Interview with Web and UI Designer Phil Stringfellow
Today its a pleasure to share with you all an interview with established creative mind, Web and UI designer Phil Stringfellow. (We won’t hold it totally against him at being a red from Liverpool). Phil has a great grounding in the basics and advancing features of web design and has lots of great work in his portfolio; you may recognise his work from the recent Design Juices re-design.
Can you introduce yourself to our readers? Who is Phil Stringfellow and how do you fit yourself into the web design online world?
Hi all, my name is Phil Stringfellow and I am a web and UI designer from Liverpool. I love pixel perfect design and clean coding and think I fit quite snugly in between the design and developer community.
Can a web designer ever be truly happy with their work? The web is constantly evolving so it must mean lots of changes to keep up with new tech and software?
I think web designers can be happy with their work if they allow themselves to be satisfied. I believe too many designers put too much pressure on themselves trying to keep up. With the web changing so fast, people take this “I’ve got to keep up” approach which I think is wrong. If designers sat back and let the new technology settle and more things come out, they can integrate several things at once rather than using their site to test breaking technologies.
What first drew your inspiration to want to be a web designer? Do you prefer to work on the backend of coding or the front end side of things?
My first inspirations in web design were fan sites based around Dragon Ball Z and Sonic the Hedgehog around 2000/01, which spurred me on to learn HTML and build websites the hard way. It wasn’t until I came out of my job as a graphic designer that I looked at the web with fresh eyes and wanted again to be involved in designing websites. Although I can develop websites and build using HML/CSS/WordPress, I much prefer getting stuck in with Photoshop and designing websites and apps from scratch.
What kinds of projects and designs in terms of work are you looking to take on at the moment?
In January, I made the decision to try to expand the scope of my design, so that it wasn’t just my website and blog out there to prove what I could do. With this decision, I came up with a couple of side-projects that are currently in the making, the closest to release being Zelda Timeline, focused around the fabled timeline within Legend of Zelda games and the story-arc. With regards to work, I’d love the chance to the on more app designs for iOS and Android.
We see with your own site it has taken on several re-designs of its own. Can you talk through some of the features you’ve implemented on the current site?
Which version, the one that’s live, or the one that’s being built? The one that’s up now came about from my love of one-page designs, and my increasing love of texture and patterns on sites. I wanted the site to be unique, visually amazing and above all, a great marker to set with regards to my level as a designer.
What are the innovative features of your Zelda based site? What is your motivation to create a site like that?
The main motivation and inspiration is my love of The Legend of Zelda, which is my favourite game series. I came up with the idea of an interactive timeline to go through my version of the timeline which was based around the game stories, internet rumours and a lot of thought! Then Nintendo actually released the timeline – something they swore they’d never do – through their book Hyrule Historia, and I decided that rather than let my idea go, I would incorporate the official version of the timeline into my site.
The main feature of the site will be able to visually explore the timeline in the order the games were meant to be in, and when a game is selected, further details, information and a range of other stuff is presented to you. I originally came up with the phrase a “visual Wikipedia” which describes how the site will presented – concise, informative, but all focusing on the visual detail of the games and imagery of the Legend of Zelda.
How are you involved in your local creative community? Do you connect more on a national scale through social networks?
Having a family – namely a disabled family – limits my exposure to the creative community and as such, I don’t really get to go to conferences or meet ups, but would really love to go to a few North West based ones or something like FOWD.
If you could offer a 16-19 year old student with an interest in design and web design some advice to break into the industry what would it be?
Sounds cliché, but just stick at it, and if you are passionate about your work and design, then nothing will stand in your way. Also, at some point in your career, you’ll believe in something, or stand for something that not everyone else will, so a thick skin is advised. But I can say that about most jobs at the end of the day, not just design.
Where would you recommend to other designers are the best places online to seek out inspiration and to share for help?
The best place for me to get inspired is still deviantART, an amazing online community fettering an incredible array of art, design and photography from all manner of artists. Another place to get great inspiration is Dribbble, which even if you’re not a participant, because of the pedigree of design on there, you’re never too fay away from another ‘wow’ moment.
Which sites online would you single out as being cutting edge right now?
- a website detailing all of the different devices screens and sizes to let you know how you’re new responsive design is fitting in on smartphone devices and tablets. I’ll be using this quite a lot
- a handy website with simple points to keep in mind when designing for the web, featuring some cutting edge animation and simple, to the point messages.
We see your very involved with twitter, would you recommend any particular followers we should be following also?
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