What Are the Types of Multimedia?

Based on the engaged senses, multimedia can be five main types: text, images, audio, video and animations. Multimedia can also divide into linear and nonlinear categories depending on whether the user has navigational control.

The division of multimedia into the first five types is common in web design, where the designer uses a combination of these types to deliver functional content to an end user. The most common form of multimedia in this classification is text. Designers can use it to convey specific information, reinforce an idea or make a website more accessible. They can use digital images as part of the user interface or as content. Designers can use audio files as an interaction aid or as content of their own. They often use digital video as content, although its usage as an interaction aid is also quite viable. Finally, animated components, including interactive navigational effects and content, enhance user engagement with the website.

The division of multimedia into linear and nonlinear types is more common in information theory. When active content progresses without any navigational input from the user, as in the case of a cinema presentation, multimedia is linear. Meanwhile, when the user interactively controls the multimedia, as with a video game, the content is non-linear.