Archive for the ‘Designer Interviews’ Category

8Jan
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AZAM of Arejea.com

The CMS movement in webdesign is large and getting larger everyday – and Joomla is a perfect example of this. I recently visited the website of Azam at Arejea.com. He specializes in design and customization of CMS websites, particularly Joomla websites. I interviewed Azam for WTB.

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Where are you located? “Arejea.com Multimedia Freelancer is my own idea and concept of telling the world of my presence. It is located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. One of the South East Asia country on the map.”

What are your areas of specialization? “The area of my specialization mainly is Web Designing. Apart from it, I’m also exploring my skills into some programming such as Php and MySql. As these two powerful knowledge are most wanted in todays IT world and also it’s one of easy to understand structure, especially for people like me. Furthermore, I’m also doing graphic design for print out materials such as business card, poster’s, bunting, stand banners, and etc. And the latest one, I’m exploring in providing net community with my FREE and Commercial Joomla Templates, a CMS base template to be use with Joomla CMS Engine.”

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What are you most known for on the web? “As local freelancer here in Malaysia, I’ve been known as one of the Freelancers that commit to my clients requirements. Every detail is taken care at 1st place and my clients are happy as they also receive my free consultation not even before they hand over the job, but also after I delivered it. To the international community, I have been known as one of the Joomla Free templates designer and provider.”

What tool-set do you choose to use in your work? “As a self develop designer, most common tools that I use must be the ones that are easy to learn, have usability, and provides some tutorials as a guide. For that, my choices of tools are Macromedia Studio such as Dreamweaver and Fireworks. For most of the initial design process, also known as mock-up creation, I use Fireworks. Once slicing is ready and exported as images, I use Dreamweaver to combine them all together and add up some CSS Styling using also Dreamweaver. To add more spices to it, Macromedia Flash is used for my anime creations.”

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How did you get into web design? “Back to my early years, I’m a motor mechanic. I worked with wrench, engines, and spanner. Never thought that website design will be my next profession. After a while being a mechanic, I got bored and was looking for something new in my life. Then later part, I’ve been introduced to a friend that also has same interest. From that point onward, I started self-learning through available tutorials on the net that I could get.”

Tell us about your use of colors in your designs. “For color arrangement, I tend to use ‘dull’ colors as my concept of designing things. I’ve tried to maintain that way in every new design that I’m working with. But again, ‘dull’ color doesn’t always satisfy my client’s taste, especially local clients here?”

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What are your sources of inspiration? “My Source of inspiration mostly from browsing through websites. Whenever I’ve came across a nice website, I examine their kind of design and try to adapt what ever technique they have.”

Thank you Azam for your ideas and designs in Joomla.

Congratulations to Barak Obama,
Arthur “Renewable Energy” Browning

26Dec

Flash and Swish are providing some of the best tools for designers who want to take the website past the static and the visual. Motion and sound allow lots of creativity. I visited the portfolio of Oren Farhi at http://www.orizens.com and enjoyed the works there. I asked Oren for an interview.

Where are you located? “My Name is Oren Farhi. I am 27.5 years old, engaged to a lovely girl named Adi – a Jewel in Hebrew. Currently I live in Israel, in a small town near Tel-Aviv, though I plan to go abroad if it’ll be possible.”

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What are your areas of specialization? “I am a web designer/developer – some refer to it as ‘deseloper’ – dealing with various areas related to the web: Flash sites, Flash applications, html/css sites, programming with php and actionscript, designing full websites templates.”

What are you most known for on the web? “My website in its flash version, known as ‘http://www.orizens.com‘, is known around the world and has had quite a lot of entrances from around the world – according to google analytics. Moreover, I started my flash knowledge with the great software Swishmax and have been a forum moderator for about 2 years in the international swish-db help forum. Afterwards, I asked for swishzone’s permission to run a support forum for it’s products in Hebrew thus I am known in Israel as the founder of the only swish Hebrew support forum. Some of my known clients includes a real estate company working in Cyprus and the UK, a rock band form Las Vegas and a local big main health service provider.”

