HOW Interactive Design Expert’s Corner: Chris Converse

Chris Converse is one of our core, go-to interactive pros here at HOW. Designer, developer and experienced teacher, he’s multi-talented and versatile. Partner at Codify Design Studio, Chris brings twenty years’ experience to his coding and designing practice–making him, well, a superstar.

chrisconverseIn preparation for the HOW Interactive Conference in Chicago this fall where he’ll teach a hands on PSD to HTML/CSS workshop, I caught up with Chris for a few minutes to find out what excites him about being a developer today…

Chris, did you always see yourself as a designer? No. I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. I had an art teacher in high school, Mr Gudmundsen (who incidentally taught Jimmy Fallon as well). He used to sign me up to design t-shirts for the school plays, school logos, and yearbook layouts. I really liked doing creative things with my time, and decided to pursue that path in college.

Well, it looks like the path has worked out! What, in your opinion, has been especially compelling about software development–since you’ve been in the design/dev field? I think that scripting is a pretty impressive capability. The ability to write simple instructions that get interpreted by larger applications is an amazing multiplication of a piece of software. This includes not only things like JavaScript, but even setting up Actions in Photoshop… we can control power programs with a few instructions — instead of everyone needing to be a full programmer.

Speaking of scripting and other code-based skills, what do you do for HOW Design University? I try to teach designers to take control of their website designs by learning HTML and CSS. My courses on HOWU focus on recreating design comps in HTML that work in web browsers and email.

What’s the most exciting part of being a developer in 2013? I think the ability to create web applications, both for online and offline usage is pretty amazing. What’s more, there are services that can turn those web application into native applications… without any additional development. To me, this demonstrated the power of web standards, and the usefulness of the scripting model to multiply instructions to more powerful applications.

PSD to HTML HOWU Course by interactive expert Chris ConverseFind out more about transforming your design with code in Chris’s new PSD to HTML course! You’ll be coding design in no time!

Catch Chris Converse, Christopher Butler, David Sherwin, and other web design/development experts at the HOW Interactive Design Conference, November 5-7.

HOW Interactive Design Conference 2013