Innovate, but don’t do it just for the sake of innovation. Be brave and be bold in your decisions, and take advantage of not knowing what’s right or what’s wrong. That's your biggest asset – your clean canvas.

question Please give us a brief bio of yourself.

I’m co-founder and Executive Creative Director at Code and Theory, a creative agency that designs products and brand experiences across platforms. We’re now one of the largest independent creative agencies in the U.S., serving clients across North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

What do you do for inspiration?

I try to walk a different way to work every day, paying attention to people and the way they interact with things in the world. I’m also into photography, architecture, art and design.

How do you relax or unwind?

By listening to music while browsing through reference materials, or scrolling through Facebook or Twitter while watching TV.

If you weren't working on the internet what would you be doing?

Photography or architecture.

What's your favourite part of your job? What's the hardest part of your job? What do you do when you get stuck?

People. I love the people I work with; they’re all inspiring to me. When I get stuck, I try to step back and first ask myself whether I’m the bottleneck. If I am, it’s simple: Step the side and don’t let pride get in the way. If it’s an employee or client, I try not to make it about them or me. Instead, it’s getting consensus that there is a problem, and then working collaboratively to try to fix the problem and find a good solution. 

If there are any pivotal experiences/decisions you could point to that helped shape your career, what would they be?

At the time, our launch for Sony Classical was pretty monumental for us and the industry, as we were credited with creating the first Flash video player. Dr Pepper’s “Band in a Bubble,” The Daily Beast and Interview magazine were also big moments in our company’s history.

What effect on traffic do your new designs have?

Every UX or design decision affects traffic, time on site, and bounce rates. Our philosophy is that when you design for the value of the visitor and not just the value of the page, you increase the value of both. Ultimately, the content will keep someone there, but the experience will keep them there longer and hopefully create ritualistic behaviors so that they come back.

What area of web design lacks the most?

Details, alignment, and pixels, pixels, pixels. It’s difficult doing great design across browsers, but it’s worth it. 

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?

I agree, but you could argue that this happens every time there is a big shift in mediums of communication. (e.g., Flyers, billboards, radio, TV, the Internet, etc.). They’re all just mediums to choose from as a way to connect with your customer or target audience.

Looking 10 years in to the future, how far can websites go?

Again, it goes back to design. In the future, there will be more ways and touch-points to connect with someone. A website is digital. In the future, there will be even more digital things – apps, kiosks, etc. So there will be more ways to connect the dots between these digital things on a daily basis.

What are your views on design/graphic school. Do you think someone can get into the field without educational experience in a school environment?

I dropped out. The best experience is real world experience, although school is great for some people.

If you were a student entering this industry or an aspiring FWA award submitter, what advice would you give them?

Innovate, but don’t do it just for the sake of innovation. Be brave and be bold in your decisions, and take advantage of not knowing what’s right or what’s wrong. That's your biggest asset – your clean canvas.

Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?

You’re only as good as your last project.





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