Where do you blog or work at? “Currently, I work in a web 2 development company which is located in Israel and deals with clients all over the world. I’m also keeping my freelance services.”

What tool-set do you choose to use in your work? What do you believe the benefits are? “I use various tools for achieving my goals. I use the great notepad for coding html, css, php, javascript. I use Swishmax and Flash for creating Flash websites/apps. Recently, I took Flex 3 Beta for a test drive. I use photoshop for most of my graphic works, various 3d softwares – cinema4d, Bryce. I usually test websites on various browsers to assure compatibility and consistency in the workflow.For web marketing I use google analytics – which is awesome! and which gives me a wide angle of analyzing the traffic for my websites and optimize them according to the information.”

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How did you get into web design? “Since I was a little boy, I liked drawing. After learning swishmax, I felt the need of going into web design and learning concepts, tools and trends.”

Do you remember the very first website you designed? “Oh yeah. . . it was awful. I used wysiwug editor – geocities hosting – as well as MS Frontpage and decided to make a website for my music compostions and my bryce creations.”

Where do you get your art for these webpages? “Whenever I go on a trip, I take my camera with me and take lots of pictures on every detail that my eyes catch and sometimes I use these pictures to create the elements I need for my projects. Of course, I use google to search for pictures or elements that I might need for a certain project, and I enhance it to fit to my project.”

What is your general opinion on current trends in design and development, such as Web 2.0 and AJAX, etc.? “Current trends are very welcome! The Ajax trend has raised the role of our web to a higher level. Web 2.0 trend is trying is to make the web a better place, more intuitive for us users – I refer to anyone who uses the web – for a good cause, of course.”

Why do you think CSS design is becoming so popular among web designers? “CSS is easy, neat and very flexible for updating and maintaining designs. It gives a designer great control over the design. Besides, it is somehow easy to learn and get into it. Moreover, one can achieve some pretty cool ideas!”

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What will be the next big development in webpage design? “It’s not that easy to predict but when I’m trying to think of it I look at what the big companies are offering for us: Adobe’s Flex for complex UI’s, Adobe’s Thermo, MS Silverlight. Developing complex UI’s is a pretty strong trend at the moment and I also see the use and thought of 3D concepts in this area.”

What do you think about Flash technology? “I Love Flash! Flash is an awesome technology. Especially since the last release of the flash player 9 and after Adobe introduced the roadmap and some of the abilities which are to come with the next release. Flash is a great source of inspiration for me. Moreover, It is crossed browser and crossed platforms.”

What are the advantages and disadvantages of using Flash? “Flash is smooth, strong for developing rich UI’s and web applications with the new Actionscript 3 engine, creating interesting ideas and concepts and visualize them in a smooth way. Flash files are not searchable but as for today, there’s a workaround for this issue and not all websites have to be ‘that’ searchable’. I am referring for web applications and integrated ‘html + flash’ websites.”

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If you could eliminate one trend from the Web, what would it be? Why? “As for designing html/css + javascript websites, browser comptability is a tough issue.”

What do you think of XHTML 5 and JavaScript standardization under W3C? “If every vendor of browsers will follow W3C’s standarts, I think it will benefit everyone who’s using the web.”

What language do you use for coding? Why? “In my opinion and experience, PHP is great for server side projects and server side actions. I use it quite often and integrate it on my work with flash’s ActionScript. I use ActionScript for my flash projects or any kind of project’s which requires the user’s interaction. I also use CSS for designing simple pages which are rendered as a html code.”

Tell us about your use of colors in your designs. “I usually follow some of the concepts of the Color Theory – not more than 5 colors for a design.”

What are your sources of inspiration? “I like to use adobe’s Kuler web application for catching some nice color combinations. I also surf some web galleries such as: cssmania.com, templatemonster.com, dailyslurp.com, designmeltdown.com.”

What are your favorite website designs that you did and did NOT design yourself? “I like the various designs which are shown in the templatemonster.com website. I also like the css zen garden project designs. One of my favorite designs is my website conversion to a css zen garden design template.”

