Tell us a bit about you Dom...
I’m a Liverpool lad who studied Fine Art at Uni, but then got interested in digital in the process. Straight from graduating in 1998 I joined an ISP which gave me my foundation in all things internet, then went on to freelance as a web designer before studying for an MA in Creative Technology. I was Creative Manager at another digital agency prior to Fat Media. Outside of web design, music, playing guitar, painting, playing/watching footy and golf are my thing. My lovely wife and two young daughters also keep me on my toes.
What's the story behind you joining Fat Media?
I met three of my fellow directors at another digital agency, and from there we decided we could do it better, so we founded Fat Media together in 2005. We then acquired a fifth director shortly after, and have since grown organically to a digital team of over 60.
What does a typical day consist of at Fat Media?
A bit of everything really, from meeting clients to internal team meetings. We try to have a real emphasis on collaboration here at Fat Media, so there’s lots of quick catch-ups or ‘scrums’, and with the size of the team we now have they can take up a big portion of my day. If I’m lucky, I may even get some design work done too.
What would you be doing if you weren't at Fat Media?
If I wasn’t at Fat Media, I’d like to think that I’d be doing something equally as creative and challenging, to put my all into. I’m a bit obsessed with web design as a whole, so more than likely it would still be in this sector.
What do you love most about working at Fat Media?
Working with such a talented and passionate team. We all get on really well and work really hard, but have a lot of fun doing it. Probably because we’re all a bit geeky deep down, and like a beer on a Friday.
What's been the highlight of your career so far?
Generally Fat Media itself is the highlight, I’m immensely proud of what we’ve achieved here together, none more so than when we win an award that recognises this, like this year’s Big Chip nominations and award for example.
What campaign do you wish you'd worked on?
As a bit of a film buff, I loved the whole digital campaign for last year’s Prometheus movie. It was a great mix of website/viral/video and social media, in phases leading up to the film’s release. Some really great use of the latest HTML techniques on the fake corporate website too (weylandindustries.com ). It’s a pity the film was so crap at the end of it all!
Which brand would you love to work with?
I’m a big fan of all the Nike digital work, starting with the Better World site which pioneered the Parallax trend a couple of years ago. They seem to embrace online and are keen to push the envelope wherever possible, and use technology innovatively, rather than just ticking a box on an overall marketing campaign. So to get the chance to work with a company like this who truly appreciate the value of digital, with the budget to back it up, would be amazing.
What's the best advice you've ever received, and who from?
Be yourself. In my experience it’s a genuine, honest approach that people value most. When it comes to design, immerse yourself in the subject as much as possible, then learn to trust your own instincts. Finally, if you’re stuck, sleep on it. Can’t remember who gave me these pieces advice over the years, but all good ones.
What do you want to be remembered for?
The creative work I leave behind, if this could inspire others in some way then I’d be happy - and hopefully for being a nice fella in the process.
What was your worst job and what did you learn from it?
When I was a student, during one summer I had a brief stint as a bin man doing holiday cover. Safe to say it was character building. Those fellas worked hard, and had a great attitude to difficult work.
What's do you see to be the most notable change in the industry in recent years?
Definitely the massive swing towards mobile, so much so that’s fast becoming the primary platform consideration for large digital projects. M-commerce is still in relative infancy too so this will only gain further momentum. The prominent rise of the front end developer in this cannot be ignored, this skillset now has vital importance in the production process.
What do you think will be the next big thing?
After the relative failure of things like augmented reality to kick in so far – probably due to us not being able to find the killer application of it that people would return to, I’d say that the next big thing could be the increasing personalisation of the browsing experience. I think websites will move further and further away from a one size fits all solution and will become increasingly tailored to fit the user depending on their preferences, stored previous visits, geo location/other smartphone user interfaces, and intense user profiling. For example, we’re already beginning to see this happening through functionality such as linking a site with a Facebook account, at which point a user’s entire profile history can potentially be accessed and targeted. This can only increase to the point where the entire experience is unique to the visitor.
Things change so fast though, the reality could be very different, and that’s the constant challenge for us all in the industry, and is what makes it so fascinating.