Our team loves to hang out together. Besides being colleagues, lots of us are friends too, which creates a great vibe within the office.
Please give us a brief bio of yourself.
dpdk is an adaptive agency specializing in digital interactions. Since the start of dpdk in 2001, we have been evolving into the full-service agency we are today. We offer a wide array of digital disciplines for brands, agencies & public companies.
What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?
The fact that we are where we are today as a company; adding new disciplines as the digital space expanded. We started out as a purely technical production company. 13 years later our team has expanded with specialists varying from strategists to usability testers.
How do you relax or unwind?
The whole team celebrates the end of every week on friday night: we gather on our roof terrace for drinks, a nice chat and lots of laughter.
How many projects does your company juggle at any one time?
100+ in different stages of development and through different disciplines.
What effect on traffic do your new designs have?
Our approach is very SCRUM-like, meaning that we try and connect the complete team from brief to live date. This way, interaction designers, art directors and developers know what the others are doing on a daily basis. This reduces both the risk of having to design all over and the effect changes have on the dev team.
When dealing with major clients, how difficult is it to meet the needs of such wide target audiences?
Basically it's not difficult at all: a) think in user stories, b) test the hell out of it. That's one of the coolest parts of digital: in larger projects we sometimes pretest 3 times or more before we launch. This way both we and the client are sure that users will actually enjoy what we deliver.
What did your very first site look like? Is it still online?
It's actually not a site, but a flash version of the classic Moonlander game. Back in the days we were creating flash games in...well, a flash. We keep them online just for fun. The great thing is: these games are still tons of fun. And because nowadays we're able to build the game mechanism, controls and animations without flash, they stay a source of inspiration whenever we're developing a mobile game.
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?
Our team loves to hang out together. Besides being colleagues, lots of us are friends too, which creates a great vibe within the office. Also, we expect everybody to operate in more than one discipline. This way, challenges can be met by the whole team instead of one individual. Solving this faster and making projects a true team effort.
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?
It's pretty hard to connect 'social media' to 'really made sense', because it hardly ever enables a service for the user. But we did love last year's 'Try my Hybrid' by Saatchi Norway. After connecting using facebook, it enabled you to find Prius owners near you that would let you test drive their Prius. Cutting out the brand, but boasting test drives, and hopefully sales.
There is perhaps a shift in web use these days. We are seeing a decline in the purely experiential sites in flash with huge production efforts, to a relationship with clients based on tools and services, that many times have simples interfaces. How do you see that trend developing? Will Flash suffer?
Great experiences will always be part of a brand's communication in some way or another. But users and customers expect brands to work for them instead of the other way around, and rightfully so. This creates a huge demand for tools and services to be developed. The great thing is: these tools & services enable a long term relationship between user and brand. And within that relationship, moments will open up for experiential interactions, wether that's a site or another digital form.
How difficult do you find employing the right people in a world where everyone calls themselves a web designer?
Just as the digital space transforms on a daily basis, so do job titles and requirements. Students call themselves UX designers or Strategists before knowing what it actually means. It all boils down to talent, skills and the right mindset. That's why we'd rather see a portfolio even before we see a resumé, and why we love to keep track of young talent in any digital discipline.
How do you keep your finger on the pulse of the latest web trends?
Every team member drops his or her daily dose of inspiration in a company wide mailbox. This way everybody stays up to date of great new finds and trends, even far beyond their own discipline. For larger trends or learnings, we have a weekly presentation called "Chemistry" by a team member about the newest insights on a specific topic or skill. It's open for all team members to attend, and if you can't make it, no worries: we record it and place it online, so you can watch it whenever you do have time.
It has been a privilege, thanks very much
Thanks for having us, come say 'Ahoy' whenever you're in Rotterdam!