What are your interests and dislikes in webpage design? “My interests are creating special and nice to the eye design. Such a design that will make the user to go on and exploring it to its little details. One of my dislikes in webpage design when it’s getting too “minimal design” as in text only websites.”

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What were the mistakes you learned from most while in the web design industry? “Well, we all know that the customer is always right because that’s what they want. Don’t try to explain the tech stuff and how much time thinking you are spending on a project – try to talk with them in terms they feel comfortable with.”

What is it you most like and dislike about being a web designer? “I like it when you the control and freedom to create. I dislike the situation when a project changes more than 3 times after approving the design in each time.”

What blogs and magazine articles would you suggest reading for knowledge? “I am subscribed to various RSS feeds that I find useful for areas I want broaden my knowledge and ones which are being updated at least once a week or so. So, I suggest to use a RSS reader and while surfing the net, be aware to various websites that you can benefit form.”

What advice would you give to beginning web designers? “Stay tuned to the trends of the web and the new technologies which are being released.”

Thank you Oren for your experiences and ideas.

Happy Holidays!
Arthur Browning

4Dec

Graphic design has always been interesting to me. I recently saw the portfolio of Chris Robinson at Crobbo.com. Chris has some interesting stuff for many different types of projects. His blog, http://crobbocom.blogspot.com  is also very interesting. I asked Chris for an interview.

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Where are you located? “Currently I’m located in a small English coastal town called Grimsby. As the name suggests, it is pretty grim here, even more so now that it’s winter!”

What are your areas of specialization? “I am a graphic designer / illustrator who dabbles in various mediums. At the moment, I do quite a lot of on-screen design – websites, illustrations, icons, interfaces etc., but I do the odd print project now and again. I love working on it all really.’

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What are you most known for on the web? “I’m not sure I am that well known at the moment, but in terms of what I have personally achieved, I’d say people might know me from one of my websites, www.thelearnlist.com . I was also recently featured in a Computer Arts magazine article as one of 10 young designers throughout the world to keep an eye on. The biggest clients I have worked with so far are Sony Ericsson, Sony Electronics and 14th Floor Records.”

Where do you blog or work at? “I get to work from home, or wherever I can get a wireless connection for my laptop, so I am very lucky in that regard!”

How did you get into web design? “Many years ago I used to be heavily into the Dragonball Z tv program, and I made a fan website to show my love for it! It’s so embarrassing, I started out using Paintshop Pro and this awful Netscape web design software.”

What is your general opinion on current trends? “I really love it! Some of the stuff that can be done is so cool and mind boggling. The kind of web apps being released from the likes of 37signals etc makes me excited about what can be possible.”

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Why do you think CSS design is becoming so popular among web designers? “I can’t speak for everyone else, but personally for me it’s the speed in which you can make fairly significant changes throughout your pages while only
editing one CSS document. When I think back to the times where you’d have to change fonts, table colors, etc. manually, you can see why people would use CSS instead.”

What will be the next big development in webpage design? “That’s a tough question. I don’t claim to be any kind of expert on this sort of thing, but I’d personally like to see maybe a bit more user interaction with websites. I don’t know whether this kind of technology is out already – probably is for Flash – but things like voice and web cam interaction would be very cool, especially for things like online games. There will probably be some more big developments in design for mobile devices. If Apple released an SDK for their accelerometer for the iPhone, I can imagine some great user experience interfaces and games that could come out of that.”

What do you think about Flash technology? “I think Flash technology, when used creatively, can be mind blowing. I love the 3d/green screen video/animation mash-ups that the film companies seem to be bringing out more regularly now. One specific instance that comes to mind is that Darth Vadar 20 questions game that was out a while ago. For those who haven’t seen it, it was an interactive video interface where Darth Vadar would guess what you were thinking about in 20 questions. Really cutting edge stuff, and that was over a year ago too!”

