In general I believe in great ideas, how we produce and spread them is secondary.
Please give us a brief bio of yourself.
I am managing director and eCD at Jung von Matt /next, the digital and platform agency of Jung von Matt. before that, i worked as regional creative director MENA at OgilvyOne in dubai, as lead creative director for Audi at Razorfish germany, as CD and unit lead at scholz&friends-interactive and started a bit more than a decade ago at Jung von Matt /amNeckar as a digitally based art director.
What do you do for inspiration?
Read, run, play table-foosball, watch movies, play video games
Please list 3 of your favourite sites.
Hard to say since there a so many really amazing sites out there, but what comes to my mind almost immediately is "get the glass" by north kingdom for the amazing digital experience, "HBO voyeur" by bigspaceship for the stories and this unbelievable interactive diorama for the "Halo 3 - believe campaign" by McCann for the craft. all rather dated i know - but thats my all.time.top3
What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?
Being able to make my wife laugh every day.
How many hours do you work each week?
I dont think it's about the hours we spend working, or even sitting at the office for 8, 10 or 16 hours a day ... i'd much rather work with people that are able to produce outstanding work in 3 hours and go home, than having to work long hours and weekends for the same result. for some reason we tend to end up much more often with the latter, unfortunately.
How do you relax or unwind?
Actually ... searching for inspiration and unwinding in my case is pretty close together, so: read, run, play table-foosball, watch movies, play video games
If you weren't working on the internet what would you be doing?
Oh boy ... either i would have gotten much deeper into a graphic design or would have found my way into movie and film making - i guess.
What's your favourite part of your job? What's the hardest part of your job? What do you do when you get stuck?
The best part is that everything is moving so quickly and changing so rapidly that you can count on the fact, that what you are doing right now is going to be "the good old days" same time next year. so many things to see, read, hear, watch, learn ... it never really gets boring.
The hardest part i guess, is that this also means you have to keep up with everything at the same pace. if you don't, chances are: you are gone be old news same time next year.
If there are any pivotal experiences/decisions you could point to that helped shape your career, what would they be?
Try to never do the same thing twice.
If you are getting bored of what you do: change it.
Aim to work with people that you think are better than yourself.
What software could you not live without?
My mind, maybe?
How many projects does your company juggle at any one time?
Sometimes 20-30, sometimes more.
In terms of software, is there anything new you have been playing with lately or that has impressed you?
Most of the things that impress me as an inspiration for my job come from video games. be it interface design and user-experience, animation or new ways of storytelling. lately thats Path of exile with its massive skill-system and the latest addition of assassin's creed "untiy" for its amazing interface design and gameplay.
Who do you rate as being the top 3 design companies?
Sagmeister & walsh, apple, samsung (sorry apple)
What effect on traffic do your new designs have?
Hopefully an intense one.
Has winning FWA awards helped you in any way?
The FWA is a showcase of industry leading creative work and as such is not only demonstrating the benchmark of whats doable and encouraging creatives from all over the work to raise the bar for their work, but also inspires and gives a stage for outstanding ideas and design. so: yes, that helps a lot. :)
What did your very first site look like? Is it still online?
As for many graphic designers, my first website was my digital portfolio - developed in flash 5, of course. i remember it having intense magenta and cyan colors on a white background and i am very happy to say: it's not online anymore.
Have you written any books, if not do you plan to?
I was fortunate enough to contribute to the one or the other, but haven't had the opportunity to really start writing one myself, but i would love to.
Are there things you do OUTSIDE of work to ensure that you are in the right mindset to be creative and/or successful in whatever you are doing?
Stay curious, ambitious and never take yourself too serious.
What was the last digital effort you saw (or were a part of) that used social media in a way that really made sense. Why?
I think a lot of brands and agency use social media quite well nowadays: by producing and spreading content that matters to people. "24hours of happiness" is what comes to my mind here ... and it worked wonders in bringing together people from all over the world to contribute to this great feeling of "happy".
The web is getting out of the web. Do you find that thinking in digital solutions alone hinders you? Do you feel the urge to solve the problem using all mediums necessary?
In general i believe in great ideas, how we produce and spread them is secondary. but if i start to think "how will it work in digital", what's important is that you have to come up with an idea, story or content that matters to people and that makes spending time with it worth while. big data, the internet of things, wearables and what ever comes next will only enforce the need for ideas that matter vs. communication that passes unseen like a ship in the night.
Looking 10 years in to the future, how far can websites go?
I think in 10 years, what used to be called "the web and websites" will be everywhere. everything will be connected to everything. interfaces and interactivity will be integrated into everyday live. naturally.
Of all the websites you/your company have produced, which one are you most proud of?
It's always the last project i am most proud of - until the next project.
Do you think Flash is here to stay?
I wish ... because many things we try to do with todays mega-hyped html5-wonders are only half as impressive than what we where able to deliver with flash. but as long as flash is not working across all devices without compromises, it's going to be a tough one for the boys from adobe to bring flash back to where it once was.
What are your views on design/graphic school. Do you think someone can get into the field without educational experience in a school environment?
Education and experience matter. but if you, for what ever reason, are able to educate yourself: in the creative industry only your output counts, not what enabled you to come up with it. but surely: learning from others e.g. in school is the more reliable and that for common way.
If you were a student entering this industry or an aspiring FWA award submitter, what advice would you give them?
Do what you are passionate about and try to be the best in it.
How difficult do you find employing the right people in a world where everyone calls themselves a web designer?
Talent is the hardest thing to find and the best thing to have around.
When your company was just getting started, what did you find was most effective for getting new clients?
Producing outstanding work.
What is the most expensive thing you have bought in the last week?
Datenight for our wedding anniversary.
What type of overcoat do you wear when Flashing, basically are you a labels man?
Total brand addict.
It has been a privilege, thanks very much
Thanks so much for the opportunity. my pleasure.