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Michael is Collabforge’s product designer / creative lead who has lead the design process of many of our recent projects. We sat down with him and asked a few questions.

How did you get started in web design?
I studied web design in my first year at uni, realised code is only a small part of the battle when developing nice websites and so focused the rest of my Bachelors of Fine Arts – that’s the excuse I tell myself anyway… I just really like art theory!

Where do you draw inspiration from?
Whenever I’m feeling completely drained of inspiration I like to spend a day at the NGV. There’s a lot of value you can take from reading how a painting is composed and applying that to how elements should be balanced on a screen. Compositional tricks used 500 years ago still work today! There’s also a web-app called PANDA which acts as my chrome home page. This aggregates web design and graphic arts from around the web into one place. I spend at least half an hour a day trawling through that.

What’s an interesting collaboration (in any field or domain) that you’re excited about at the moment & why?
There’s something magically futile going on at Twitch Plays Dark Souls (http://www.twitch.tv/twitchplaysdark). Someone smart is writing a thesis on this, I guarantee it.

Members of a chat-room are collectively playing what is considered one of the hardest single player action games entirely through chat commands and consensus decision-making. It’s interesting because there are so many variables and aspects of basic coordination to consider where seemingly simple tasks like climbing a ladder become massive struggles without everyone actively working together.

If you were on a project where you could ask only 3 questions, what would they be?
What’s your vision? Where’s your inspiration? What’s the deadline?

Top 3 collaboration tips
Be kind, smile and bring treats.

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