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If you could eliminate one trend from the Web, what would it be? Why? “One area that has given me and lots of other  designers massive problems is the browser compatibility issue. If there could be a single protocol for all web browsers on how they render websites, that would save so much time that people waste stressing and trying to get their websites to work in all browsers – I’m looking at your IE!. Other than that, I quite like the variety of technologies and trends out there at the moment.”Tell us about your use of colors in your designs. “I like to keep things simple in terms of colour usage for my designs. I usually go for one or two bright colors and then compliment those with more neutral colors, and that’s it really!”

What are your sources of inspiration? “So many things inspire me, great design, architecture, photography, the natural world, fashion, patterns in random places, so much. I’m passionate about so many things in the world, some being within design and some away from it, and I think it helps me look at projects from new, different perspectives.”

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What are your favorite website designs that you did and did NOT design yourself? “I think my favorite website I designed myself has got to be www.barelyoriginal.co.uk It’s the site for an online skateboarding web zine that I used to run a while ago. I have so many good memories of the times I spent making that. Apart from that, I really like the design for my own portfolio at www.crobbo.com . It took me quite a while to design an effective menu system, but I think it works well. My favorite website that I did not design has to be the actual web app for www.basecamphq.com . It has been a god-send in how simple, stylish and effective the interface is and has helped cut massive amounts of time off projects. The design studio – Bad Assembly http://www.badassembly.com/ also has a website that I’ve loved for quite a while. The navigation is so fluid, just beautiful.”

What was the toughest project or customer situation you’ve encountered? “I’d have to say that the toughest project I’ve worked on so far would be for Sony Ericsson. I can’t really say much about the specifics because I’m under an NDA contract, but I had to design some photorealistic vector icons for one of their products. In terms of technicalities, it pushed the boundaries of what I thought I was capable of doing, and I learned SO much.”

What are your interests and dislikes in webpage design? “At the minute, I’m really loving all those super clean, functional web 2.0 apps that are out, and I’d love to be apart of some kind of similar project myself one day. Like I mentioned earlier, I’m also loving those flash websites that incorporate video with high production values. What I don’t like so much are all those samey looking CSS websites, which lack creativity and frankly are quite boring!”

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What were the mistakes you learned from most while in the web design industry? “I have to say my biggest mistake when handling client website projects would be not specifying every last detail in a contract before starting. A few times in the past this had led to endless hours or changes that I wasn’t getting paid for.”

What is it you most like and dislike about being a web designer? “I love the actual part of designing a website and finding different ways to display content to the user. What I dislike the most is actually making them work, it’s not my strong point and it’s just so tedious! I prefer to let the developers handle the back-end workings of web projects now, and I just concentrate on the part I love, making it pretty!”

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What blogs or magazine articles would you suggest reading in order to increase design knowledge? “I don’t really read many web design blogs myself, but for magazines, I read Computer Arts – http://www.computerarts.co.uk, and Digital Arts Online – formerly Digit – http://www.digitalartsonline.co.uk, for my fix on design news, tips and information. I would have to also shamelessly plug my own website, ‘The Learn List’ http://www.thelearnlist.com. It lists pretty much all of the best learning resources for the most popular design programs and technologies.”

What advice would you give to beginning web designers? “My advice to those starting out and wanting to make a career out of web design, firstly, would be to get a strong portfolio of work together. The way you could go about doing this is to start out doing projects for free or little pay. You’ll be surprised how many people take you up on the offer! This way you will get to work on a number of projects and learn the craft that way. You could also mix in personal projects in with these as well, but the main thing to keep in mind is quality – attention to detail and creativity. It’s almost like a science, look at the websites you like the most, figure out exactly which parts you like and why, then try and use the same principles in your own designs. That doesn’t mean copy the websites directly, but trying to take inspiration and implement those principles in new, different and sometimes better ways. Once you have a solid portfolio together, you’ll be able to get more of the kind of work you love!”

Thank you Chris for the insights and the designs, we wish you continued success.

The Eminem of Designer Interviews,
Arthur Browning

14Nov

It’s one of my Flash days you know. I look for portfolios with Flash and find something interesting – next thing you know I am trying to get an interview. So, last week I visted the website of Andre’ Augusto at http://www.andreaugusto.com.br/ . After you have a look you’ll see why I interviewed Andre’.

