, Volume 35, Issue 6, pp 47–50 | Cite as

Improving media production design skills through the use of a design analysis checklist

  • William D. Schmidt
Media Management


As they would apply to each production, there are no “right” answers to most of the questions on the Design Analysis Checklist. On many of the items, research and marketing findings and the wisdom gained by successful media designers over a long period of time could perhaps sometimes tell the novice designer which decision would be best in a particular instance. But each production is far too complex and unique as a total entity to be able to make flat general statements as to what is proper in terms of design.

Rather than trying to tell you what is right in media design, this analytical exercise is aimed at helping you to identify some of the design elements where decisions must be made—not whatdecision to make. Through experience and learning from experienced, successful designers, you will in time be better able to make the right decisions for each production. Reading some of the sources listed at the end of this article can help you in this regard.

While the Checklist probed for answers dealing with dozens of design elements, do not lose sight of the fact that the basic story or message is the most important element. Without a well-organized and vital story or message presented in an interesting manner, it matters little about the other design elements. On the other hand, if your story or message is strong, well-organized, and interesting, these dozens of other elements can be used to improve the production in places where it is appropriate.


Design Element Tech Trend Media Design Natural Sound Comment Briefly 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Suggested Reading

  1. Amelio, Ralph J.Film in the Classroom. Why Use It? How to Use it. Dayton, Ohio: Pflaum/Stan dard, 1971.Google Scholar
  2. Edmonds, Robert.Scriptwriting for the Audio Visual Media. New York: Teachers College Press, 1984.Google Scholar
  3. Ellis, Jack C.The Documentary idea: A Critical History of English-Language Documentary Film and Video. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1989.Google Scholar
  4. Gordon, Roger L., ed.The Art of Multi-image. Washington, D.C.: Association for Educational Communications and Technology, 1978.Google Scholar
  5. Mehring, Margaret.The Screenplay: A Blend of Film Form and Content. Boston: Focal Press, 1990.Google Scholar
  6. Monaco, James.How to Read a Film. New York: Oxford University Press, 1981.Google Scholar
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  8. Reynold, Charles R. Jr. “Motion Picture Analy sis.”The Encyclopedia of Photography, Vol ume XIII, 1963.Google Scholar
  9. Schmidt, William D. “Design Elements in Instruc tional Films: An Attempt to Derive Operational Generalizations Based on Research and on Pro ducer Opinion.” Unpublished PhD dissertation, The Ohio State University, 1972.Google Scholar
  10. Slawson, Ron.Multi-image Slide/Tape Programs. Englewood, Colorado: Libraries Unlimited, Inc., 1988Google Scholar
  11. Smith, David L.Video Communication: Structur ing Content for Maximum Program Effective ness. Belmont, California: Wadsworth Publish ing Company, 1991.Google Scholar
  12. Sohn, David A.Film: The Creative Eye. Dayton, Ohio: George A. Pflaum, 1970.Google Scholar
  13. Wead, George and George Lellis.Film: Form and Function. Boston: Houghton Mifihin Company, 1981.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • William D. Schmidt
    • 1
  1. 1.Washington

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