Instructional Design Part 5 of 5 Multimedia Menagerie: Identifying the value of adding multimedia

There are a wide variety of multimedia tools available on the market. Each tool varies in price and functionality and there is no one tool that can “do it all”. The following are just a few examples of the multimedia design tools available:

Graphics

Audio

Video

Animation

Advanced Animation

  • SnagIt
  • Adobe PhotoShop
  • Macromedia Fireworks
  • COREL Draw
  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Sound Forge
  • Sonic Foundry
  • Pinnacle Studio
  • Adobe Premier
  • Adobe ImageReady
  • Macromedia Fireworks
  • Macromedia Flash
  • Macromedia Director
  • Camtasia Studio

y resources you must consider. Some other questions you’ll need to address are:

  • Do you have access to the raw material that will be manipulated by the tools to create the media object? Photos, videos, audio, etc.
  • If you don’t have the raw materials, do you have the tools needed to capture the raw material? Digital camera, video camera, audio equipment such as a microphone, etc.

Talent: Who has the skills and talent necessary to design the multimedia objects?

  • Is there anyone on staff with the appropriate skills?
  • Is it necessary to hire a multimedia designer to create the media objects?
  • Is it necessary to bring in voice talent to capture audio?
  • Is it necessary to hire actors/actresses for the video?

Time: How much time will the creation of the media objects require?

  • Does staff member with the appropriate skills have time in their schedule to work on these elements?
  • Is it necessary to set aside time to advertise and interview for a multimedia designer?
  • How much time will it take to capture the images and video needed?
  • How long will it take to create and edit the images, audio, video, animations, etc?
  • When is this project supposed to be completed?

Oh! How much will all of this cost?

“A thing is worth what it can do for you, not what you choose to pay for it.” — John Ruskin

This brings us back to the issue of “value”. The cost considerations of designing multimedia objects for use on your website are many and those listed below are certainly just a few.

  • How much do the tools necessary to create these items cost if you do not already own them?
  • What is the cost of time spent learning the tools if you’re not hiring someone?
  • How much will a designer cost if you do hire someone to actually design, develop, and implement the media objects into your website?
  • What is the cost of the time necessary to develop these media objects?

The implications of cost should not outweigh the benefits of adding the multimedia objects but it indeed plays a role. Budgetary restrictions may make it necessary to design and implement only a few select media objects instead of all of the possible objects that could be developed to support the site. Or it may be necessary to choose to implement mid-level multimedia objects, as it pertains to the type and level of interactivity, until you can upgrade. While all of the above costs are pertinent considerations related to your website budget, don’t forget the most important considerations:

  • Will the addition of the media object support the goal of the site?
  • Will the audience benefit from the addition of the media object?

Good luck with the Multimedia Menagerie. Look for the next article Design Decisions:Design Considerations and Web-accessibility to be released in the months to come.

Author: Amanda Albright

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