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Multimedia Production

testing content integration elements

Definition: Multimedia production begins with gathering content elements that fulfills the purpose of higher layer components, followed by integration of these elements to create a meaningful presentation.

Multimedia production must come after careful planning and design; as depicted in the Multimedia Design and Planning Pyramid (Figure 1) by showing planning as the lowest level. Production begins with gathering content elements that fulfills the purpose of higher layer components, followed by integration of these elements to create a meaningful presentation. This must be accompanied by ongoing testing conducted under various operating conditions (England and Finney, 1999). A bottom-up approach is employed for implementation, where the choices made at the lower-levels follow the dictum of the higher-levels (Sharda, 2004).

Content Gathering refers to collating appropriate multimedia content, such as, text, photos, video etc. that will populate the various screens. Some of this content may already exist; the remaining must be acquired or created. The Storyboard is a key design tool that helps in deciding what content is required. Apart from the Storyboard, the production team must refer to the other design aspects, such as the Target Audience.

Integration combines all elements to create a working system. An integration plan – e.g. allocating tasks to team members – should be developed with the help of the Storyboard. Integration is performed with the help of authoring tools such as Authorware, PowerPoint, and Flash. Each Authoring tool has its underplaying metaphor, and is suitable for specific applications. For example, PowerPoint uses the slideshow metaphor and is widely used for lecture presentations. At times, the content for different sections is authored with the help of different tools and then integrated into a unified system.

Testing is an integral part of the Production stage. First each section needs to be tested as it is created, and then the system as a whole is tested. This testing must take place under various operating conditions. A well-defined testing plan must be developed, that includes in-house testing (alpha testing), as well as testing with the user in the loop (beta testing).

While, production is the final stage of any multimedia-authoring project, most systems need ongoing maintenance to keep the content current.

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over 4 years ago

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