Learn more about the opportunities, responsibilities, and salaries of UX/UI designers in the entertainment industry here.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
Entertainment and media companies once competed for customers by having the best shows and the broadest distribution networks. But, with the rapid rise of cord-cutting and streaming services, UX design has come to play an outsized role in giving companies a competitive edge.
“The days of ‘more always equals better’ are over,” according to Mark McCaffrey, PwC’s US Technology, Media, and Telecommunications leader. “The future of [entertainment and media] necessitates intense focus on engaging users and converting them into fans.” In others words, McCaffrey said, the overarching theme that should inform entertainment and media strategy going forward is this: “User experience is king.”
As entertainment companies vy for users’ attention and subscriptions, UX/UI designers play a pivotal role in designing engaging and sustainable user experiences that both draw in viewers and keep them around. “Simply capturing the natural growth in consumers...with existing approaches is no longer sufficient,” McCaffrey said. “It’s a whole new—complex and user-oriented—world.”
At its core, UX/UI design in the entertainment industry isn’t too different from UX/UI design in other industries—the ultimate goal is to create a positive user experience that will lead to stronger user engagement, retention, and, depending on the product or service, conversion. But the specific applications of UX/UI design can differ greatly, and in entertainment in particular, there isn’t a one-size fits all approach, especially because entertainment companies are increasingly trying to cater to the tastes of individual users and make their services as personalized as possible.
Below are some of the ways UX design is employed in the entertainment sector:
Most UX/UI designers bring technical design skills to the table such as the ability to conduct and make sense of user research; wireframing and prototyping; interactive design; visual communication; information architecture; and proficiency with tools such as Sketch, Invision Studio, Proto.io, Webflow, Balsamiq, and Axure. And while these skills might help a designer build a visually appealing homepage or storefront, UX designers in the entertainment sector need to also be agile problem-solvers who can advocate for different users depending on a company’s changing needs.
For example, in a UX designer job listing at Fox, the entertainment company sought a UX specialist to collaborate on its sports, news, and entertainment brands across web, mobile, and set-top boxes. At HBO Max, the streaming service put out a call for a UX designer who could help the company launch a streaming service for kids—the job involves designing for personalized experiences, kids profiles, content discovery and search, and the experiences of both kids and parents. Meanwhile, LucasFilm listed a UX design role for a UX specialist to work on its virtual reality technologies, building experiences optimized for the company’s connected platforms.
“There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ recipe,” Kucheriavy said of a UX designer’s role and responsibilities in the entertainment industry. “You need to rely on user interviews, buyer personas, and customer journeys to determine your own magic formula for what your users really want.”
Some of the other key responsibilities of UX/UI designers at entertainment organizations include:
Among hiring managers, UX/UI design is one of the top five most in-demand skills, according to a LinkedIn report, with the demand expected to rise throughout 2021. And as entertainment companies look to UX design to give them a competitive advantage, there doesn’t appear to be a slowdown in the hiring of UX/UI professionals in the entertainment industry.
UX/UI designer salaries are typically determined by education, years of experience, location, and organization type. As of 2021, the average base salary of an entry-level UX/UI designer in the entertainment industry is around $75,000. The average base salary of a senior-level UX/UI designer in the entertainment industry is around $102,056.
Ready to switch careers to UI/UX Design?
Springboard offers a comprehensive UI/UX design bootcamp. No design background required—all you need is an eye for good visual design and the ability to empathize with your user. In the course, you’ll work on substantial design projects and complete a real-world externship with an industry client. After nine months, you’ll graduate with a UI/UX design mindset and a portfolio to show for it.
Check out Springboard's UI/UX Design Career Track to see if you qualify.
Not sure if UI/UX design is the right career for you?
Springboard now offers an Introduction to Design course. Learn what designers do on the job by working through a project with 1-on-1 mentorship from an industry expert. Topics covered include design tools, research, sketching, designing in high fidelity, and wireframing.
Check out Springboard’s Introduction to Design Course—enrollments are open to all!
Download our guide to UX design fundamentals
This 50-page guide will take you through the foundations of user experience, including information architecture, user experience, and user interface.
Ready to learn more?
Browse our Career Tracks and find the perfect fit