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How did you get into web design? “I love ‘Worms 2,’ an extrategic game and I play it a lot. I remember we needed to get in to a clan to be good and all clans need a site. So I start to create many stuffs to internet and always wishing the best design and ideas to owns that game. So that’s it, I start to create site for clans of games online.”

Do you remember the very first site you designed? “Yes I do. I remember very clean my first site. It has an URL of CJB.NET I remember all sites non professional use it in that season. It has my complete name and was very big like www.andreaugustodeoliveira.cjb.net I made it between 1996 at 1997, it has many animated gif, pictures and few words. That was my first experience creation stuffs to internet.”

You are doing a lot of Flash, is this a specialization for you? “I believe that it was unexpected that it became to be a specializalization. Beginning the main reason for me to create flash projects was the full inspiration of the legend studio 2advanced.com I remember that they did amazing stuff just with the Flash 5 – macromedia yet. I told to myself I just wish to create stuffs like that someday. It was my first target. Along the way I realize other sides of the creative world on internet, others styles and still amazing and it made me full in love by the job. I like so much to animate as I like to do interface design, usability and illustration.”

Have you ever worked with website templates? “I have one experience with templates. In 2006 when I was invited to develop an intranet to a Telecom Company. It was a partnership by marketing and creation with the IT. I made the templates and the IT department was supposed to program it.”

What website template providers have you tried? “I know templatemonster.com from a long time ago, and I always like it and sometimes my ideas for animation comes from there. . . they are really professional and can be inspiration for many guys.”

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What do you think about Flash Technology? “As I said, I always enjoy it and it was my main reason to work with creation. But today, the way I see it is different. I believe the popular fame of Flash maybe is his weak too. New guys is using it the wrong way, making website non sense of usability and user experience. I heard about who cares about the technology is the developer, not the user. Sometimes people use Flash a lot their needs. So I recommend the use only when it’s fully necessary to make available the message that you wan’t to say. In the other hand, there are many Flash Projects never see before and people like it, the news, bold, but behind this sucess is very much work, search, study, etc. Before you judge some project you need to ask yourself how long time people lose to do that, look for details, the art, branding, you can enjoy it and bring to your projects too.”

What are your sources of inspiration? “I like to visit portfolios, agencies and designers, I like to visit award, like FWA, DOPE, LOUNGE, etc. I like to keep all that arts that I enjoy. I like to keep graphic stuffs too, it always bring ideas for my projects. Watch TV, Movies, Music World Helps too.”

Thank you Andre’ for your take on design and particularly Flash.

Use the Abundance of Solar and Wind Energy,
Arthur Browning

7Nov

I was cruising through some great looking websites the other day and ran across GreenHousePartners.com. They have some interesting graphic concepts in their portfolio. I contacted Gary Wiese for an interview. Gary also has a personal portfolio website at PhonyLawn.com.

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How did you get into web design? “I got into it at my first job out of school. There wasn’t much of a focus on it during school, so I was really immersed right after school. I enjoyed it right away.”

Describe how your work process usually flows, how do you like to start, what are the key points to consider, etc.? “Thumbnails, thumbnails, thumbnails. I find it’s the best way to start any project – id, print or web. It’s quick and easy to sketch something up to see if it will work. It’s also a way to get around the pitfalls of getting caught up in details like colors or fonts. Once I’m happy with a direction then I move to the machine.”

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Do you submit your design works to showcase sites for reviews? “Occasionally, but it’s not my focus. I did, however, submit my own portfolio site to several.”

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How much does other people’s opinion matter to you? “It matters a little. But really, the only opinions that matter are those of my clients and colleagues.”

Has anybody ever told you anything negative about your website? How do you deal with criticism? “Of course, but I don’t mind negative feedback so long as it’s constructive and honest. If it’s constructive, it will make me think about new projects differently before I start. It’s hard to take criticism that’s purely subjective.”

Where do you get your art for these webpages? “I think every designer has a library of textures, images, fonts, etc. they pull from. I often recycle old ideas that weren’t chosen.”

