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The Third TWDF AMA - brightonmike


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#1 MikeChipshop

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 11:37

So after a bit of bullying we decided it must be brightonmikes turn by now!

 

So as with every month, here we go...

 

An AMA is an Ask Me Anything - and it does what it says on the tin.
 
Here are the few rules:

  • Questions and answers must abide by the TWDF rules and may be subject to moderation.
  • A maximum of 30 questions for each subject, and each user is allowed to only pose one question to each subject - so choose carefully.
  • Questions can be about anything - but it's best to try and think of something good, questions like "how many hairs are there on your body" will probably be ignored, which brings me on to the next point...
  • The subject is not obliged to answer all questions however subjects must be willing to take part, so if you continually refuse to answer questions then your AMA will be closed.
  • As well as the 30 question maximum per subject, each subjects AMA will run for just one week after which the topic will be closed.
  • You can discuss the questions and answers in the AMA topic however if you post off topic or go off on a tangent your post may be edited/removed so try to keep fairly on track and don't post too much at once - we don't want people getting bombarded and swamped. Try to think sensibly here, if the topic already has 5 questions waiting to be answered, keep yours on hold until the subject has caught up.

 

The third TWDF subject is staff member brightonmike. brightonmike is the in-house web designer/developer for a private jet company who also has a passion for ladies of the East. You can find his personal blog here http://michaelgunner.co.uk/

 

You can ask him anything but keep in mind his profession and his main interest.

 

Enjoy!

 

(Normal service will be resumed next month ;) )


 

First Question:

Mike, how did you come to work where you are now and would you say any prior education has played a part in your current position, if so, how?


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#2 brightonmike

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 11:53


 

First Question:

Mike, how did you come to work where you are now and would you say any prior education has played a part in your current position, if so, how?

 

 

Yes, education definitely played its role. I think a good education is massively important for everybody, even if it doesn't directly lead you to your career, it educates you, informs you, and gives you valuable life skills.

 

How did I get to this?

 

I graduated in 2009 with a 2:2 in product design from the University of Sussex. I missed a 2:1 by less than 1% and I was pretty downbeat! I carried on working in my part-time Tesco job. I also took on work in a call centre. To be honest, I knew I was better than that. I was very into electronic music at the time so I started a blog about it, reviewing singles and posting up YouTube videos etc. Doing the blog rekindled a past infatuation with websites that had first started messing about with FrontPage for a school project when I was 13.

 

I decided I quite liked it, and I started learning the platform I was using (WordPress) properly, tweaking themes, and learning the code. The site I'm talking about is still live today after about its tenth iteration, though sadly I don't have time to contribute to the content anymore.

 

After a few months I was taking it more seriously and looking for jobs. I applied for a job on GumTree for a company at the local airport and they were looking for someone to manage and update their WordPress site. I applied and got the job.

 

I still have that job now, it's been 2 1/2 years which in some ways is a long time but in some ways isn't.

 

I'd say that although my degree didn't directly land me a career and my job, if I hadn't done it, I'd be in a very different life right now doing something else, and frankly I'm happy to be doing what I am now. I also think I learnt much more than just a specific subject, I learnt how to work properly, I learn processes, I learnt life skills. My Mum says I went to Uni a boy and came out a man (snigger!) but I guess it's kinda true and that can be no bad thing.


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http://michaelgunner.co.uk/

 

Awesome free web meet up in Surrey: http://418conf.co.uk/


#3 Ryan McFadyen

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 12:10

I think a good education is massively important for everybody, even if it doesn't directly lead you to your career, it educates you

 

Incredible.

 

If you could do any other job what would it be and why?


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#4 Jheg

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 12:19

Where do you see yourself in 10 years and do you have the internet at home coz I never see you on irc after 5:01pm?


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#5 Renaissance-Design

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 13:16

What, to you, are the most important elements of a well-executed design?


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Chris Cox is a freelance web designer & developer based in Bridgend, South Wales. You should definitely follow @RenaissDesign on Twitter.

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#6 Scott

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 16:32

Name three things you'd change about our industry if you had the power...


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#7 Notbanksys Copy Shoppe

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 17:39

Y fronts or boxer shorts?


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Git up offa that thang: Copy Clinic #7: Write copy like a sex machine
 

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#8 brightonmike

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 10:31

Incredible.

 

If you could do any other job what would it be and why?

 

 

Difficult. I've never really thought about this to be honest.

 

Thinking realistically, I'd love the opportunity to do product design again. Whatever satisfaction I get from building websites, that's amplified 100x when it comes to actually building a physical product.

 

Unrealistically, an astronaut. I know, kids always say it, but I think I have reasonable justification, simply being that space fascinates me. I love learning about it, and I reckon astronauts that actually get to explore it have the best job in the world. They get to do something truly, truly remarkable.



Where do you see yourself in 10 years and do you have the internet at home coz I never see you on irc after 5:01pm?

 

I do use the internet in the evenings, but only really for an hour, and I primarily browse Jalopnik and Gizmodo. I don't do any web work after work and I come off IRC because to be honest, I think after nine hours a day I've just about bloody had enough of you lot ;)

 

Only kidding, but yeah, I just try to keep everything in moderation, I think it's really important that after a days work you switch off and do something else. For me that's either Xbox, Cinema, Eating out, Cooking or chasing girls (until one of them says yes).

 

As for ten years, it sounds extremely sappy but I see myself married with a couple of children, living on a standard 3/4 bed house somewhere in the south-east with a BMW 3 series in the drive. I don't really have many expectations, I'm a family kinda person so that's all I really want.


