Pixel award winner Craig Jamieson isn’t big on awards. He just wins them (graciously).
One of our favourite websites was designed by 2008 Pixel Award winning designer Craig Jamieson of Digiguru. The sites attention to detail, unconventional calendar style navigation and functionality makes it a winner (have we mentioned the Pixel?). Mark tracks him down in Jozi for a short interview.
Mark: Please give us a short overview of you career.
Craig: I’ve been working in the design industry for over 10 years now. I am self taught, but have done the odd software course here and there. After a couple of years doing graphic design, I switched to web and multimedia. I started teaching and did that full time for a while, before continuing on my own, whereby Digiguru was born. I have mostly worked for myself ever since. I’m currently quite content working for myself, I get to sleep late, work from home, spend time with my kid and work at my own pace. I’m quite comfortable designing just about anything, but most days I do mostly site concepts and flash sites for local and international clients.
Mark: What inspired the design of your personal web site?
Craig: At the time I started planning my site I was working at a pretty cool agency in Cape Town, so had no need to bring in more work. I had also grown somewhat tired of blogging, cause I really didn’t have much to say, which wasn’t already being said on a gazillion other blogs, but I wanted a place to share creative ramblings, achievements, projects and a little personal dribble too.
I decided to build a flash site that had a lot of the properties found in more traditional websites like rss feeds, back and forward functionality, bookmarking, deep linking etc. I would use a calendar style navigation which I had seen successfully used before and then scaled content relative to screen size for visual impact.
The primary focus would be my updates, which I did not want to feel obligated to do, rather posting whenever I felt like it. Secondary would be my portfolio and info.
My situation has changed, working for myself I have to bring in work and I have considered making my portfolio the focus of the site, but as most people like to know what’s new first, I thought for now I’d keep things the way they are, seeing as it hasn’t hurt my business in any way.
Mark: You won the Pixel Award in the Personal Website category for Digiguru – why do you think people react so positively to the site?
Craig: I’m not too sure actually. I worked on the site for ages, so maybe it’s the attention to detail, maybe it’s the scalability, functionality … or maybe it’s the hot chicks I use from time to time to blurb my news.
Mark: What do awards mean for your career?
Craig: I’m actually not a big advocate of awards. An individual cannot compete when you’re up against agencies who have big clients, bigger budgets, teams of designers etc, added to that there’s all the politics and just to top it off, it’s not affordable for individuals to pay to enter their work. But I have been fortunate enough to have been nominated and won a few awards, so some people like the idea, and hell if it helps pay the bills, then I guess I have to graciously accept them.
Mark: Which are your 5 favourite websites/blogs?
Craig: Google (www.google.com … just in case you’ve lived on mars for the past century)
Design You Trust (www.designyoutrust.com)
Facebook (www.facebook.com – I hate to admit it, but despite all the irritations, it can be a useful tool)
Mark: Are there any online tools you really value?
Craig: I use a few day to day. I think mint (www.haveamint.com) is the sexiest way to view your web stats. I use Harvest (www.getharvest.com) to account for all the hard work I do. PayPal (www.paypal.com) can be handy but not being able to receive funds is a bit silly.
Mark: Tell us about your design process?
Craig: Ideally things would pretty much go like this. Get a feel for the client and brand, do a little discovery into what they are hoping to achieve, understand who they perceive as cool and then try and put some sort of brief together. Once some plan is set in place, design, develop and then build.
After that it test, fix and launch. But lets be honest, it hardly ever works like that, it’s usually a little more like this … taking a few notes, throwing around some ideas, searching for inspiration and then either putting a design together or jumping right into flash and just rocking things out.
Find Craig @ http://www.digiguru.co.za