HOW Design Conference speaker David Link tells us of his experience managing the America Online creative teams, as well as his love of digital tablets such as the iPad. Link founded The Wonderfactory, an agency that focuses on interactive media, content and storytelling for tablet applications. HOW featured The Wonderfactory in an extensive profile for the November 2010 Business Annual, and the studio then transformed that article into an engaging interactive experience using HTML5. See the interactive version of Reinventing Wonder here.
We recently asked Link a few questions about himself and his creative process:
HOW: What factor plays a bigger role in a new project: lack of time or a small budget?
David Link: I would answer “lack of time”—there are creative ways to work with small budgets, but lack of time you sometimes can’t get around and still develop a wonderful product.
What was your first job in the design field?
I was lucky enough to work at an entertainment agency as a designer of movie posters and all of the collateral that went with marketing a film or TV show. I started as a designer and worked my way up to a senior art director.
What’s the strangest thing that has happened to you during your design career?
I worked at America Online for a few years managing the content development creative teams across all channels—I was responsible for a team of about 150 people. What was really strange about that experience is that I didn’t really get to know over 50% of the people in my department, it was just too big. It’s a strange feeling of not becoming highly involved with people that you are responsible for. Relationships and collaboration are important and make for a much better end product of design.
What’s your favorite design tool?
A pencil and a Moleskine notebook are my favorite design tools; Photoshop comes in as a close second place. When portable digital tablets are good enough to use as sketchbooks—that will become my favorite design tool.
If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?
A super hero, or a film director.