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What do you think about Flash technology? “Flash is a great and powerful tool—when it’s used correctly. Designers are producing entire sites in flash and only using the technology for gimmicky transitions. I would only use flash when it’s going to increase the level of engagement of the audience.”

If you could eliminate one trend from the Web, what would it be? Why? “I feel like everyone’s using a white background with a mirror image of the object.”

What does “clean interface” mean to you? “One that strikes the balance of content and design. http://www.nytimes.com is a great example of this. They do an amazing job of keeping it visually compelling while staying informational.”

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Tell us about your use of colors in your designs. “The use of color should enhance and bring to life the concept. Color should set a tone and should help illustrate what you’re trying to communicate.”

You’re a web designer and a creative person – describe the creative process and how you stimulate yourself? “I look at a lot of blogs, design communities, and personal sites everyday to get inspiration. I’ve got a large appetite for that type of research, so I really enjoy it. It’s also good no good to get offline and look at anything you can get your hands on – ranging from brochures, catalogs, annual reports, etc.”

In solving problems what kinds of process or guides do you use. “I recently did a logo for landscape architecture and urban design firm, who wanted their logo to represent the collaboration of the two partners. I solved this through type, and how it worked collaboratively as one. http://logopond.com/gallery/detail/12670 . So I guess the only guide I have is to make my work smart and conceptual.”

What are your sources of inspiration? “http://www.designinteract.com/sow/ , http://www.commarts.com/CA/exhibit/ , http://www.thefwa.com/ , http://www.designflood.com/ , http://thedenveregotist.com/ , http://logopond.com/ , http://www.goodmagazine.com/ .”

What are your favorite website designs that you did and did NOT design yourself? “http://www.nokia.com/nonstopliving – it has a great use of flash.”

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What was the toughest project or customer situation you’ve encountered? “I did a site last year for an adventure travel consortium, representing 11 individual companies. We had to design a site that would be a hub for all these companies and make each company feel like it was being represented. So in actuality, we had 11 different clients to please. I feel the site was a huge success because our concept was dealing with the many ways people chose to travel. Some like adventure, others like relaxing. Our solve for this was to illustrate scenes at the footer of each page depicting the specific companies – http://www.adventurecollection.com.”

What advice would you give to beginning web designers? “Be conceptual in your work. Be thoughtful about why you chose a certain color or font. Don’t choose it because it looks cool—chose it because it fits with your concept.”

Thank you Gary for the ideas and the graphics. Have continued success!

Burning the Envelope,
Arthur Browning

30Oct

Ready for some interesting graphics?  I recently visited the website of Michelle Seixas at NOZnaweb.com.  NOZnaweb.com has a good portfolio with some interesting style in their  graphic work.  NOZ is located in Brazil, but they have recently had several projects in Angola.

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How did you get into web design?  “I met webdesign like the most…at home, just like a hobby, but since the beginning I knew that it was what I wanted to do. So I studied to have knowledge and experience to work with it.”

Do you remember the very first site you designed?  “Thank God I don’t remember it!!! Probably was something very ugly and poor, cause it was long time ago…”

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Do you submit your design works to showcase sites for reviews? How much does other people’s opinion matter to you? Has anybody ever told you anything negative about your website? How do you deal with criticism?  “I think its very important to have other opinions, cause people have different point of view of the same thing, and its good to know what other professionals sees in our work. The negative point in showcase sites is the guy who goes there only to detract other people jobs, but we need to be patient with them, when people don’t have talent to grow up, they try to put people down on their level.”

Have you ever worked with website templates?  “I’ve never work with them, but I’m not against this kind of work. We have thousands of great templates over the web, but me and my partners believe that the best solutions are the custom ones, where everything are based on a study about the client, his customers and objectives.”

What do you think about Flash technology?  “Everything used properly gives us great results. All we need to do is make a study about the better solution for our problems, and in many cases Flash demonstrate a good performance allied to possibilities that only it has. We’ve migrated to AS3 and I can say there’s a lot of great things we can do with it and lot more are coming.”

