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5 minutes with... Paul Boag - Co founder at Headscape

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*"I have always been rubbish at elevator pitches! But here goes... Headscape is a web design company that offers development, design and consultancy services. We have a broad client base from large public sector organisations to charities, higher education institutions and multi-million pound ecommerce websites."

What do you actually do?
Good question. I often ask myself the same thing! I guess my role falls into 2 areas. My primary responsibility is working with clients to establish their web strategy. It is my job to ensure their site generates a healthy return on investment and that their organisation achieves its business objectives through the use of the web.

My second area of responsibility is to ensure that Headscape is at the forefront of web design best practice. I'm therefore heavily involved in shaping the future development of web design. This involves me speaking internationally, writing extensively and working with some of the smartest people in the sector.

I also host the longest running and most popular podcast on web design.

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What would you be doing if you weren't doing that? 
Who knows! I'm not sure I would be good for much else.

How did you get started in the industry?
When I was studying art media and design at University I was chosen by IBM to do a years industrial placement in which I helped create multimedia CD-ROM titles to support one of the earliest multimedia PCs. While doing this year's placement, this thing called the World Wide Web came along. Nobody in the company wanted to touch it because it was creatively limiting. It therefore fell to the intern (me!) to work on it.

What's your current favourite piece of creative work at the moment?
I'm very proud of the work we have recently done on the RAF benevolent fund website. I love working for charities and this site ticks all the right boxes for me. It looks stunning, is built in such a way that it adapts to any device (including mobile) and is heavily focused on its primary call to action, which is to raise donations. I take great satisfaction at bringing together design, usability and technology to achieve business objectives.

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What do you love about your job?
I love the fact that the web is constantly evolving and I am in a privileged position to help shape its future. I love working with smart people to develop new techniques that can make the web a better business tool and improve the user experience.

If you could give one piece of advice for someone starting out, what would it be?
Become obsessional. It is not enough to treat web design as a job. It has to be your passion if you wish to stand out from the crowd. I get excited about every new project we work on and see it as an opportunity to do something new and innovative. A great web designer is obsessed with trying new things and playing with new technology.

If you have one Super power what would it be?
That's an easy one. I would have the ability to teleport wherever I wanted. I love to travel and have friends spread out all over the world. I would like nothing more than to pop over to San Francisco for lunch and then spend the evening sunning myself on a tropical beach somewhere in Thailand.

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What do you want to be when you grow up?
Slightly senile and selectively deaf. I'm determined to be one of those cantankerous old men that make everybody else's life miserable!

What was your worst job and what did you learn from it?
Designing a website for a chicken incinerator company. I learned 2 things. First, people incinerate chickens, who knew! Second, a chicken incinerator plant doesn't really need a website.

You have already worked with some amazing brands, who would you like to work with next?
To be honest I'm not attracted by the brand name. I'm more interested in the project itself. I particularly enjoy working on e-commerce sites, so I guess a large online retailer would be good.

iPhone or Blackberry?
iPhone every time.

Your favourite app?
Evernote.

Too Cool for School or too School for Cool?
I'm not sure I understand the question so I guess that makes me not cool.

Facebook or Twitter?
Twitter.

Eat In or eat out?
Eat out.

Follow Paul:
Twitter: @Boagworld
Facebook: /boagworld 
Visit my website 
Visit company's website

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