In the Web design scene, the sense of community is extremely strong. We always talk about “giving back” and about how much we learn from those who do. A few names are popular and dropped here and there. But it’s all still just a bit too impersonal, isn’t it? Here at Smashing Magazine, we’ve decided to give you a more intimate look at our writers.
Among the people who regularly write for us, 15 agreed to answer our questions. We also challenged them to take a picture of themselves on the spot, with no time for make-up. This interview is not meant to give you any particular professional insight, even though we cover that ground a bit. Rather, it’s meant to introduce you to these people on a personal level. The illustrations for this article were created by Andrea Austoni1, an illustrator from Poland who we are regularly working with.
A Word About The Community
We still have very little information about the Web design community itself. How many professionals are there around the world? Where do they live? These questions are still difficult to answer precisely. A List Apart publishes an annual survey2, whose 2008 edition received responses from more than 30,000 people (2009 edition wasn’t published yet). We can perhaps imagine the Web design community as an entity, which is what A List Apart does to a large extent. But what if we focused on personality? What’s the first thing they do in the morning? What do they love and hate about Web design? What is their biggest strength and worst flaw?
If we could combine our writers into a single person, what kind of person would it be?
- A male in his early 30s,
- Physically, he would have brown eyes, brown hair. He would be about 5’7″ tall (175 cm), 155lbs (70 kg),
- He would maybe wear glasses and will surely be right-handed (there is only one left-handed person out of the 14 writers that replied).
Who said working from home implies eating all the time? Our typical writer would be quite reasonable with junk food, eating only a kg a week.
Question: What is your mission and personal philosophy while on Earth?
Do good things, make myself redundant in doing them, and inspire and train others to take over to get the same great experiences.
When I look back on my life, I hope to see that I’ve improved people’s lives: making them simpler, more fulfilling and more enjoyable.
Difficult question. Without being philosophical, I would simply say personal contentment.
I’m just along for the ride, trying to do as much of the things I love as possible, and avoiding the rest.
I’m a Christian, so most of my philosophy comes from that. I’m also an animal-rights supporter.
Inayaili de León:
Be nice. Put myself in other people’s shoes before criticizing them.
My personal philosophy in life is to enjoy doing what you love doing.
I want to love what I do every day. I don’t want any day to go by where I think, “Wow, what an absolute waste of time.”
I want to do something innovative and creative, work on design and blogging. This is my current mission.
Nationalities, Languages And Localization
Most of our regular writers live in Europe:
Many live in the US:
But there is also Aquil, who is from Pakistan:
Because we are an English-speaking magazine doesn’t mean that the people who write for us are all American or British. In fact, most of them come from another country and therefore speak a different native language. If we combine them all together, we’d able to speak:
- English, French, German, Grenglish (yes, this new language is a mix of English and broken Greek), Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Ukrainian, Urdu and Uzbek.
Question: What does writing mean to you? Please give us some insight into your working process.
What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
Ignore the buzzer and keep sleeping!
Checking e-mails, Twitter and Facebook
Question: Where did you start, and what principles and skills helped you get to where you are now?
What is your strongest quality…
… and your worst flaw?
Question: What distracts you from working these days and how do you handle these distractions?
Challenge: Would you dare taking a picture of yourself on the spot and send it to us?
Question: If you had to choose your boldest subject for an article ever, what would it be and why?
What about you?
It is also hard for us to know where our readers come from, which is why we had the idea of creating this Google public map11. The idea is to localize where web professionals are from and what their profession is.
Now, why not add yourself on the map13 (you need to be able to sign up with a google account) and include a few words about you such as your job title for example? To add a placemark, you need to click on “Edit” in the left column of the page and then use the Placeholder icon that will appear in the left upper area of the map. Please do not change the title and description of the map. And let’s see what this map looks like in a few days.
- 1 http://www.cutelittlefactory.com/
- 2 http://aneventapart.com/alasurvey2008/
- 3 http://wiseeats.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/c0109_junkfood_01.jpg
- 4 http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?hl=en&ie=UTF8&oe=UTF8&msa=0&msid=103325384580524496430.0004876a9e4787a2e7460
- 5 http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?hl=en&ie=UTF8&oe=UTF8&msa=0&msid=103325384580524496430.0004876a9e4787a2e7460
- 6 http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?hl=en&ie=UTF8&oe=UTF8&msa=0&msid=103325384580524496430.0004876a9e4787a2e7460
- 7 http://developer-evangelism.com/writing.php
- 8 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/m2.jpg
- 9 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/m1.jpg
- 10 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/m3.jpg
- 11 http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?hl=en&ie=UTF8&oe=UTF8&msa=0&msid=103325384580524496430.0004876a9e4787a2e7460
- 12 http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?hl=en&ie=UTF8&oe=UTF8&msa=0&msid=103325384580524496430.0004876a9e4787a2e7460
- 13 http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?hl=en&ie=UTF8&oe=UTF8&msa=0&msid=103325384580524496430.0004876a9e4787a2e7460