Faculty members Bek Hodgson and Alex Wright will be traveling to New Zealand as judges for the Onyas. Created for the celebration of New Zealand’s web industry, the Onyas include categories in “Best Visual Design,”“Best User Experience,”“Best Use of HTML & CSS,”“Best Content,”“Best Mobile Application” and more. While there, Hodgson will be teaching a workshop on “Entrepreneurial Design,” and Wright will be presenting a workshop on “Stalking Your Users.” Webstock caught up with Bek for a quick interview on what makes good design on the web, the origin of “Entrepreneurial Design,” and her top five desert island discs. Below is an excerpt.
Webstock: Tell us about what you’re currently doing and how you got there.
Bek: Currently, I am in semi-stealth mode working on two really exciting new startups here in New York that will be unveiled in the spring. The first is in partnership with Rob Kalin, founder of Etsy, for which we are aggressively harnessing the power of the web to redefine and enhance learning and the exchange of knowledge. The second is a community site I co-founded for writers. This site not only enables writers to promote and connect, but provides tools enabling quick, easy and beautiful publication – both on the web and in print.
The path to get here has been over a decade long adventure – a cocktail of the early-on design bloopers, a traditional design education at Art Center College of Design, working with a host of inspiring startups like Etsy and Blurb, and a fierce dedication to creating purpose-driven solutions that enable multitudes of folks to have a wider reach and potentially greater impact.
Webstock: What makes good design on the web? What makes something great, instead of average?
Bek: For all its complexities, I believe good design on the web simplifies environments and experiences. Understanding the medium, and how it is used, is paramount. It challenges us to say more with less and to make navigating, sharing and collaborating truly intuitive. Making something great, instead of average, means nailing all such things and adding a dose of brilliant execution. Details that delight, language that inspires – revealing unwavering genius.