Awwwards: Please tell us a little bit about yourself: who are you, where do you come from and where are you going?
Ben: I work as a creative director and designer at a small shop in Utah- Rally Interactive. I absolutely love being outdoors, especially biking or skiing. I grew up in Madison, Wisconsin and studied at Northern Michigan University. I plan to continue growing our company (Rally), as well as growing as a designer well into the future. Our primary focus is to build smart and elegant interactive products for our clients.
Awww: What did you do before becoming a designer/developer?
Ben: Growing up, I did a lot of drawing and painting. However, for about 10 years my sole focus lay in being a competitive Nordic ski racer. Some would say ski racing was more or less my unofficial major throughout college. That was until my NCAA eligibility ran out, at which point, I made the decision to hang up the skis, finish my degree, and get on with a career.
Awww: In your opinion, which is the future of the Web? (HTML5, Responsive Design, Flash, Mobile...)
Ben: I enjoyed working with Flash early on but I doubt it will last another decade. It's impossible to ignore mobile devices and responsive design. Responsive design should already be a part of any good web strategy. The percentage of mobile users visiting web applications is growing at an exponential rate year after year. I'm very excited about the possibilities with Web GL. Technically, Web GL hooks into the HTML5 canvas element. I predict it will eventually overtake Flash as the go-to technology for robust animations. The future of the web is right now. As Wayne Gretzky famously stated "A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be." I definitely think that mentality applies to interactive design. We constantly need to be thinking one step ahead.
Awww: Where do you turn for inspiration?
Ben: I think inspiration comes from very different sources for different people. Personally, I do my best work when I keep a normal exercise routine. If I slow down physically, my creativity gets bogged down. If I stay active, I'm more refreshed and clear headed.
Awww: Which are your favorite studios, designers or agencies?
Ben: That's a tough question, there are so many agencies doing phenomenal work. I love the work Legwork Studio has been churning out. It's consistently fresh, unique, and smart. Some other shops I've always admired are Odopod, F-i, and Firstborn.
Awww: Tell us about a unique story or funny anecdote related to your work.
Ben: A little over 4 and half years ago, I did an internship at Firstborn in New York City. I had never been to the Big Apple before and had spent the 5 years prior in a quaint town of 10,000 people in northern Michigan. On my first day at Firstborn, I dressed to impress in a full suit. Shortly after walking through the door, I met with Michael, the owner of Firstborn. He was in jeans, a white t-shirt, and a baseball cap. Talk about over dressed... It was a relief to discover our industry dress code is casual; I have an ample supply of T-shits, jeans, and hats!
Awww: Which are you for: Mac or PC?
Ben: Mac all the way.
Awww: Which is your favorite software?
Ben: I have a love/hate relationship with Photoshop. I also couldn't live without iOS and Google Chrome.
Awww: Which city do you live in? Is it a good place for designers?
Ben: Currently, I live in Salt Lake City. We have a small but thriving community of talented creatives, designers, and developers. The city and surrounding area continues to grow and evolve, so I have no doubt the design community will follow suit.
Awww: Which technologies are you excited about?
Ben: While mobile and responsive design are absolutely necessary, I'm excited about HTML5 and Web GL. I think it's the old school Flasher in me.
Awww: Tell us about your latest project.
Ben: We currently have a few projects going on. One is a responsive re-design and digital re-brand. Another is an e-commerce site that will be launching soon for a clothing company. The third and the most exciting project is one that we can't talk about right now. However, I can say that it's a dream client for us and we are excited to hear feedback when it does launch.