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New Website Launch: Interviews by Design

New Website: Interviews by DesignToday 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:

  1. Besides the usual online blogs and galleries, from what or where do you draw inspiration?
  2. Design-related or not, can you list up to 3 books that you’ve found beneficial to your growth as a designer?
  3. 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?
  4. What would be your design “dream job”?
  5. 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.

Interviews by Design

Ajax-Driven and Backwards-Compatible

Another unique feature of the site is that it’s a one-page site that changes content via Ajax/JavaScript depending on the value of the hash (#) in the URL. Of course, before I layered the Ajax functionality, I planned the site’s architecture with progressive enhancement in mind, so when JavaScript is disabled, the basic site functionality still works using querystring values instead of hash values.

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:

There were a few others that said they would try to contribute, so they may still add their interview in the coming weeks.

(Coincidentally, as I was preparing this post, I noticed that today Jacob Gube has launched a new website called Design Instruct, so be sure to check that out, if you’re a fan of Six Revisions.)

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.

Follow Interviews by Design on Twitter
Subscribe to the RSS feed

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.

4 Responses

  1. Great site Louis, well done. Excellent idea and smart implementation. The site looks great too. You know, you could probably leverage the site design to other industries. For example, our target market is accounting firms, and accountants love reading interviews of their peers. I would love to be able to have a page on my site that is a branded and slightly modified (e.g. different questions) version of interview questions. Would that be possible? Drop me a line to let me know if you’d be interested in providing that as a service. It would be like a niche version of FormSpring or SurveyGizmo? Would be a SaaS business in that for you I would think.

  2. arun says:

    Effective work .. Thanks a lot for your hard working . This site will be very useful to us.Basically your work should be added by all the web design industries. To motivate our business I think better choice is this site.

  3. you say inteview from around the world, what could be coming from Indonesia??
    whether we can make your interview to submit?
    that could certainly be a popular fast
    best regards

  4. Shwetha says:

    Nice interview questions compilation. Really these can be known everybody. Now a days all the people depending up on the net. There is a one question called can you list up to 3 books that you’ve found beneficial to your growth as a designer?

    This one is very nice question.

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