How do you keep your finger on the pulse of the latest web trends?(Everyone) FWA！
Please give us a brief bio of yourself.
1-10design, Inc. (Japan Tokyo/Kyoto)
Yoshiaki Sawabe (CEO/Creative Director)
Hisashi Takaoka (Designer)
Yoshihiro Yasuda (Motion Designer)
Kenichi Nagai (Technical Director)
Ikuo Kawai (Flash Programmer)
What do you do for inspiration?
What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?
(Sawabe) I accomplish a work as right for client, receive its evolution, and eventually being recognized as company identity.
How do you relax or unwind?
(Takaoka) On my way home from company, I take a drink with my colleagues. On holidays, I catch a movie and hit many bookstores.
If you weren't working on the internet what would you be doing?
(Kawai) I want to stay in college and make some kind of research like holography.
What's your favourite part of your job? What's the hardest part of your job? What do you do when you get stuck?
(Yasuda) I am happy if I can get laugh from clients and familiar staff by my work. Conversely, I will be having a hard time when I get an unresponsive routine work. When I reach a dead end, a number of smoking cigarettes will be increased.
(Nagai)It was the worst moment when the site was burned down. I caused a trouble for various users. Because it merely did not taking enough time for system development as the cause, I felt so regrettable even more.
If there are any pivotal experiences/decisions you could point to that helped shape your career, what would they be?
(Takaoka) I entered art college with dreaming of being as character designer for cartoon and video game. During my college life, as I met friends, professors, and respected designers, I acquired the knowledge of magnificent graphic design and eventually it motivated me to step into this industry.
What software could you not live without?
(Nagai) Of course, it must be Flash. The copy (blurb) for my blog is "I think I will be a loser if I can't make living with Flash for rest of my life."
How many projects does your company juggle at any one time?
In terms of software, is there anything new you have been playing with lately or that has impressed you?
(Yasuda) It is 3dSMAX. The range of expression can be extremely expanded.
Has winning FWA awards helped you in any way?
(Sawabe) It increased a number of accesses from overseas and contributed for gaining the company recognition.
When dealing with major clients, how difficult is it to meet the needs of such wide target audiences?
(Nagai) Well, I think it is important not to consider self-approving as creator but to consider user's viewpoint.A range of browser's user can be expanded for work from major clients. For example, in case of rich contents with using Flash, it is necessary to consider for the lowest level of user's machine specification. For Formula-E as developed with Kawai, 3D drive can be used even for PC from a few years back by adjusting the load, and for the result, I could familiarize the eco-driving when many users experienced it. Our company web site, as created later, has been absolutely fighting with the load. In either case, we understand it was a good example for directly connecting to a number of users without reducing a load. 3D contents for Flash essentially face a high load and a creator tends to be more selfish but I am asking myself everyday that I have to consider more about users.
What did your very first site look like? Is it still online?
(Sawabe) It was a sharing site for posting foreign travel stories from the 1996 production users. It does not exist anymore now.
Have you written any books, if not do you plan to?
(Nagai) It was two years ago and I was involved for writing "FlashOOP" along with Flash program's knowledgeable volunteers, In addition, I also write regularly for a magazine so both writing tasks are precious experiences that I can't acquire from web.
(Sawabe) I wrote a book called "Creating things by Internet". The book covers companies as challenging new initiatives through Internet.
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?
(Takaoka) By displaying for public contest and organizing exhibition with friends, I try to remind myself for a way of manufacturing thinking by communicating with people through my work.
What was the last digital effort you saw (or were a part of) that used social media in a way that really made sense. Why?
(Sawabe) It is Nakano-quest created by our company. ［URL］ http://www.okudakenji.com/nq/ In this site, it collects resident voices in specific area of Tokyo and makes its reflection for actual activities. Social media should be a media from where people can understand for Insight and I think it is certainly a right way of utilization.
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?
(Nagai) Since our web site becomes popular, it happened to be connected to other media. Recently, it is connected with Formula-E（http://www.honda.co.jp/ecogp/formula_e/）of Honda. In this site, people can feel actual driving as using fuel consumption simulator of a hybrid car "Insight"and since the site also became popular, it was decided to exhibit the production version for the Tokyo Motor Show. http://works.1-10.com/event/honda-formula-e-tenziban/ Many users could learn the eco driving through controlling accelerator pedal.
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?
(Sawabe) I myself do not consider a digital solution as a focal point but as one of the measures. Selecting the most optimum media is a common practice and I think it is important to find a new potential media and space as think-outside-the-box.
Looking 10 years in to the future, how far can websites go?
(Kawai) I would like to actualize an experiencing site for rich contents as high level as the current video game. I could create it with Flash after 10 years.