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What are the advantages and disadvantages of using Flash?  “As I was saying, Flash have interactivity, design, and a lot of animation things we can use, giving to the user a great experience. On the other hand, we have to deal with little bandwidth, primarily here in Brazil and Angola, where the majority ursers have an 300kbps connection.”

What does “clean interface” mean to you?  “The one wich we can easily find what we are searching for, or that’s enough pleasant to make us navigate even that we aren’t searching for something.”

What language do you use for coding? Why?  “Some cases I use ActionScript 3.0, but when I’m developing without Flash, I work with PHP ally to MySQL and JavaScript. They have a good integration and enables secure resources.”

What are your sources of inspiration?  “All kind of art, since a music to a painting…Image banks are a great source too.”

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What is it you most like and dislike about being a web designer?  “I love webdesign. I always wanted to make this hobby my professional activity, cause there’s nothing more rewarding than work with something that makes you happy, but we live on a country where the webdesign isn’t evolved enough, people aren’t investing properly, so we have to compete with kids that think webdesign is only to know how to make a funny effect in Photoshop, and write some tags on Dreamweaver, cause they have a ‘better’ price.”

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What advice would you give to beginning web designers?  “Do not give up! Study a LOT. Do things the better way you can, and always search for the best solutions. And remember that a good site, is not only a cute design, it needs to make sense and have a purpose.”

Thank you Michelle for the interesting viewpoints on web design.  We wish you inspiration with graphics and continued success in webdesign.

Ever Upward,
Arthur Browning

23Oct

Animation is a lot of fun and it’s come along way since animated gif images. Animation should become more and more prevalent on the web as goes on. I visited the website of Lim Liang Danny at http://www.dannylim.net. The visit to the website is worth it for the music soundtrack alone. After I looked through I contacted Danny for an interview.

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How did you get into web design? “It started off when I was studying my Multimedia Diploma in 2001. I learned to build a website from scratch using HTML. I’m interested in the way HTML works to bring visual out on a html page. From then I continue to develop website through various software such as Frontpage, Dreamweaver, Flash and 3D Studio Max – Swish.”

Do you remember the very first site you designed? “Ha! Ha! Well like most people did, I created a fansite for the game Final Fantasy 9. It was constructed using purely html codes with flash files.”

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Describe how your work process usually flows, how do you like to start, what are the key points to consider, etc.? “I normally start with content design, the flow of information on the website, something like a mind map. Secondly, I will go into instructional design that is to make sure is user-friendly. Lastly, will be the interface design of the website.”

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You are doing a lot of Digital Filmmaking and Web Design, are these both specializations for you? “After I got my diploma in Multimedia computing, my primary goal is to be an animator and then a web-designer. However, before I go into university, I happen to get a chance to work as freelance web designer and that is what really kicks off me in becoming a web designer. Sad to say, when I was in university, I decided to take a different path as a filmmaker and again treat web design as my hobby and alternative for earning some allowances through freelance work. Thus, my specialization is on
Digital Filmmaking and Web Design.”

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Have you ever worked with website templates? “Nah . . .no room for creativity, however I do sometimes use them as a reference, especially for corporate web design.”

What do you think about Flash technology? “It is marvelous! Especially with the power of action script, one can really do wonders with it. There are more flexibility in terms of creativity in web designing.”

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What are the advantages and disadvantages of using Flash? “With just Flash it might be hard to update the information. However with XML it solves most of the problems. Easy to upload.”

What does “clean interface” mean to you? “Neat, structured, tidy and a visually appealing website.”

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Tell us about your use of colors in your designs. “I like the use of primary colors in my design and this is already a style in all my personal websites. The reason is because they are simply ‘Pure’. You can’t mix a primary color out from any other colors.”You’re a web designer and a creative person – describe the creative process and how you stimulate yourself? “I look around and observe everything that my eyes see. I find inspiration from the things and people around me.”

What advice would you give to beginning web designers? “Be open-minded, take initiative and be ready to learn from all aspects. Web Design is not only about the visual but also the experience of the user using it.”

Thank you Danny for the design viewpoints and your experiences.

