Today it is my pleasure to have a quick interview with Jamie Kosoy who is the associate technical director of Big Spaceship. He is also one of the speakers at FITC Toronto which is coming up soon. In this interview, Jamie is going to tell you a bit about Big Spaceship and their workflow. He is also going to shares his thought on Flash v.s. HTML5.
Could you tell us a bit about Big Spaceship? What are the company's main focuses? What is your role/responsibilities in the company?
Sure! Big Spaceship is an [almost] 11 year old creative digital agency based in Brooklyn. We focus on creating engaging experiences that help brands connect with the consumers they're trying to reach. My title is Associate Technical Director. I work as a right hand man to our Minister of Technology, helping any way I can from a technology standpoint.
Could you share some of the exciting projects that you guys are working on?
The most exciting thing I can mention is that we are the digital agency of record for Lucasfilm, so the Force is with us. We've been doing a lot of work with Wrigley brands lately (Starburst, Skittles, Lifesavers, Altoids, etc) alongside our friends at Firstborn and EVB. I can't give too many more specifics beyond. Nondisclosure agreements. They'll get ya.
If you look hard enough in the source code of Skittles.com you can find my ugly mug. :)
Beside client projects, do you guys do any experimental work?
We do tons of internal projects! We dedicated a chunk of last summer specifically to closing the office and working on crafts that our team found inspiring or interesting. One of the best of the bunch is The Most Awesomest Thing Ever, which is the centerpiece of my session at FITC this year.
Could you share your design process/workflow? What tools do you guys use for wireframe (ie. pencil sketch, digital wireframe, chalkboard, Photoshop, etc.)?
This is a tough question to answer concisely, honestly. We use the whole spectrum of tools at our disposal, both digital and otherwise. Our brainstorms will involve all the different disciplines in a room together, typically writing stuff on the walls (dry eraseboard paint) and then synthesizing these notes into a cohesive idea. We lean a lot on our designers for how an experience should manifest itself, so sometimes we'll wireframe and sometimes we won't. The process really revolves around the idea of trusting each other as experts in our respective crafts, so there isn't a mandate to say... use OmniGraffle for wireframing or Photoshop for comping. Sometimes someone draws detailed pencil sketches or storyboards and we go from there.
There isn't really a specific process because we every project requires a unique approach. The only thing that we keep the same is the attention to quality and innovation.
Whoof, I think you just asked the million dollar question. Our stance has always been one of technology agnosticism. We've always felt a bit pigeon holed into the whole notion that we're a Flash shop... we never were that at all. We love Flash, but we also love making things for mobile devices and huge screen devices and video game devices and any other device we can learn about and build for. In the past we did a lot of Hollywood movie microsite work and it seemed that Flash was the best tool for the experience we were trying to create. We make things that provide the best experience for the audience we're trying to reach.
We're about innovation and strategy, not about specific platforms or implementations. With that in mind, HTML5 is awesome! We're excited about making the possibilities new technologies will bring - better experiences, pushing the limits of old platforms, performance boosts, new possibilities... all good things.
I know you will be speaking at FITC Toronto 2011. Could you give a sneak peak of your presentation?
There will be a number of gratuitous explosions and a grilled cheese sandwich. That's all you're getting out of me. I've said too much already.
Update: if you are interested in attending FITC, here is a 10% discount code: "WebDesignerWall10".