn to develop and manage creative and technical strategies in the fields of graphic design, animation, network technology, and games and visual effects applications. In the final semester, they will get independent production and internship opportunities to gain practical experience in related fields. After completing the program, students will also have the opportunity to transfer to UOIT, Dalhousie University, Royal Roads University, University of New Brunswick, State University of New York at Buffalo, and other universities for further study.

Geogrian College

Georgian College is located in Barrie, about 100 kilometres from Toronto, and a 1-hour drive from Toronto Pearson International Airport. It has been rated as "Canada's fastest growing" city for many years. The college provides a two-year college diploma in PGA-Certified Golf and Club Management. Students can learn to build excellent user experiences for various applications, and get training in unique design and programming. The program is designed to prepare graduates for their careers as web designers and developers. By focusing on user-centred design, students learn to apply human-machine interface guidelines, standards-based structures, and web design and development principles to create excellent user experiences.

Fanshawe College

Fanshawe College is located in London, Ontario in Canada. It providesa two-year college diploma in PGA-certified golf and club management.Being in a dynamic and evolving industry centre, students have access to a wide range of global event management industries. London is home to many international hotel brands and many local and international sports events. A large number of electronic media companies are located here, and students have the opportunity to learn from the industry’s elites, thereby gaining front-line experience and knowledge. Students will develop skills in computer-based web design and programming, 3D design, special effects, animation, film and video effects, and print design. Courses in design, coding, marketing and media management to lay the foundation for future career development are also available.

Algonquin College

Founded in 1967, Algonquin College is one of the largest public colleges in Canada. It is located in the capital of Canada, Ottawa -- the “Silicon Valley" of the north. It is located in one of the three major business centres of Ottawa. The college is among 150 colleges in Canada’s Top five. The school guarantees a two-year college diploma program that aims to prepare students for various careers in the digital media industry. Students will explore the key to media project planning and development, while focusing on creativity and technology. Through web development, digital imaging, creation, animation, photography and video courses, the emphasis is on practical media production. At the same time, internship opportunities are offed to students.

Carleton University

卡尔顿大学坐落于加拿大首都渥太华市中心,校园占地超过 62 公顷,校园内风景秀丽,毗邻政府机构、实验室、图书馆,学习氛围相当浓郁。该校为期four-yearIMD本科文凭课程和亚岗昆学院合作,面向那些既有艺术倾向又技术娴熟且对数字媒体的各个方面感兴趣的学生。 学生将获得理解或问题所需的知识,并在从概念到预生产,生产和后期制作的整个学习过程中不断熟练。 该课程通过计算机动画,视觉效果,游戏设计和开发,平面设计和人机交互等课程为学生提供多学科教育。 还将进一步加强科学,数学,商业和社会科学课程。学院定期与相关行业的代表进行磋商,以跟踪市场的当前,新兴和未来趋势。成功完成这个为期四年的课程,学生将获得大学学士学位和高级大学文凭。 这个学位/文凭组合打开了通向广泛职业机会的大门。

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Summary: UtoCanada’s views on the interactive media design major

From the perspective of social attributes, the most important human behavior is communication and collaboration with other members of society. Today, web and mobile communication allow people to interact indirectly. Interactive technology has become a medium, and has become part of our lives in multiple levels. The design of interactive media allows more vivid interactions and endless possibilities. The comprehensive use of colors, animations, and images makes our interaction vibrant and more enjoyable. Interactive media design will be used more and more in our lives. As long as there is a human-machine interface, there will be places where interactive media can make a difference. It will have a huge impact on the nature of our leisure, entertainment, shopping and even work lives. Interactive media design will become the most creative art design category with the highest potential.

Canadian colleges provide students with a large number of internship opportunities. As a student of interactive media design, in addition to being familiar with a variety of electronic media and software, we must also have certain design and aesthetic abilities. Also, we need to take courses in user analysis and other psychological subjects. So, if you think you have the qualifications mentioned above, then this major is for you.