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Mike Kus on 3 Dimensional Web Design

Today we fire five questions at Mike Kus. Mike is the designer at Carsonified and occasionally blogs here on Think Vitamin. He is responsible for the design of this site, Carsonified’s main site, as well as the much praised Stack Overflow Dev Days site.

Note: Mike will be presenting at the upcoming Future of Web Design New York conference on November 17. Conference day passes are still available.

At last year’s Future of Web Design New York you talked about the loss of art in design (view the video). Do you think things have changed in the last 12 months?

The main objective of that talk was to open people’s eyes up to the artistic possibilities of web design. Web design is massively driven by trend and it’s easy to fall into that. I feel there’s a “certain way of doing things” in the web design world and it’s nice to break away from that. For me web design is really no different from any other kind of 2D design and once you get your head into that space there are way more artistic and creative possibilities.

As far as “Have things changed in the last twelve months?” There are definitely some really great website designs and designers out there doing cool things but on the whole the web is still very much a web 2.0 world as far as aesthetic design is concerned… that’s not necessarily wrong, I just find it boring.

Where do you find inspiration for your work?

I mainly look for inspiration on the web, books and magazines. I use sites like and as they tend to have less web design on them. I always stop into the book store and check out the books in the design section. What I really like is when inspiration finds you. I’m often out and about when I see something in a shop window or a poster plastered to a wall that will inspire a new site design

What web design trends in 2009 have you embraced and disliked?

It’s not that I dislike trends, I’ve followed loads myself – It’s just that if you follow the latest trends you’ve much less chance of your work standing out from the crowd. Following trends also means that you’re work will probably date more quickly as the trend goes out of fashion. One thing I do think is exciting about trends is the possibility of setting them.

Your upcoming Future of Web Design talk is called “3 Dimensional Thinking for Web Designers”, what do you mean by this?

When you’re designing for the web day in day out it’s easy to get consumed by the web and for your design work to become repetitive. So “3 Dimensional Thing for Web Designers” is a talk about thinking outside that web space that we all spend so much time in to explore different ways of approaching web design in order to produce original and inspiring work.

What is the future of web design?

I’m hoping that the amazing designers out there that don’t do code – learn it. I think the future of web design needs to blur the boundaries with other 2D design mediums. HTML, CSS, JQuery etc are just tools which can be learnt. It frightens me (in a good way) to think of what would happen to web design if all the ultra talented 2D designers and illustrators who currently don’t use these tools picked them up and started using them. They should, because the web is the best platform for designers in the world!

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