Finding the Best Solutions,
Arthur Browning

16Oct

Yes, I am an eye-candy freak. But, most surfers are. It can get to be a matter of style. Sometimes a designer’s style works really well in one way but not another. Because of that I pursue every variation of designers’ personal styles.

I was browsing here and there and saw the  F1000.fr design site – of Fabien Gouby of France . I looked in and decided I should ask Fabien for an interview.

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How did you get into web design? “When I was a kid I really liked drawing and was interested by beautiful pictures and cartoons. So I wanted to learn graphics and multimedia. But I am more interested by webdesign. Interactivity, animation and this opening on the world make it more alive than print.”

Do you remember the very first site you designed? “Yes ! It’s was the first version of my portfolio. I remember, the color combination was so bad. I followed a tutorial on a book. But that was the beginning for me. That allowed me to learn and to continue the web exploration.”

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Where do you get your artwork for your webpages? “I try, as much as I can to shoot my own pictures and create my own illustrations. When I create a website I know exactly what type of pictures I need and I lose much time trying to find it on a web stock. I have got a good friend who is a photographer and he often helps me.”

What will be the next big development in webpage design? “The video on the web is developing very fast, and I think that 3D will push back the limits of the Web further.”

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Have you ever worked with website templates? “At the beginning yes, but I didn’t really like that. Without templates, we can develop the graphic and the interactive part so the visual identity and the impact are better.”

What do you think about Flash technology? “Really great tool. With Flash we see the design and the graphic take a big part of the website. Flash allows the developers, graphic designers, video makers, music makers, and soon 3D designers to work together on a global website project.”

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You’re a web designer and a creative person – describe the creative process and how you stimulate yourself? “I don’t do something special. I just try to stay connected and see a maximum of new designs, ideas and tendencies. You make your own interpretation and that develops your creativity.”

What are your sources of inspiration? “I love nature and I think it’s a good source of inspiration – the colors for example. The other graphics and websites are a good source too.”

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What was the toughest project or customer situation you’ve encountered? “Each project is tough because I try to find something new and original each time.”

What is it you most like and dislike about being a web designer? “The web is changing every time and you have to adapt and learn every time. For me it’s really motivating and exciting but it’s hard to follow sometimes.”

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Thank you Fabien for your ideas about web design. We wish you continued success and inspiration.

Stop Chasing Rainbows, Create Them!
Arthur Browning

26Jun

Webpage design and web development is a new field but one that is becoming full of new do-it-yourselfers who want to save money. It is also welcoming new professional designers by the thousands every month. All of these designers can benefit from the experiences and viewpoints of active professional web designers.

Small businesses are in a rush to get cost-effective internet advertising. This means a new website. Small businesses don’t need the big, expensive, cutting edge technology websites – some of which don’t even have all the bugs worked out of them yet.

Small businesses need an attractive and informative page to excite visitors and customers to do business. This kind of page should be simple, fast-loading and very easy to navigate because many small business customers are not particularly web savvy and have no interest in website design per se.

Customers of small business need good information in a user-friendly webpage atmosphere – which is not expensive when using a web template. The web templates available today are incredible values. Check out one of the largest online collections around, all killer values.

New designers and do-it-yourself amateurs can get great ideas from the interviews on this website (just click on the web designer interview category at right). Another place to visit for great info is Design Interviews – full of good answers from designers that have already dealt with the problems you may encounter.

Also, if you know someone who has a good web template based website let us know about it. Or if you know a good designer who would like to interview let us know about it. Use the comment box below, no problem.

Severing All Ties With Reality – Daily,
Arthur Browning

14Mar

I am happy to announce the publishing of my first designer interview on the DesignInterviews.com Blog. Jenn Marcelais of SoulOyster.com is my first interviewee for the new blog. Please have a look. Feedback is valued.

So, all you designers, new and seasoned as well, send me your URL. I want to interview YOU. If you want to nominate a designer that you know, maybe the designer of your own webpage, I will look at their website and portfolio right away.

The Larry King of Designer Interviews,
Arthur Browning

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