Understanding the Growth of Career Opportunities in the Digital Design Industry Decision makers in the country have taken their time to adjust to new mediums

By Arun Kale

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The advertising, media, and graphic design industries in India have been eager to embrace digital mediums since the mid-2000s, but there have been a number of significant niggles along the way that have come in the way of what could perhaps have been a quicker move to Digital.

Decision makers at various agencies and media houses in the country have taken their time to adjust to new mediums and technologies and the possibilities and benefits they offer, and perhaps understandably — executing digital projects can be expensive, and many have thought it prudent to take a more cautious approach.

Move to Digital

One of the biggest problems impeding this move to Digital — and this still exists — is that for any digital project, there are multiple types of skillsets required. Typically, the art team, the copy team, and the tech team all have to work together to build an effective campaign or project, and the three often don't see eye to eye, or even speak in the same language. Developers refuse to understand design, designers don't quite grasp how their work will eventually be executed (and don't design accordingly), and copywriters aren't involved in the process nearly as much as they should be.

In 2018, the landscape has shifted considerably. People in India (and the rest of the world) have comprehensively accepted digital mediums as their preferred way of consuming and interacting with information, and brands, agencies, and media houses are taking steps to address this change. If you go out and ask young people how they consume media, they'll rattle away a list of apps and devices they use. Many get their information solely from social networks such as Snapchat, Twitter, and Instagram. More discerning readers may get their news from news aggregator apps such as Flipboard, or save articles to read them later using services like Instapaper or Pocket, or even use apps with conversational interfaces, such as Quartz.

Growing Career Opportunities

The days of readers going to specific websites to consume news or media created only by that website are long gone: now media houses and agencies need to ensure that they are where the audience is. Engagement is key, and metrics how control how content is published and distributed.

This shift has also resulted in a number of new career opportunities, especially for designers at media-led industries. There is a real need for designers who understand the unique demands of digital mediums, and who can design specifically for Digital, as opposed to most "mainline' designers who design for screens exactly as they do for print, and wonder why things don't look or work the way they want them to. Skills such as user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) design, including researching and understanding the psychology of the user/ consumer, and learning to quickly adapt their work based on performance, are, and will continue to be, essential moving forward.

For designers who are keen to craft long and fruitful careers in the media or advertising industries, the time to embrace new paradigms and learn new tools and techniques is now. There are plenty of opportunities currently available, and more will be on the way as technology (and our engagement with it) evolves: will you be ready for them?

Arun Kale

Program Director, Ecole Intuit Lab

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