Ironically the hardest things we have done with Flash remain some of the banner ads we've produced. Getting creative ideas looking good in just 15k takes real skill and determination.
Please give us a brief bio of yourself.
I studied interactive design at Plymouth University in England, after that and a few months snowboarding in France I freelanced doing all manner of web and CD-rom jobs.
In March 2000 I set up specialmoves with a group of mates from University and haven't looked back since.
What do you do for inspiration?
Involve as many people in the process as possible. It's amazing what people will come up with if given the chance. Especially people outside our industry.
Please list 3 of your favourite sites.
What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?
The team we've built at specialmoves. There are some seriously talented people here and it's a privilege to work along side them. Being nominated for a BAFTA was pretty special too.
What projects do you have in the pipeline?
Top secret, but expect some really interesting things to be coming out of specialmoves in the next few months.
What software couldn't you live without?
A web browser.
Who do you rate as being the top 3 design companies?
What effect on traffic do your new designs have?
The one thing that stands out is the amount of time people spend on our sites. They stay far longer than average.
We try hard to get people much more involved with the brand we're representing and it seems to be working.
Do you think Flash is here to stay?
For the foreseeable future, yes. Though as broadband becomes more prevalent its main advantage, great stuff in small downloads, is diminished. When the size of the download is taken out of the equation Shockwave is a much more attractive proposition than it is now.
Have you written any books, if not do you plan to?
I've not written any but would love to. It would be about interactivity and what it really means and how you go about applying it to your own ideas and brands.
It would be called something like 'Rollovers are not interactivity'
Who is your target audience?
This varies from project to project. But hopefully people that realise that interactivity is not a moving interface and a bit of animation.
What was the toughest thing you ever did with Flash?
Ironically the hardest things we have done with Flash remain some of the banner ads we've produced. They're online in our portfolio
Getting creative ideas looking good in just 15k takes real skill and determination.
What did your very first site look like? Is it still online?
Awful and no it's not. The first site I created was in 95 for a uni project. How far we've come in 8 years.
How have you learned so many Flash/design skills and techniques and can you offer any advice for newbies?
Learn interactivity don't learn Flash. Learn programming don't learn Lingo. Learn design don't learn Illustrator.
People are far too hung up on the packages that they use. Learn the principles behind the tools this is much more valuable than learning specific programs.
What type of overcoat do you wear when Flashing, basically are you a labels man?
I'm in Etnies, Volcom and Sessions today.
Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?
Don't take it too seriously. Snowboarding is much more fun than sitting in front of a computer.
Thanks very much, darrell, it's been a privilege.