Of all the websites you/your company have produced, which one are you most proud of?
(Sawabe) Basically we try to have our pride on every work in the past and at this moment, the web site as our best accomplishment is the company web site "CREATIVE IS ENDLESS BATTLE（http://www.1-10.com/）".
Do you think Flash is here to stay?
(Nagai) Yes, I believe so. Again, I would like to repeat "I think I will be a loser if I can't make living with Flash for rest of my life." Although we can watch extremely rich UI in SF movies, I think a web designer could be the one for engaging in the implementation when UI becomes ordinary in future. Needless to say, I strongly believe Flash will be implemented. Even if it never happens, or even if Flash becomes obsolete and other technologies take its place, I think the development experience of Flash will not be useless. I probably regret for Flash obsoleteness, though.
There is perhaps a shift in web use these days. We are seeing a decline in the purely
(Kawai) It is regrettable to see there is fewer numbers of exciting flash sites like old times. I would like to create a splendid Flash and open up a new future by conquering the present situation with it.
What are your views on design/graphic school. Do you think someone can get into the field without educational experience in a school environment?
(Takaoka) Because I also graduated from art college, four years in college were very wonderful time as my opinion. From the moment I entered the college, every classmates became my rivals and friends, then I learned Basic technique" and "Mental attitude" in such situation to act as professional. For my work, I think any individual can do the work in accordance with his achievement, even without any school education. Yet, attending such school could be a shortcut to reach individual goal. Whether a person attends a school or not attend a school, I think it will be important how each individual acts for his own goal.
(Yasuda)I also graduated from art college but anyone can achieve a creative job without such educational environment. Yet, there is a limit for production time and experience as belonging to a community with such people only thinking about production will influence on his stance for production later."
How difficult do you find employing the right people in a world where everyone calls themselves a web designer?
(Sawabe) Since it is difficult to observe a person's essential skills in short time, our company will believe in potentiality and recruit people with high growth possibility. However, I think it could be gamble and finding a appropriate person should be equal to a difficulty as taking time and effort to bloom a beautiful flower in wasteland.
How do you keep up with the latest capabilities of Flash or do you rely on other members of you team to do this?
(Nagai) I am working as a leader for more technical department and I make efforts to acquire the latest technical information constantly. The information is blog for Flash programmer and Twitter for the most recent time, but it is difficult to catch up with the information recently due to my job load.
(Kawai)Because we have a lot of excellent technical staff in our company, I usually ask them whenever I am in trouble.
What would be your ultimate vehicle to travel in?
(Sawabe) It is the Japanese Shinkansen.
When your company was just getting started, what did you find was most effective for getting new clients?
(Sawabe) It was introduced from our voluntary client. A good reputation is the best sales tool.
How have you learned so many Flash/design skills and techniques and can you offer any advice for newbies?
(Kawai) I think making a thing as one's wish could be a shortcut for improvement, rather than studying it.
(Takaoka) For learning a technique, I received my senior's coaching, studied by reading books, and observing other's works while working for my job. For my advice to new employees, since the time of new employee maintains physical strength and mental toughness, I think it is important for a new employee to observe various things and produce things by hard work. A person's future could be changed tremendously, depending on how much the person achieves during the time of new employee. Especially for technique, the more a person achieves, the better his technique will be. However, it is also more important for job to play at various locations and meet with various people so go ahead and do it in a balanced manner!
(Yasuda) I think I acquired skills gradually to correspond for each required work, rather than learning skills. For my advice to a new employee, I think a new employee can get self-confidence for "My work", depending on his understanding for how he can add something more than expected to his work and how he controls a number of processes to accomplish it. If a new employee gets his self-confidence, I think his motivation for next step should be increased.
How do you keep your finger on the pulse of the latest web trends?
What does the future hold for your company, or you as a person?
(Sawabe) Regarding the company future, if the current innovation makes its progress successfully, I think our future should be bright. I would like to maintain this creative studio for casting our assumed correct idea into shape and continue creating digital platform as communication core between companies and people or between people and people based on integration of art and technology.
What are you excited about learning next and is there a long term challenge you are considering tackling?
(Nagai) I would like to acquire a skill not only for program but also for design. Don't you think it could be wonderful if one person can create from 3D engine to 3D model structure on his own?
(Kawai) If Flash gets higher speed like PlayStation 3, I think it will be enjoyable as utilizing more polygon.
What type of overcoat do you wear when Flashing, basically are you a labels man?
(Nagai) I love to become butt naked since my old days so I often take all my clothes off when I drink. It is true and if you have doubt, please check the icon of Twitter. I feel something closely connected with a word of "Flash".