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Teams Spotlights: Q&A with Michael B

Features

July 31, 2022

July 31, 2022

How did you get into design?

Well, I went to school for film actually and then when it was time to graduate, it was the recession, and I was making my film portfolio online. So, I started creating and developing a website for my film portfolio. And really, there was nothing out there for film and I was kind of burnt out. I really, really loved film but I didn't want to go to California and hold a boom mic and kind of just do that or run coffee for someone. So, I was a bit over it. I have always been a designer and I really was interested in getting into web and researching that. At the time there weren't any jobs for designers - at least not at my beginner level. So I taught myself front-end development, which kind of helped down the road after that, because I knew how to design for development. Shortly after I finally landed my first job as a developer, one was a job for an outlet that was a lower scale than ESPN where I updated content for them and basically worked a night shift. After that I got into a pharmaceutical marketing company doing front-end dev. Then, I finally landed my first real design job and it was for philly.com where I was designing banner ads and marketing landing pages - not exciting work, but it was a start. I really worked my way up and then I finally got around to having experience and having some more interesting stuff in my portfolio. I was able to redesign some websites for their clients as well. So kind of fell into it that way. And then, as I went on, I worked for a bunch of different ad agencies, marketing groups, and creative studios. It started to really pick up from there where I was doing a lot of UX strategy and UI design as a part of my day to day. Then the last agency I was at was bought out and changed their approach so I was on my own at the moment. I had always done freelance on the side and I said let me see how far I can take this. Freelance turned into contracting, which turned into consulting which turned into working for myself full time. And that's where I'm at now. So that's a long winded answer of how I got into design. I was always a designer but then I turned it into a career.

How long have you been a UX/UI designer?

If you want to calculate everything like me being in the whole industry, going from graphic designer to web designer to UX? It's been 12 years.

Where are you from?

I'm from South Jersey about 15 minutes outside Philadelphia but Philly was always my city because that's the city that's right there. Just across the bridge.

Where do you live now?

I officially moved to Philly in 2009 where I reside now.

What gives you inspiration that can drive the direction of your work/design?

Well, I would say that when I get a project, I become very excited about it. The inspiration sparks come from, I would say the client, the job, and really the energy that comes with it, if that makes sense. It's really just the whole process from kickoff to meeting with them and seeing what they're passionate about and kind of having that challenge of transforming their passion into something visual, right? I also enjoy the different challenges that come from each new project.

What is the last thing that you watched on Netflix, Disney+, Paramount+, etc.?

The last thing I literally watched, if we are being real, the Meghan Markle documentary and I gotta say it's pretty good. You know what's good too that I saw recently? I can go on a tangent. So I won't. But Kaleidoscope.

Are there any specific clients or projects that you worked on that you really enjoyed?

Oh man. It's funny because I would say, one of the most enjoyable things is a recent one. I feel like what Matic is doing. Like they're bringing a lot of really cool stuff to be honest with you. So, I definitely really, really enjoyed ballast, which we just launched.

What is something that you enjoy outside of your work?

Yeah. So I would say, one of the biggest things is to gain energy and that mindset that I was just telling you about, right? Just rock and roll the day and actually, a lot of my inspiration comes from the first thing I do in the morning past waking up, bathroom routine, and coffee would be getting a workout in. As I work out, I love to get moving and it can be anything from just going for a run around historic places in Philly. I still say to myself, “I can't believe that it all started here, the Declaration of Independence was signed here!” Right? And like just letting my mind drift…

Part of the reason why I go in the morning is that's when my inspiration comes, like I actually come up with ideas sometimes when I'm running or working out. I stop and like, write a quick note of what I want to do that day or something that I came up with. I would say a huge passion of mine is working out whether it's jogging around the city or sometimes I do a little bit of crossfit. I do like intense workouts. I grew up playing ice hockey so I was always outside and I love skating. So, I would say I am passionate about starting my day that way and getting my mind going and doing some kind of fitness. Also I stay off my phone first thing in the morning - don’t let someone else, or some post dictate my mood for the day. I don’t look at my phone until my workout is over and my mind is prepared and ready to go.

Michael is currently working with our Matic studio on client engagements. If you'd like to inquire about him or other Matic Teams practitioners get in touch!