Nike Better World (rightly or wrongly) kicked off the whole parallax thing.

question Please give us a brief bio of yourselves.

We are a mobile focused consultancy called AWARE. We are a bit of hybrid as we not only work with agencies in a UX / UI capacity but we also partner with tech start ups to create our own IP whilst offering expertise in marketing and positioning. The core team at AWARE is Elina Hedman, Ben Murphy & Andrew Bennett.

question What do you do for inspiration?

We are always seeking out new tech that we can utilise for clients or that we can partner with. Ben our Tech Lead loves http://news.ycombinator.com/ whilst Elina works best after a glass of wine!

question Please list 3 of your favourite sites.

http://foodonmydog.com/ - never fails to make us smile

Andrew is really into the new MySpace site and is very excited to see what they can come up with on mobile

www.asos.com/dailyedit on MOBILE not desktop! Some of us worked on this so its a bit naughty mentioning it but its a great example of a gesture driven mobile experience within the browser.

question What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?

Don't think we could ever be truly happy with anything. This is what drives us on really! That said we are all really proud of www.tipsaround.me - creating something for mobile that looks great but is also useful and easy to use makes us happy.

question How many hours do you work each week?

We are ALWAYS working in one way or another. Be it networking or chatting through ideas over lunch. I guess the beauty of doing our thing is that we can work whenever and not subscribing to that 9-5 model - which doesn't work.

question How do you relax or unwind?

A mix of exercise, XBOX and wine (again!). That said don't think we have ever seen Elina truly relax!

question If you weren't working on the internet what would you be doing?

Ben would like to be a busker - playing trumpet outside Waterloo station.

question What's your favourite part of your job? What's the hardest part of your job? What do you do when you get stuck?

Favourite part has got to be when we ship. Making something and releasing it to the public is a great feeling. Hardest part is not jumping into Photoshop too soon after we have come up with an idea. Lastly we love getting stuck because we love to be challenged.

question If there are any pivotal experiences/decisions you could point to that helped shape your career, what would they be?

Realising that we could do it ourselves and do it better.

question How many projects does your company juggle at any one time?

We always seem to have one commercial and one self initiated project running parallel. We have a massive backlog of ideas waiting to happen but think its important not to over-commit.

question In terms of software, is there anything new you have been playing with lately or that has impressed you?

We've been using an iOS app called POP to create prototypes of our projects. Its been really useful to expose any problems in terms of layout and user flows. It is also great to share with clients in the early stages of projects.

question Who is your target audience?

Obviously that depends on what we are building but in terms of being a consultancy we are super keen on meeting with tech start ups.

question What area of web design lacks the most?

Web designs itself! Even the term "Web Design" sounds lacking / underwhelming.

question Are there any websites that have shone through as being pioneering in the last 5 years or so?

Nike Better World (rightly or wrongly) kicked off the whole parallax thing. 

question Has winning FWA awards helped you in any way?

Absolutely. In terms of exposure it's been brilliant but it's also brought some focus to what we do. We were building 'stuff' for fun really, since the award we've stepped it up. Thanks, Rob!

question When dealing with major clients, how difficult is it to meet the needs of such wide target audiences?

Regardless of size of client its not that difficult! All of our projects involve working with end users and this is leveraged in the design. User centred design plays a big part in what we create.

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

It looks great and yes its still live! www.rallytravels.com (again on MOBILE) was our first site and a little unusual client but something that were really proud of.

question 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?

Strategically we are always looking at the bigger picture. For every client we start by mapping out all of the touch points they have with a customer - be it print, tv or web. Its important to bear this it mind when creating mobile products. As mobile is transient it can be something that links all mediums together. So whilst were mobile focused we aware of the bigger picture.

question Looking 10 years in to the future, how far can websites go?

Two thoughts here:

Something which mobile has been a catalyst of is the idea off apps. Its something that removes the complexity of a browser and urls so for me that's something pertinent. Secondly a 'website' has a sense of On / Off when its really always on. 

question Of all the websites you/your company have produced, which one are you most proud of?


The opportunity for Tips is to surface invaluable social insight and make it easy to use for anyone with a mobile browser. 

Elina decided that Tips was going to be her first project that she coded, or at least some of it, and Ben was going to be her teacher. The first session was on a Saturday morning. Elina asked Ben to bring a bottle of wine, his teacher glasses and in return he would get lunch and dinner. 5 hours later we could see the first version of tipsaround.me and a tired but very pleased Elina. We had this brilliant feeling of being able to create and make something whilst being super focused for hours and hours!

After a few more successful and enjoyable sessions with Ben and a few hours on her own, Elina managed to complete the build with Ben's help and expertise. We shipped and haven't looked back since.


Elina Hedman - @ElinaHedman
Elina Hedman - @ElinaHedman

Ben Murphy
Ben Murphy

Andrew Bennett - @Andy_Bennett
Andrew Bennett - @Andy_Bennett


The initial sketch!
The initial sketch!

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