I'm trying to move away from the medium of the minisite and go out to where the consumer is.
Please give us a brief bio of yourself.
I'm originally a Jersey boy who moved out to San Francisco when I was 21. Just in time to get in on the dotcom boom. Been working on various web ventures ever since.
What do you do for inspiration?
This is going to sound lame, but I listen to music.
Please list 3 of your favourite sites.
I'm a traditionalist when it comes to the internet. I love looking at new and creative sites, but when it comes down to it I'm obsessed with my Google Reader page, there's been a huge influx of people from my grammar school finding me on Facebook lately, and I know it's trendy to say but I'm loving Twitter right now.
Getting up the the minute updates from people like Stephen Fry, Jonathan Ross, and Lily Allen is just brilliant.
What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?
I'd say that the work I did on cargobay.starwars.com still makes me smile even though the shine has worn off my affection for Star Wars in general.
What software could you not live without?
I discovered OmniFocus while working on this project and it was a lifesaver. It has an iPhone app that syncs to the desktop version and really helped me keep everyone's feedback, task lists, and bugs in order. Especially considering I was working with 5 different companies.
What projects do you have in the pipeline?
Nothing much I can talk about at the moment, but I'm trying to move away from the medium of the minisite and go out to where the consumer is.
Who do you rate as being the top 3 design companies?
I should have an answer to this right of the top of my head but there are so many companies out there doing great work. I think that the production partners who did a lot of design on the various toys on Cheetos.com are top notch and deserve a big shout out.
What effect on traffic do your new designs have?
We have definitely seen an increase of traffic on Cheetos.com over the old kids-focused site.
Who is your target audience?
Essentially, adults 18-35. People who have daily constraints that they want to rebel against. Cheetos would like to give them the tools to do that.
What area of web design lacks the most?
This isn't really a design issue, but I'd like to see more scalable content on the web. I want to be able to seamlessly get my info whenever and where ever I want.
I think we are getting there, but since everyone wants a piece of the pie not enough companies are working together. We need a little more convergence and a little less competition. I sound like a typical San Francisco hippie. Ha!
What did your very first site look like? Is it still online?
I was involved in so many little sites back in the day, but my first personal site was terrible and is deleted from the internet for good...I hope.
Have you written any books, if not do you plan to?
I haven't written any books, but I have a sci-fi/urban fantasy tv pitch that has been percolating in my brain for a few years now. So if anyone from in Hollywood is reading this, get in touch.
What was the toughest thing you ever did with Flash? How long did you spend on it? Is it still online?
Every site or project that I work on seems to be a new challenge which is what I really enjoy about working at Goodby.
We like to push the boundaries of what can and can't be done and my creatives hate the word, "no." On the Cheetos.com site in particular the carousel navigation, being able to update it with new content and it still work well enough not to kill peoples computers, was a huge challenge.
Do you think Flash is here to stay?
Obviously, Flash really is the only program in its class on the web, but I think that as media and information moves off of the desktop computer screen and more people are finding new ways of experiencing and consuming that media, Flash is going to have to evolve drastically or it will die.
What are your views on design/graphic school. Do you think someone can get into the field without educational experience in a school environment?
As someone who didn't go to school for the field he is working in, I can honestly say that on the job experience can teach a person a lot.
Yet, there are definitely skills in the world of technology that are necessary for getting anywhere.
So I say learn the software and tools that you need to build and design first, but then the best way to learn after that is to actually do it.
How have you learned so many Flash/design skills and techniques and can you offer any advice for newbies?
Experimentation. Open a program and just try things.
What is the most expensive thing you have bought in the last week?
A new vacuum cleaner. Boring I know, but I'm saving for a trip to England in a few weeks so no big purchases for me until I land in Blighty.
What type of overcoat do you wear when Flashing, basically are you a labels man?
Not really a labels man, but I do have a softspot for Ben Sherman and Fred Perry
Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?
Push the boundaries, follow your dreams, have fun. I think that "have fun," is probably the most important bit of advice I can give.
Like any work of art or music or film, you can always tell when something was built and worked on by people who were really loving it and enjoying it. It will definitely shine through to the end user and make your site that much better for it.
It has been a privilege, thanks very much.
Thank you! It's been an honor.