Enough passion and commitment can get you wherever you want in this field. A great degree can only go so far. It comes down to work quality, commitment to the craft, and the ability to be a fearless thinker.
Please give us a brief bio of yourself.
As a partner at Qorvis Communications and head of its creative services group, I manage and direct development of a wide range of interactive and branding services for Qorvis clients. I have a great record of superior client service and expertise in information architecture, branding, interface design, Flash, technology, web strategy, content management, social media, email marketing and interactive advertising. Prior to joining Qorvis, I founded my own interactive agency, Internet Gravity, in 1998 and grew the company’s clientele list exponentially. I have produced, designed and built more than 400 websites for a variety of businesses and was selected by Yahoo! as the nation’s best college web designer of 1998.
What do you do for inspiration?
Please list 3 of your favourite sites.It’s a three-way tie: my son Noah, making partner at Qorvis, , and winning the Yahoo! award.
How many hours do you work each week?
How do you relax or unwind?
If you weren't working on the internet what would you be doing?
What's your favourite part of your job? What's the hardest part of your job? What do you do when you get stuck?
I love the creative challenges clients throw at me every day. The hardest part of my job is striking a perfect balance of winning the best work to attract the most talented team possible. When I get stuck I reach out to mentors, advisers, or unplug for the day and start again tomorrow (unplugging rarely happens).
If there are any pivotal experiences/decisions you could point to that helped shape your career, what would they be?
What software could you not live without?
How many projects does your company juggle at any one time?
We currently have 90 active clients.
In terms of software, is there anything new you have been playing with lately or that has impressed you?
Who do you rate as being the top 3 design companies?
What effect on traffic do your new designs have?
Our UX designs produce an increase in both traffic volume and traffic quality for our clients.
Who is your target audience?
Are there any websites that have shone through as being pioneering in the last 5 years or so?
RR.com, Mnt.com, Facebook.com, Google, Hulu, Piknick, and Kayak to name a few
It is not difficult when clients embrace a sound research and discovery strategy at the beginning of an engagement. That, combined with enough time and resources to produce experiences that connect with all personas is all you need for targeted success.
What did your very first site look like? Is it still online?
Unfortunately it is not online, thanks to Yahoo! shutting down GeoCities. It wasn't the prettiest site, but it did win me a major award that put me on a national stage, and started my career in a big way. Thanks Yahoo!
Are there things you do OUTSIDE of work to ensure that you are in the right mindset to be creative and/or successful in whatever you are doing?
Have you been a part of a campaign that was rooted in digital and THEN reached over into other consumer touchpoints? Did this happen organically or was it a part of the plan from the beginning?
The web is getting out of the web. Do you find that thinking in digital solutions alone hinders you? Do you feel the urge to solve the problem using all mediums necessary?
Looking 10 years in to the future, how far can websites go?
I think in 10 years websites will be 3D, immersive experiences. The days of scrolling pages will be long gone. The web will be more transformational to our daily lives and how we interact with content than we can possibly imagine now. I think we are soon going to experience a whole new level of interactivity on every screen of our lives. There will be no different between a computer monitor and a TV screen and a mobile device, just the size of the screen will be the only difference one day.
Of all the websites you/your company have produced, which one are you most proud of?
Do you think Flash is here to stay?
I do, but the debate of HTML5 as of late has really got me second guessing how often it will be used in the future. Feels like it will be become more and more a niche plugin.
What are your views on design/graphic school. Do you think someone can get into the field without educational experience in a school environment?
If you were a student entering this industry or an aspiring FWA award submitter, what advice would you give them?
How difficult do you find employing the right people in a world where everyone calls themselves a web designer?
How do you keep up with the latest capabilities of Flash or do you rely on other members of you team to do this?
What would be your ultimate vehicle to travel in?
A Bentley Continental
When your company was just getting started, what did you find was most effective for getting new clients?
How do you keep your finger on the pulse of the latest web trends?
What country excites you the most in terms of innovation?
There must be a project that you have always dreamed of doing, what is it?
Jay-Z's website. It would be a dream to work with the legend.
What does the future hold for your company, or you as a person?
What are you excited about learning next and is there a long term challenge you are considering tackling?
What is the most expensive thing you have bought in the last week?
Landscaping services for my home.
As a mentor of mine Jan Wessling told me. Follow these rules in life and you will go far:
1. Honesty is the best policy.
2. Be quick.
3. Be smart.
4. Be assertive.
5. Defense wins championships.
6. Respect other people.
7. Never start a fight you can’t win.
8. Always have a back-up plan.
9. Don’t talk big.
10. Be careful.
11. You know, you never know – expect the unexpected.
12. If you want to run with the big dogs you can’t be like a puppy.
I follow them everyday, and you should too.
It has been a privilege, thanks very much