#91 Interview With Website Designer

Written on:April 24, 2011
Last modified on: April 26, 2011 @ 7:02 PM
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Word Count: 1293
Takes: 4 minutes 55 seconds to read.
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Name: Alex (death180)
Age: 16
Location: United States, mid-west is all I will say.
Site(s): http://death180.com and another coming in the near future.
Short Bio: I’m 16, I live in the United States. I love to play games, watch videos on youtube, make videos for youtube, and anything computer or internet related. I am also in highschool and I play paintball so that soaks up part of my day. But that’s really it.

Today we have an interview with a skilled website designer who takes prides in making simple but effective designs.

Would You Consider Your Site To Be Your Portfolio?
Kind of, I am planning on adding an actual portfolio of my work to my site in the future, but for right now it does serve it’s purpose as ‘part’ of my portfolio. What I’m trying to say is that it is pretty close to a portfolio, but that’s not it’s sole purpose.

Why Did You Create Death180?
I created it as a personal site for myself, and a way to showcase my work (once I had some work to show), and kind of a way for people to communicate with me, to show off future projects and hopefully make it another way to advertise. Although the real ‘purpose’ of the site has kind of fluctuated a bit over the past couple months, it still serves it’s primary purpose as a personal site for myself.

Are You Happy With Your Forums Growth?
Yes I am very happy, I didn’t anticipate it to grow so big so fast, even though I had it closed down for a couple weeks because activity slowed, once I opened back up people started returning on their own and bringing friends with them.

What Got You Interested In Website Designing?
One day, about 3 years ago, I was looking through books on my moms bookshelf and I saw a book titled ‘Creating Web Pages’, so I opened it up and started reading a couple pages. After reading a bit I talked to my mom about it and that was when I learned that I didn’t need any special software to create a webpage, all I needed was notepad. Immediately I wanted to learn everything needed to create the next popular website. So I would have to say my mom got me interested, she has also gotten me interested in a bunch of other useful things, but that’s another story all together.

Who Would You Consider Your Role Model?
I really look up to my mom, we get along really well, we have a bunch in common (compared to my dad), and I also look up to my oldest brother because we have the same interests and such. Outside of my family though I have a couple role models, I would say I look up to Toby Turner and Freddie Wong because they inspire me to do things I never thought I could do.

Who Would Be Your Dream Co-Designer/Coder?
Well, when it comes to designing the only person I can think of is Christian Bullock, he has a great style and some excellent work. He also has knowledge that I don’t so he would be great to work with. For a coder, I would have to say, I am open to anyone that has the same (or more) knowledge in coding as I do. It really doesn’t matter to me, but it would make sense if it was Christian again because it would be easiest for him to code what he designs. And he has some cool css tricks that I don’t know how to do yet. Although if I looked more I am sure I would fine more people I would love to code with.

What Do You Do When Your Not On The Computer?
Well, seeing as I am on the computer for school, and all my web work, I guess the few things I do off the computer would be playing paintball every now and then and playing Xbox occasionally. And I hang out with friends sometimes but most of my friends are always busy so we don’t hang out a lot. I’m not really an outside person, although I will get on a four wheeler and ride that around my yard for a while if I feel like it. Those are just some hobbies, of course i have chores and such to do just like everyone else.

Would You Like To Have A Career Online?
Oh most definitely, I have been looking into all sorts of possible ways to make a living off of working online and I have found some very appealing solutions that I will probably start pursuing in the next couple of years.

What Coding Languages Do You Know & Which Ones Are You Learning?
I know, all forms of HTML and CSS, and tiny bits of PHP and MySQL. I am learning JavaScript, PHP, and MySQL, but not in a dedicated manner, I just learn what i need to when I get to that point. Although if I were to find a really solid way to learn I would probably sit down and focus.

Does Designing & Coding Come Naturally To You?
Yes kind of, and no kind of. I am a pretty fast learner so naturally I can learn most things pretty fast, and I can type really fast, the problem is my ambition levels are not so high all the time. As for designing, I really just start making things in notepad and alter whatever I see fit, it usually ends up in a pretty good design, if not then I trash it and start over. So my process of designing is a bit different, but overall it is natural to a certain extent, like I have a good imagination of what I maybe want, but it doesn’t always end up that way.

Have You Ever Wished To Make A Design For A Huge Website?
Yes there are a couple sites that i wish I could work on, although they are really complex and my designs are usually a bit more simple.

Which Do You Find Harder Graphic Designing Or Coding And Why?
In my opinion, graphic designing, because I am not a master of photoshop, I don’t know all the tricks, so generally the graphics on my sites are what brings the whole look down a bit. Which is another reason why I have simpler designs, but each day I learn new effects and can apply that to new situations, so I am constantly improving.

Have You Ever Looked At A Design And Thought ‘I Could Do Better’?
Do you mean a design someone else made? If so, then yea, I have seen some pretty poor designs and have volunteered to make them better in the past. As for my own designs, I have seen my designs and think I MIGHT be able to do better, but I usually can’t just don’t have sufficient knowledge to do what I envisioned.

What Would You Say To Any New Website Designers?
Be very careful when it comes to colors, if you choose the wrong shades of green, it could look horrible. Good designing takes time, if you rush it, it will look bad, don’t be afraid to take a break, go do something else, take your eyes off of it for awhile, or have someone else look at it and give their thoughts. Also, avoid animations, flash, and sound on your site. While it may be neat and take awhile to make, it will drive away a lot of people. Oh, and one last thing, inline styling is not a good practice to get into, it’s good to use external css sheets from the start, make it a habit.

Thanks for the awesome answers. Don’t forgot to check out his site.

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