Andrew Lang [puresilva]
What is your specialty in the interactive world?
I have created a website template called puresilva (http://www.puresilva.com/) to help small businesses have a presence online easily, professionally, and at low cost.
Where can we see some of your work online?
Over at http://www.puresilva.com/
What kind of projects do you usually undertake?
I created e-commerce and content managed websites
What was your first job in the field?
Web designer - full time employee for a web design company in Brisbane
What is your professional background? What did you do before?
Programmer - I've been programming as far back as 1982 (on a 16K ZX Spectrum). My education background is computing (OND / HND in Software Engineering) - learning programming methods via Pascal and Modula-2.
With which technologies do you normally work?
ASP, Windows Server 2008, CSS 2 and 3, HTML 4
Lessons learnt on user interface design
That's it's not easy to make something easy to use, but that's the goal. Less is often more. Don't ever hide navigation. Don't overwhelm visitors with too much navigation and too many options.
Do you work by yourself, or in a team? how is that team?
For programming, I work by myself with the occasional collaborative effort. However, I have a small team who work on other areas of our business including design, sales and marketing.
What is the secret to keeping customer expectations under control in interactive development?
Under promise, over deliver. Also to give people what they need, and not necessarily what they think they want.
What was your first computer, and which is your current?
16k ZX Spectrum (1982), Sony Vaio laptop (2008).
Online virality: isn't it the same as traditional word-of-mouth?
No. Traditional word of mouth is worth a lot more than 1000 curious clicks. It's preferable to be successful at BOTH viral marketing and word of mouth however.
Do you think the digital gap is a social problem? What would you do to accelerate digital literacy?
Promote the concept of autodidactism. Rote learning from a teacher is really where the gaps occur. People don't have the time or money to join courses, and a lot of education is a rip-off. We all have everything we need if we have the internet, we just need to promote the idea of DIY learning.
What were you doing in March 2000, at the height of the "dotcom bubble"?
In Japan on holiday - a 3 month hiatus from the internet!
In the current interactive world, what is the most relevant trend?
Not relying on Google for your traffic.
What do you see interesting about the Web 2.0 phenomenon?
Depends what "Web 2.0" means - if it means social networks, then it's a means to get business connections away from the more "traditional" forms - PPC and SEO.
What would you do to terminate Internet spam once and for all?
Spam email exists because it gets rewarded. If you want to terminate it once and for all, then don't reward it.
Will bandwidth one day cease to be a limitation?
One day? I thought we'd arrived at that point some time ago.
Your tips to make money online
Improve your product or service, and keep on improving it. Then go out there and sell it on the various networks online. Don't rely on Google for your lead generation.