My 1st website was very ugly, I'm ashamed about it, but when I want a good laugh I still go to see it and see how bad I was at that time.

Please give us a brief bio of yourself.

My name is Mario Ballario, I was born 37 years ago in Asti. I live near Torino, Italy.

I have a degree in geology, but one day before finishing my studies I tried Flash 4 and it changed my professional goals and my life quite a bit.

I started this work in 2000 making flash websites in an agency in Torino then I co-founded magicsocket in 2005; during my career I got more and more involved in actionscript development (which is good since I have never been a decent designer).

Now I'm the tech lead and developer of my small company and I just love my work.

During the last few years I have been so lucky to take part in the development of some amazing projects and to work with great minds.

When I'm not working (an event that rarely occurs) I enjoy riding my motorbike on the beautiful hills and mountains of my region.

What do you do for inspiration?

Inspiration can come from anywhere, I try to look at what surrounds me, or just randomly surf the internet for new things (StumbleUpon is a great service).

I also try to follow the evolution of technology, it's important to know what your tools can do today and will able to do in the future.

Please list 3 of your favourite sites.

Google; Wikipedia; BBC

What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?

I always dreamt about being able to work on top level projects, possibly with my own company so my work is a dream come true.

The biggest achievement is always the next project, which is what makes this work so interesting. Every day is a new challenge.

What software could you not live without?

The Internet (it's a service and it's an infrastructure, but it's also a great software). Flex, Flash, Firefox.

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

Big Spaceship, North Kingdom, Fantasy Interactive

I would name many others that I think are at the same level.

What effect on traffic do your new designs have?

I don't think design is effective on traffic anymore, it's an important feature, but the key for a successful site is the user experience.

Who is your target audience?

Target audience changes for every project, it depends on the client and brand.

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

My 1st website was very ugly, I'm ashamed about it, but when I want a good laugh I still go to see it and see how bad I was at that time.

It's still online, but I'm not going to reveal the address :P

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

I never have. Maybe one day, if I can come up with a good story. I wouldn't want to write about anything related to my work, anyway.

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

Until some years ago I would have said my personal site, it was a flash avatar chat, it was my pet project where I put all my learning efforts.

Today I have to face the requests from so many great creative minds that every project is a big challenge.

Do you think Flash is here to stay?

Today and for the next few years for sure, in the future probably, but computers and technology change so fast that anything can happen.

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

Education is important, but I think passion is the greatest driving force.

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

Working hard, being available and give always my best; clients notice when you are doing all you can to do a good job.

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

I never studied so hard since I started this work. Never stop to read, study and try new things every day.

Choose a pet project so difficult that you don't even know where to start from and try to do it. It was a great learning experience for me.

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

A ticket for the next Bruce Springsteen tour.

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

I'm not really a labels man, I always wear jeans and tshirt.

Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?

I wish I was so good to be able to dispense pearls of wisdom.

It has been a privilege, thanks very much.

It was my pleasure.


Mario Ballario
Mario Ballario

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