Specialize Vs Generalize

2 04 2009

I used to work for an agency describing themselves as ‘integrated’, offereing services in PR, web and print, spreading their risk by offering a variety of services. In contrast to this, the company I have recently moved to are a web agency, choosing to employ individuals with specific skill sets.

To look at this idea from a slightly different angle, the current economic crisis, has forced many people to reassess their skill-set and try to put themselves in a position where they are employable/safe in their job.

With this in mind is it best to specialize or generalize within the web/design industry? Read the rest of this entry »





A new start

2 04 2009

Well it’s been a while since my last post and that’s because it’s been a manic month or two.

Not only did I fall ill for 2 weeks with an awful case of tonsilitus, that led me to loosing 9pounds in weight, but I have also gone through the process of looking, applying and starting a new job.

This new job is very much a step up for me and begins another chapter in my still short career. The agency I have moved to produce only web work, allowing them to focus all their energy on one speciality rather than spreading their skill across skill-sets. Within this structure they have highly specialized roles in areas of usability, innovation etc.

They also hold some very prestigious certificates that open them up to work with some huge clients and gains them a great deal of government work. I was personnaly very excited to read their client list when researching them for my interview.

Their structure was another pull for me. The design team ( in which I now work) comprises of head designers, lead designers and web designers. This meant that working here would allow me access to colleagues more experienced than I, from whom I would/will hope to learn from. The 2nd advantage this held for me was the opportunity to move up a ladder. I’m always looking to further myself and fulfilling some of these higher roles is something I can now strive for.

Since starting, I have really liked the working process they undergo during projects. The designers will also build the front end, meaning they must have an understanding of the build process to work there. This also means the front end coder isn’t being handed someone elses design, in which they have had no say in, to build. Designers will also be involved in the brief process from the very start through to finish. It’s much more of a collaborative approach as opposed to a factory line approach that I had previously been working with.

I’ve not been there long but so far it’s been really great! I just can’t wait to really get stuck into a meaty project there!

I’m sorry for a bit of a rambled post, just wanted to keep you updated. I’ll aim to post more regularly from now on.

Have a creative day!





Interview with a pro – Chris Spooner

7 12 2008

spoon logo

Hi everyone,

The last article I posted on here did really well and I think that was down to the fact I had actually taken some time to get some very valued opinions from people that matter in the industry. I personally always want to hear what the professionals think and as someone just starting out in the industry their thoughts and ideas are very helpful to me. I’m sure that is also true for you.

With that in mind I thought I would try and get a series of interviews set up with people who have experience of success within the design world.

The first person I asked was Chris Spooner and he was kind enough to agree to an interview. I’ll start with a little about Chris… Read the rest of this entry »





Is Design important with so many people using a Reader?

31 10 2008

Hi Guys,

How are we today?

Do you use an RSS reader to view most of your web content? How many sites do you actually visit these days?

Up until about 3 weeks ago I used to have loads of bookmarks in my browser that I would check up on every now and then looking for new content. However, since then I have taken the plunge and started to use Google Reader to follow all of my favourite sites. The main reason for this was the recent poor showing from the site design float, which I used to use to keep me updated.

Anywho, now I have made the switch I don’t really see many actual sites now, except for the showcased sites on some of the CSS galleries I follow. I’m pretty sure I’m a late adopter to the RSS trend and I am in the mindset that the majority of you are using one type or another. Does this mean that as web designers we should be putting even more emphasis on the content than on the design? Sure, the first time someone visits a site if it looks horrible and is inaccessible no one is going to subscribe to the RSS feed. However, a really really plain site with very easy access and great content shouldn’t stop anyone. From then on I guess uses would very very rarely visit the site, just keep up to date with the regular updates.

I’m interested to hear what you guys think, and how you browse the web. Do you actually visit sites that you are subscribed to? Do you think that design is becoming less important with the days of RSS?

Please let me know your thoughts…





Inspiration – Augustine Kofie

29 10 2008

Hi Guys,

I found this artist on the web the other day and have been visiting his site every day since. His work is, in my opinion, amazing with his use of geometric lines and gorgeous colours. It looks so simple but yet so complex, I really do admire his skills.

I’ve been trying to use this style in a poster design since discovering him but after a week I’m still along way from finished.

If you have a look on his site there are a few time shift videos showing the work as he completes it. He really does make it look very simple and I just wish I could produce that sort of thing. If I do ever get to a place where I am happy with my attempt I will be sure to post it here.

Anyway just a quick one for now…Visit his site!!!!

KeepDrafting.com





Will mobile surfing mean the end of the hover?

24 10 2008

Hi guys,

I have what I think will be a very interesting topic of discussion for you here.

A colleague of mine at work found this awesome site yesterday that made me think.

dontclick.it

This is a quite brilliant site that kills the need for any clicking enabling every action to be performed via the hover function. The site is really well done and I urge you to check it out.

However, the future seems to be set for the mobile internet to take off. The iPhone is doing well and now the android and nokia are getting in on it, with blackberry closely behind. Does mean the end for the humble hover? Browsing the internet on a mobile device is completely controlled by clicks. The screens do not detect a hovering finger and why would they?

I would like to make a bold statement here and say an early R.I.P to the hover. Of course, mobile internet will probably never completely take over normal web browsing with a mouse and a screen but if, as is predicted, it does become a norm websites will certainly have to take notice and design functionality with that in mind.

What do you think? Will that ever happen?

I’d be very interested to hear your thoughts on this. The future of web always excites me.





Massively unimpressed by the new macbook range!

15 10 2008

Hi all,

I’m sure most of you by now have seen the new offerings from Apple with their macbook range. However, can I just say I really do not like them!

I was very much against the macbook air when it first came out, noticing that not only was it hugely expensive for the crap specs offered but it also looked pretty cheap, in my opinion.

This new range of macbooks and pro’s sadly have followed that trend and while a lot of apple’s hype has been around this single piece of Aluminium, I really don’t like the look of it. The overly rounded edges in my opinion make the whole thing look really plasticy and poor.

The main thing that has annoyed me, and is getting more annoying the more I think about it, is that the macbook and the macbook pro look exactly the same! I really liked the fact that they were different looking before meaning that you instantly knew if it was a macbook or a pro thus justifying the different names. They may as well get rid of the macbook pro range and just release a 13″, 15″ and 17″ macbook with varying specs.

Also, the spec upgrade really isn’t that great, bearing in mind the price has gone up massively! I was secretly thinking that if I could find a buyer for my year old macbook pro I would consider upgrading to the new macbook pro just because i’m a bit of a tech geek and I like to have the latest things. However, I would have to put at least a £1000 toward it after that sale because the price is huge.

Gladly though, I really do not want one of these and can happily carry on using my lush macbook pro. Maybe I’ll just upgrade my ram instead!

In my opinion I think it’s a very poor move from apple, although taking into consideration all of the mentions they have been getting today and yesterday it looks like they’ll sell well.

What do you guys think?

Let me know your opinions and if you think you’ll buy one…