Today I’m happy to announce the launch of a new project I’ve been working on since late December. It’s a simple website called Interviews by Design that will be a repository of 5-question interviews conducted with designers from around the world.
The name has a two-fold meaning: (1) The interviews are conducted with designers; (2) Each interview asks the same five questions, thus they are in that format “by design” (meaning done intentionally).
And I should probably give credit to Chris Coyier of CSS-Tricks for popularizing the 5-question format in the design niche (although he may have borrowed the idea from another blogger or Craig Kilborn, I’m not sure).
The Site’s Format
The concept is simple and unique: Each designer answers the same 5 questions, done through an online form. The questions are:
- Besides the usual online blogs and galleries, from what or where do you draw inspiration?
- Design-related or not, can you list up to 3 books that you’ve found beneficial to your growth as a designer?
- If you could name one tool/application/software/hardware that you can’t live without (from a design perspective), what would it be, and why?
- What would be your design “dream job”?
- What changes would you like to see in the design community in the next 5 years?
Any designer (graphic, web, illustration, etc.) could answer the 5 questions, since the questions are not identity-specific or industry-specific. Of course, that has the drawback of being less personal, but it has the advantage of being easy for designers to submit their interview, easy to maintain from a developer perspective, and makes for interesting comparisons since you get to see how each designer answered the questions.
The Site’s Design
For the design of the site, I decided to go with a minimalist, centered-logo layout, with focus on typography. I don’t purport to be a typographic expert, but I think the site’s layout and interface have accomplished what I envisioned.
Ajax-Driven and Backwards-Compatible
The only drawback to the Ajax functionality is that the back button is essentially disabled, but I’m not too concerned about that since the site is very simple and straightforward.
I’ve also included some jQuery fading and animated scrolling for some neat effects that complement the Ajax functionality.
4 Interviews Already Published
After I finished developing the site, I started contacting various designers to ask if anyone had time to contribute their interview. I’m pleased to announce that so far I’ve had contributions from 4 talented designers:
- Jacob Gube of Six Revisions Read Jacob’s Interview
- Josh Star of Tripping Words Read Josh’s Interview
- Jad Limcaco of Design Informer Read Jad’s Interview
- Freelance web designer Lee Munroe Read Lee’s Interview
There were a few others that said they would try to contribute, so they may still add their interview in the coming weeks.
Are You a Designer with a Proven Track Record?
If you’re a designer who would like to answer the 5 questions, you can submit your interview for consideration. You’ll get some free exposure by means of a link to your website and Twitter account.
Unfortunately, I cannot publish all interviews. I will be focusing on interviews by designers who have proven their skills by means of a unique portfolio, online presence, or design blogging/writing. This doesn’t mean that you have to be well-known in the design community, but you should have something online to demonstrate that you’ve earned a measure of respect in your field of design. Additionally, I won’t be publishing anonymous interviews or interviews by design firms; you need to use your real name and real place of residence and answer the questions as an individual.
The type of design is not limited, it could be print, web, UX, UI, digital art, illustration, or any other related design field.
Comments, RSS, & Twitter
The site allows submission of comments from readers for each interview, along with an RSS feed that lists the interviews. I built the comment form and the RSS feed myself in PHP, so it’s not based on WordPress or another framework.
I fully expect there to be a healthy amount of spam submitted through the interview form and comments, so all of the submissions are moderated and will only be published upon approval.
I’ve also set up a Twitter account that you can subscribe to. That account will only be used to publicize new interviews that have been approved.
Spread the Word
I’m hoping this site will become the ultimate source for interviews conducted with designers in various niches, so please submit your interview or else forward the link to anyone you think might qualify. And of course, let me know what you think of the design and unique interface.