The Big Web Show Podcast Review
December 10, 2011
On the Big Web Show Podcast, host Jeffrey Zeldman discussed a number of topics relating to the internet and web design. His guest for Episode #59, featured an interview with web designer Mike Montiero. Mike took us back to the 1980’s when he first started his career. Jeffrey’s interview style was full of humor, insight, intellect and wit. At first I didn’t understand the approach of the podcast but found it to be quite funny as Jeffrey went along. There was a lot of historical reference to operating systems and graphic software of the early 1990’s. Mike was pretty funny and straightforward which gave the history lesson a little bit of an edge. Mike described himself as a “Web Designer” and not as a creative person. He seemed to view the word “creative” as someone who worked outside the system. He said he felt more tuned to the title of “craftsperson”.
There was discussion about ways to develop your talent and always learning new technology. Mike found that learning was easier than finding the right people to work with. He also mentioned that finding the right people was a difficult task. Another aspect of his discussion focused on communicating your project goals to “business people”. Without the proper presentation methods to business people you could fail your entire endeavor. Without the right project, you cannot work.
Mike Montiero also talked about how important it is to be part of a group or business that delivered excellent work to a client. He also stated that not “folding” to a client’s demand would make a better contributor to their goal. If you had too much of your client’s input, then you were not going to produce your best work for their interest. He said many agencies that he worked with, would cave in to the client’s demands and the project would end up failing. He noted, “A good agency can be very combative” and that one of the traits to getting through to a clients was tough diplomacy. Mike viewed his work as that of a designer hired to “solve problems”. One mention he noted was that he enjoyed the work of other designers like Jenny Holzer who is known for her work “Projections”. I looked up Jenny Holzer and enjoyed reading about her in the process.