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http://michaelgunner.co.uk/

 

Awesome free web meet up in Surrey: http://418conf.co.uk/


#9 MikeChipshop

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 10:35

...or chasing girls (until one of them says yes).

 

Or can't say no... ;)


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#10 brightonmike

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 10:48

What, to you, are the most important elements of a well-executed design?

 

 

Tough. But probably attention to detail, user engagement and justification.

 

Justification because I don't think "it looks nice" is good enough. I think a design has to justify why it's the way it is. Why that image? Why that colour? Why that layout? Every design choice you make has got to be backed up. Ok - sometimes we go purely on instinct, but in my opinion only exceptionally naturally gifted designers can pull that off. For the rest of us, we need to be able to say why, because it's the why that shows it works.

 

For example I think colour theory is really interesting, and there's a lot of science about it that's worth reading up on. Because by doing so, you can then choose a colour that actually, scientifically and theoretically at the same time, works best for the demographic you're targeting. Obvious examples are pink for girls, blue for boys, but it can run a lot deeper than that.

 

Here's an excellent article on colour theory: http://www.smashingm...aning-of-color/

 

Colour is just one example then - but yeah, I think you have to be able to justify your design choices and being able to do so helps you create well executed designs.

 

User engagement because, well if your site doesn't engage your users, it's plain not working. The design has got to be able to grab peoples attention and interest. It's got to be effective enough to translate into business - that's the bottom line. You can create a beautiful design but if it doesn't interest the users and they just click off then it's not a good design.

 

And attention to detail because, I think it's simply a fact that every tiny little thing you do can all add up to a big change in the overall effectiveness of the design. I think you've got to be able to say that you covered all your bases and gave every little design decision careful consideration, well at least in a bigger project where you have the time. 



Name three things you'd change about our industry if you had the power...

 

I'd like to see some sort of certification.

 

I'm sick and tired of the number of people that fire up a dodgy copy of Photoshop and two weeks later they're selling themselves as Expert Web Designers. Every industry has a cowboy element to it, but the trouble is from the clients point of view it can be extremely hard to tell a professional that does his job properly from some bloke called Trevor doing it in his Mums basement on an old Gateway.

 

I've no idea how anything like this could be set up or enforced, however, but I think the W3C could be doing more.

 

Second thing I'd change is I'd force upgrade everybody using a version of IE less than 9. 

 

Third thing I'd change is I'd push through border-corner-shape.



Y fronts or boxer shorts?

 

 

I'm too sexy for either of those, dude, I'm a jock strap guy.


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http://michaelgunner.co.uk/

 

Awesome free web meet up in Surrey: http://418conf.co.uk/


#11 Notbanksys Copy Shoppe

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 10:59

I'm too sexy for either of those, dude, I'm a jock strap guy.

I think I've found your problem with the ladies, mate....

 

OK, serious question now:

 

Sell me the importance of design in 100 words or less.


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Git up offa that thang: Copy Clinic #7: Write copy like a sex machine
 

The Brand New Copy Shoppe is now open for business!

 

Bounce rate higher than a kangaroo's trampoline party? Email me at tony [at] copyshoppe.co.uk

 


#12 brightonmike

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 11:36

I think I've found your problem with the ladies, mate....

 

OK, serious question now:

 

Sell me the importance of design in 100 words or less.

 

 

Design is your entire life. Design is the phone you use to communicate with friends, the computer you use to browse the internet. It's the chair you sit on, the house you live in, the kitchen utensils you use to cook, the pavement you walk on, the bus you get to work on, the bicycle you ride at weekends, the pint glass you use to intoxicate yourself, the glasses you need to see, the clothes to keep you warm and decent. Design was and is the next evolutionary step for mankind.

 

If that's not important, then clearly nothing is.

 

99


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http://michaelgunner.co.uk/

 

Awesome free web meet up in Surrey: http://418conf.co.uk/


#13 brightonmike

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 11:47

Anymore questions? Ask me anything!


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http://michaelgunner.co.uk/

 

Awesome free web meet up in Surrey: http://418conf.co.uk/


#14 Renaissance-Design

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 11:49

If nobody else is going to, I'll abuse the system by asking another one. What, for you, are the most glaring omissions from the HTML5 and CSS3 specs?


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Chris Cox is a freelance web designer & developer based in Bridgend, South Wales. You should definitely follow @RenaissDesign on Twitter.

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#15 Jason Dexter

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 12:04

Have you ever had the chance to fly in a private jet?


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#16 brightonmike

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 12:28

If nobody else is going to, I'll abuse the system by asking another one. What, for you, are the most glaring omissions from the HTML5 and CSS3 specs?

 

Border-corner-shape would have been nice.

 

Not so much missing, but the Flexbox spec needs to drastically be tidied up. There's three different versions floating around with different browser support which is madness. IE10 asking for flexbox and Chrome asking for flex etc is just really confusing, and this is a feature we all really want to be able to start using.

 

I'd also like to see text-stroke besides the webkit implementation. I feel like that should really have been a no-brainer.

 

With HTML5 I'm not really sure, but more widespread support of input types date, time and datetime would be brilliant.



Have you ever had the chance to fly in a private jet?

 

Sadly not! The cost is astronomical, cheapest you're looking at is £1.5k an hour or so.

 

I have however spent time aboard one of these at Farnborough Airport. To say it was nice inside would be an understatement. They're a peachy snip at $50m to buy. 

 

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http://michaelgunner.co.uk/

 

Awesome free web meet up in Surrey: http://418conf.co.uk/





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