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An Interview with Interactive designer – John Kappa

Author: Carl Heaton
He is our senior instructor and originally from Manchester UK. Carl teaches our Web Design and Online Marketing Courses.
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John Kappa from Perception Design shares his life of being a Digital Cowboy.

Name: John Kappa
Company: Perception Design (http://www.perceptiondesign.com/)
Job Title: Interactive Designer (Digital Cowboy)
Nationality: Australian
Age: 35
What are your skills?
User Interface Design, Video Editing, 3D, Photo Manipulation, Illustration, People

How long have you been a web designer?

I first designed a site in Netscape Composer back in 1997 when it first came out. I’ve been working at the craft ever since. Professionally about 8 years.

About how many sites have you made?

I’ve never really kept count but I know I’ve been part of a team on hundreds of website builds over the years. Through Perception Design, I’d say the running total would be closer to 40-50 websites that I’ve been a part of from start to launch.

What made you want to be a web designer?

I was always designing things even as a kid. I would pixel paint using the Commodore 64, create vector type bike and car illustrations on the Apple II, so I guess I was at the ripe age when the internet first came about. I never really made a conscience decision that web design is what I was going to do. I think as a designer your options are always open to explore various avenues of design be it web, print, or any other medium.

What was the first web site you made?

I was working in the scheduling department at Melbourne’s Crown Casino at the time (1996-97) and I created an intranet in my spare time to alleviate most of the enquiries we we’re getting in from all the gaming staff – It became a great resource that reduced our enquiries. It was ugly but very useful – almost Wikipedia like.

What would be the ideal web project for you?

An ideal project would be anything involving an interest – Fashion, photography, anything tech related, design, art, food. But ultimately ideal clients make for ideal projects.

What projects are you currently working on?

I’m currently working on a site which I’ve just launched called Vintage Princess, it’s great because I’ve been there since its inception and helped developed the brand from logo through to the most recent photo shoot and promotional print material.

I’m also working on a Shopping Cart for a Medical Company, a new site for an automotive company, and a few logos for various other clients.

During all this I’m video editing a personal side project, learning ZBrush 3D, working on some print material, setting up an email newsletter, blogging, twittering and trying to learn to play the guitar. And that’s just Mon-Fri, my weekends are spent with friends and family. I think I need to cut back on sleep; it seems to impinge on my time.

What is best part of being a web designer?

The web is constantly evolving; I’m constantly trying to learn new things, better myself as a designer and the web is the perfect platform for it. I love the idea of creating something new, launching it and having an immediate world-wide audience.

Tell us about your best as experience as a web designer?

The best experience for me comes at the end of every project when I finally launch and the client is satisfied. The bigger the site, the more satisfaction I get when it goes live, especially if it’s required a lot of hard work and late nights.

Tell us about your worst as experience as a web designer?

I’d created a website for a client that I was extremely happy with. Once launched, the client wanted to take over the maintenance due to budget restraints. I slowly witnessed my website deteriorate from a well thought out well designed site to a hacked piece of web garbage. I eventually emailed the client and asked that they remove my credit from the footer.

What are the most important things to learn to be a good web designer?

Grids, Hierarchy, Usability & Attention to Detail.
Grids will ensure your information is organised and well laid out. Look at your page and organize the information in order of importance, screen real estate is valuable and needs to be allocated with some thought. Usability is extremely important, there’s a correct way of doing things when is comes to web usability – learn this. Pay close attention to the intricacies of your website, I always say – life is in the details.

What advice would you give to our Web Courses Bangkok students?

Never stop learning, the web is not static, it’s constantly changing and evolving, evolve with it. Study trends, join design forums, read books, make written lists of the tasks you need to complete, and most of all, be a sponge. Learn to deal with people; problems arise when communication fails, and always ensure you and the client are on the same page. Most of all have fun doing what you’re doing, if you don’t enjoy it, change something until you do.

Thank you so much to John and if you would like more information about Perceptin Design, see the links below:

Website: http://www.perceptiondesign.com/

Twitter: @melbournedesign

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