Sometimes seeing and understanding things through other people's perspectives can open doors within your own creativity.
Please give us a brief bio of yourself.
I'm an interaction designer from San Francisco, however I've recently moved to Santa Monica, CA where I currently work as a designer at RED Interactive Agency.
Prior to that, I worked at a firm called gotomedia, where I did a lot of work with web/user interface design and I did graduate studies in new media and interactive design at the Academy of Art University.
What do you do for inspiration?
Well, whenever I'm starting off with a project, I create inspiration through brainstorming ideas with words and thumbnail sketches and I usually create moodboards and wireframes to further help visualize ideas.
Nonetheless, I believe the best place to find inspiration is from people around you such as friends, family, neighbors, colleagues, etc. Sometimes seeing and understanding things through other people's perspectives can open doors within your own creativity.
Please list 3 of your favourite sites.
What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?
I would have to say finishing graduate school. It has always been a long-time goal of mine to complete a Thesis project and earn an MF
What projects do you have in the pipeline?
I can't go into detail with any commercial stuff but I have two freelance projects in the works and there's also quite a few projects at RED I'm pretty anxious about.
I'm also working on a new design portfolio, art portfolio and a blog redesign but I've had to delay them because I'm so busy at the moment.
And, I'm hoping to add more upgrades to Papercritters.com by adding a rating system, RSS feed, and a Facebook app.
Who do you rate as being the top 3 design companies?
Who is your target audience?
I tend to target the 13-24 year olds that are fairly computer savvy. With Papercritters.com, I wanted to reach young people that get a lot of their media online and who use websites like digg, Myspace, YouTube, and Facebook.
I also targeted individuals who are vinyl toy and papercraft enthusiasts. However, I've reached a wide array of people--internationally. And surprisingly, I've been contacted by lots of mothers and teachers who enjoy doing arts & crafts projects and have been sharing it with children.
Given that fact, I've toned down some of the content on the site because I'm getting some children and parents using Paper Critters.
What area of web design lacks the most?
As much as I like the next incredible Flash website that outdoes anything else out there, I firmly believe it's usability and making things easy for the end-user.
Whenever I'm engulfed in an engaging rich-media website, in the back of my head I'm thinking, "Are people actually going to be able to understand how to use this site?"
I'm no fan of Jakob Neilson but there is a learning curve when using any website and implementing some principles of usability will help with any interactive project.
And so ultimately, I tend to like and create websites that balance engaging rich-multimedia with a practical user-experience.
What did your very first site look like? Is it still online?
I made my first website when I was about 15 years old. I really wanted to make a website and I bought this cheap WYSIWYG editor and hosted it on Tripod. It had frames, banners, midis, and animated gifs and it was awesome!
Unfortunately, it is no longer online but now that I'm thinking about it, I wish it was.
What was the toughest thing you ever did with Flash? How long did you spend on it? Is it still online?
It would definitely be Papercritters.com. I spent an entire year working on it.
Do you think Flash is here to stay?
Flash has been around just more than a decade and it's become a big part of the Internet.
However, as technology moves forward and as Internet connections become faster and computers become more powerful, who knows what lies in the future.
I think within our lifetime something better than Flash will come along but it won't come from Microsoft.
What are your views on design/graphic school. Do you think someone can get into the field without educational experience in a school environment?
Absolutely, since this is such a young field, I've met and worked with many talented people who work in the industry that are purely self-taught and trained.
However, as this field becomes more and more specialized and schools develop programs in digital art and design, I think it's important younger people, hoping to get in this field, seek some kind of experience in a school environment.
And, being a person who has been through design/graphic school, I think it's paramount to get experience in the field to actually get work and continuing to learn outside of school is important to stay competitive.
I will always see myself as a "work-in-progress" continuing to learn and seeking to get better.
How have you learned so many Flash/design skills and techniques and can you offer any advice for newbies?
Aside from actually working and going to school, I found design magazines and Flash/Actionscript books extremely helpful.
Lynda.com and the Open-source Flash community is great for learning and practicing technical skills. Also, it helps to absorb as much art, design, and technical skills as you can.
What is the most expensive thing you have bought in the last week?
A Samsung LN-T4671F 46" HDTV. I bought it as a birthday gift to myself.
What type of overcoat do you wear when Flashing, basically are you a labels man?
Not much of a labels man. I usually just rock a t-shirt and jeans..Nothing too fancy.
Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?
A Beer before liquor and you'll get sicker.
Liquor before beer and you're in the clear.
It has been a privilege, thanks very much.
Thank you, it's been an absolute pleasure.