I used to spend my weekends browsing through the forums and selecting a few interesting questions I didn't know the answers to. In figuring out the answers, I would help others and also learn new tricks that I would definitely use later.

Please give us a brief bio of yourself.

A I am a Brooklyn resident and the Technology Director at Domani Studios.

I was born and raised in Lima (Peru), where I started my career as a web designer after my second year in college, while also pursuing stardom with a hard rock band I formed with some close friends.

All of this kept me extremely busy but somewhat diffused, until I decided to focus on Interactive.

I moved to New York, about 6 years ago and established myself as a freelancer, alternating between doing my own thing and working at a handful of agencies in the city.

I joined Domani about a year and a half ago as a Senior Developer. Since then, I have helped build some of the major interactive pieces the studio has produced.

What do you do for inspiration?

Music is integral to my day-to-day for inspiration, motivation and "mood management." Reading is important, too, as well as appreciating other people's work and thinking how I would approach the same problems.

Please list 3 of your favourite sites.

Twitter although I use it through Twhirl, an AIR client.


SmallWorlds. Still in beta, if you want to check it out, I can hook you up with an invite.

What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?

So far, I don't think I've done anything that could stand out like that. I'd like to think that my contributions to the company and the community have inspired others to be the best they can be.

What software could you not live without?

iTunes, VMWare Fusion and Charles.

What projects do you have in the pipeline?

We are currently working on more video intensive Flash sites, two of them for very well known brands.

Building on top of the success of Allstate Garage, and partnering with major agencies, we will be building high caliber interactive experiences that will push the limits of what Flash can do.

Other than that, we are working hard on getting our new Chicago office ready for prime time. This is definitely shaping up to be a busy summer.

Who do you rate as being the top 3 design companies?

To be honest, I can't see three companies I can single out from the rest.

There are a lot of people doing great work, such as the likes of North Kingdom and Psyop. I also like the latest from Group 94 and Odopod. We're also producing great work and hopefully it will be more visible in the near future.

What effect on traffic do your new designs have?

I want to think mostly positive. Defining conversion goals with clients can be tricky, so the effect in traffic tends to be subjective. However, I've been told that a recent rich media ad campaign we helped put together had a conversion ratio of 70%, which is ten times the expected benchmark for that kind of ad.

Who is your target audience?

It definitely varies depending on the project. As a collective, our projects are tailored to increasingly "Internet savvy" people of all ages, with particular concentration on young adults.

That said, we have built sites for teenage movie musical lovers as well as for mature insurance-needing bikers.

What area of web design lacks the most?

Original ideas are harder to come by these days, just like in film I'd dare say. Too many people get distracted with what they can do with today's technology, forgetting about the substance.

There's no replacement for content.

What did your very first site look like? Is it still online?

The first website I ever built was for my University almost 10 years ago, so I doubt there's any of it left anywhere. It involved quite a few late nights of coding HTML in Netscape Composer, Notepad, and editing images with Photoshop 5.

Have you written any books, if not do you plan to?

The closest I've been to writing a book has been tech-editing a few, which has been a rewarding experience.

I have authored a handful of articles and tutorials, but I don't think I have ever written anything longer than 10 pages. That said, I would consider authoring or co-authoring a book if the right opportunity presents itself.

What was the toughest thing you ever did with Flash? How long did you spend on it? Is it still online?

What about rebuilding iMovie with Flash? Seriously, a client kept referencing iMovie when I was assigned the task to build a video editor tool with Flash.

It was a fascinating challenge, definitely one of the most complex applications I have built to date, and the result was pretty decent.

Unfortunately, it was online for just a few months so I don't have a link to share.

Do you think Flash is here to stay?

Yes, no doubt about it. Flash is one of the most dynamic technologies in existence. Adobe, and Macromedia before, has been doing a great job at listening to the community and shaping their offerings based on our feedback.

I can't wait to start building applications that leverage the new features in Flash 10.

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. I want to think I am proof of that. I went to college to study Economics and then to Business School, but never got any formal training relevant to interactive design.

I learned on the job, on my own and with the help of the community. Being able to keep your knowledge fresh is critical to being successful in this industry, whether you went to design school or not.

When your company was just getting started, what did you find was most effective for getting new clients?

I can't speak for the beginnings of Domani, but in general, being passionate about our work, and the technologies that make it possible, is critical to get buy-in from clients.

As a freelancer, I worked hard to build a reputation for on-time/on-budget project delivery (which addresses any client's bottom line), while trying my best to throw in a little extra, without killing myself.

These extras were not necessarily more features; they could be things like accommodating extra meetings and calls, basically showing them that I cared about their business. Those gestures can go a long way.

How have you learned so many Flash/design skills and techniques and can you offer any advice for newbies?

Mostly by getting myself in trouble and trying to do things that went a little over my head. Knowledge generated that way will stay with you forever.

It definitely helps having a pet project to experiment. If you are having a hard time coming up with ideas, there are plenty of people in need of help in forums such as the ones hosted by Adobe, FlashKit, Actionscript.org and countless others.

I used to spend my weekends browsing through the forums and selecting a few interesting questions I didn't know the answers to. In figuring out the answers, I would help others and also learn new tricks that I would definitely use later.

Participating in user groups and mailing lists is another way to keep up with what others in the community are doing and potentially getting answers to your questions. Our group in New York, FlashcodersNY, has been pretty successful at assimilating many talented individuals.

What is the most expensive thing you have bought in the last week?

New brakes for the car.

What type of overcoat do you wear when Flashing, basically are you a labels man?

Most of the time, I try to get as comfortable as decency allows. But when I dress, I'm most likely Kenneth Cole from head to toes.

Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?

You are always allowed to disagree with yourself.

It has been a privilege, thanks very much.

It was my pleasure, thank you.


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