Look inside the 10 months of Elon Master’s Degree in Interactive Media

We’ve been busy the last 10+ years. Here are some of our favorite posts that show what it’s like in the iMedia program from the student perspective.

It all starts with the 3-week summer bootcamp.

The fall semester, you learn practical skills and the theory that ties it all together.

Program alumni love to come back to help you figure out the field.

Winter Term we pull together all the threads from the fall courses into a project where you learn while making a difference in the world.

Spring is electives – a chance to dig deep in strategy, coding or storytelling.

Spring is also capstones. We don’t do a thesis. Instead, you show off what you’ve learned in an applied project you design.

Twitch or YouTube? Both!

By: Meg Boericke

YouTube and Twitch have both become staples for online streaming and entertainment. While YouTube has an early lead, Twitch has quickly caught up, becoming a top contender. While you find some creators on both platforms, it’s an outdated view that each platform’s content creation process remains separate. As both platforms gain viewers, articles online frame the platform competition as a rivalry and encourage new creators to pick one platform based on audience interest and content preference

Taking advantage of both platform’s opportunities can help engage viewers. Twitch offers a space to create a personal relationship with an audience and help form a community through shared experiences. YouTube offers better viewer interaction when a creator is offline and is great for search. Using these platforms together can both reaches more audiences and helps create fulfilling relationships. 

Below are a few recommendations for how creators can use each platform to work together for a more efficient creation process. 

Take advantage of Vods & Clips.

Vods are Twitch’s archived streams. It’s an easy way to collect content for YouTube edits. Twitch allows streamers and viewers to create clips, which are short segments of moments during a stream. These tools can help a creator focus on the parts of a stream have a lasting impression on an audience. They also help avoid sifting through hours of content. Incorporating vods will show YouTube viewers what a stream is like at its best and encourage viewership during offline hours.

Structure Your Streams for YouTube.

Top creators post with an effective formula, and if you follow it, it will help optimize time on Twitch to get content for several  YouTube videos from one stream. The pattern consists of an activity introduction, content, and end reveal or conclusion followed by an interlude to engage with chat. The interlude chat is a chance to regroup and interact with the with the audience. Following this pattern mens variety within one stream and have more organized stream content to cut down for YouTube. 

Make Stream Themes that Have Stakes

Titles make or break a chance for viewer interest, especially on YouTube. If you making content on Twitch that follows the must-click title type on YouTube, it will be easier to transfer content between platforms. Many of these titles are based around the idea of stakes or having skin in the game. A viewer needs to know that something is on the line during a stream or video. Titles like “Friends playing Minecraft” will not reach as much engagement as “Minecraft, but 100 players are haunting me”. Themes like the one mentioned help encourage Twitch viewers to participate in an activity that is easily translated to YouTube, making a more collaborative creation process for both platforms.

Distinguishing Product Design from UX

by T’keya Davy

User experience (UX) is a growing subset of the design field that centers the user as a product is created. It’s vital. Another more elusive role is UX’s cousin, is product design. What does this mean?  Product design can look like UX design, but it connects to a blend of other professions such as UI, interaction design, animation, coding, and research

Product Design Can Mirror UX

From research to creative to development, product design covers the whole range. Though UX designers only work with UX tools,  product designers have their hands in everything. The artifacts and deliverables can look similar. Some of the most common include: 

  • User personas & journey mapping 
  • User & competitor research 
  • Wireframes & mockups 
  • Prototypes 
  • User Testing

However, seeing as product designers need to be more concerned with the process in its entirety, they also deal more with the launching of the product, business strategizing, and post-production analytics

Different Goals: Cost v. Efficiency

UX designers focus on product efficacy , while product designers also examine the brand’s strengths at all levels of production. One important difference:  product designers consider economic factors, like pricing and the cost to the brand. 

UX is an aspect of product design, but the reverse is not necessarily true. A product designer is a more multi-faceted title and designers need expertise in the entire product development process.