XGD meaning Experiential Graphic Design.
So, I hold a BA and MA in Multimedia, and for over 6 years this has been my line of work. I specialize in graphic design and have done video, motion graphics, presentations, etc… and I’ve had minor experience in environmental graphic design.
However, I’ve been struggling to have the career i want, which is designing for the physical space.
I want to have a career in where people can experience and get immersed into the environment they are in. I want to make environmental graphics, themed experience design, and even interactive displays such as SMART walls, interactive directories… stuff like that. The closest I’ve had was working for Universal Creative, which was an 8 month internship… but after that I just couldn’t get into this field that I desire.
I am about to take a certificate course in UX/UI design because there are more UX/UI design jobs out there these days than multimedia related, and at the same time I figured that the XGD relies on UX as well… so i’m hoping that it opens two optional doors (for example, either work for disney imagineering or disney+).
As a UX/UI designer, can I enter the themed experience design industry?
Gonna toss out there, working for The Mouse ain’t all it’s cracked up to be. Sure, they have some very interactive experiences but…
You know of this resource, right? (Society of Experiential Grapyhic Design)
Yup. I love SEGD.
As for Disney, what makes you say so? I mean, i can be content with out achieving disney if i get a cool job in the career.
Past experience. A long time ago in the past though.
Tough to get a toe hold in these days, with most design studios slimming down and becoming project coordinators rather than one-stop-shops. The people we work with, they are more production company, coming up with the ideas (UX,) then finding the people to implement them. It’s not uncommon for us to be working alongside 3 or 4 other companies putting together a themed museum for example. There are a lot of smaller interactive companies out there that just do UI. Content development might not be the people supplying the hardware that displays the content. It’s become very segmented and specialized.
For instance, just one tiny little one-room National Park museum we did a bit ago. There was the production company, overseeing the overarching design concept. They hired a graphic designer contractor to do the graphic content based on the theme of the museum. There was a contracted content developer who worked with the curators writing all the content. There was a small AV component that required contracting a small video outfit to shoot a provided script (from the content developer) which then got interfaced into an interactive kiosk (I’m not sure if they wrote the programming for that or if it was yet another company.) Then there was the fabricator who built all the casework that all the AV and artifacts were sitting in. At the tail end a print vendor gets involved to print all the graphic panels and murals. Installation of the graphics is sometimes handled by the fabricator, sometime by the print vendor. And this was just a tiny little exhibit. No one handled the whole thing except for the production company.
The Leads on these jobs usually don’t have less than 15 years in the industry and they only conceptualize. It is very very rare indeed to see them getting their hands dirty (as it were) doing the actual production work. Near as I can tell, the best bet for that route is to wangle an assistantship with one of these heavy hitters. Needless to say, not easy.
Your question re UI/UX designer, yes you can enter the XGD industry, but where exactly do you want to be? Cuz right now, at least from my perspective, the people doing the interface work, ain’t the ones doing the design. Or at least not the over-arching theme of the design. You have to look at the big players in the industry, many represented on SEGD, but there are others in the Broadcast, Theatrical and Educational/Historical Museum areas.