Rogie King of Komodo Media — UI/UX Designer/Developer

rogie_king_profileHow or where do you find inspiration?
Great question and I believe that somebody, perhaps on an interview on this blog penned my thoughts to perfection. In fact, the fact that I have no clue who said it or where it was said is the perfect introduction to this answer, because my inspiration typically has no “known” roots.

As I look at the world around me, objects, websites, art, movies, etc some things catch my eye. Who knows why, but for some reason I fancy them. I’m always pulling on that stored inspiration in design projects.

At this very moment, I have some inspiration coming from the Playstation 3 UI. I’ve also written about some more specific inspiration behind my website.

Who is the biggest influence on your work right now?
No single person really. Relating to the statement above, it’s most likely a mess of talented designers out there. But off the top of my head, I’d say Sebastiaan De With, Dan Mall, Sam Brown, Rob Soulé and Joshua Blankenship.

Where are your “design roots”? Print or Web?
Web for sure. I was born into design on the Web. Print, I basically know nothing about. I’m a total print noob.

How important is it to know the history of design?
I’m not quite sure. I’m sure educated folks would say incredibly important. I’m sure if I were educated, I might ramble off something like “To know yourself, you have to know your history” and then make a comparison to design. I’ll leave it at that. If you think it’s important, then get to know it.

Serif or Sans?
Honestly, I would think I was a sans guy, but serif is winning the battle right now. Basically it’s like this. Sans is like Han-solo on Bespin city in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes back and Serif is like Darth Vader when he meets Han-solo and uses the force to remove his weapon. Yeah, like that.

Do you code and design? Are you a “Hybrid”?
Hybrid for sure. I’ve had a many year love affair with JavaScript, newly jQuery and interfaces. I also “code” HTML and CSS, however thats really not coding. Designer? check.

What’s your favorite part of the creative process?
There’s a part in every design I do where it is just ugly and has no direction. I hate that part. Every step of creating after that part is an attempt to make it beautiful. Maybe nobody sees that beauty, but there is a point in which a design goes over the tipping point, it clicks for me. I can see the beauty in it, where it is heading and a rush of relief comes over me. Thats my favorite part.

What makes your creative process different from everybody else?
Probably the fact that I am largely untrained professionally. If I were in music, I’d be the one that plays by ear. I’m not saying that this is a strength, in fact it’s most likely a weakness. If I had it to do over again, I’d probably get some formal design education.

What do you see as the single biggest shift in the evolution of design over the past 5 years?
I’m seeing a big shift backwards, not that it is real, but that it is what I see in my viewport. I swear I see more and more websites dropping comments and designers wanting to get into traditional print media. It’s almost as if we blasted into the read/write web with so much excitement, like a new relationship. But now that the relationship isn’t in the honeymoon phase, it seems that people want to get back to one-way communication again. I don’t like that. For me, it’s all about conversations.

As I said though, this is through my viewport, which is most likely influenced by reading other designer’s blogs.

What’s the difference between User Experience and User Interface design?
Let’s put this in musical terms again, but I’m no musician. In fact, I used to play the trumpet. I sucked at it.

Interfaces are like musical instruments. They have moving parts, an aesthetic style, and a feeling. Experience is like music. When a User “experiences” an interface, what melody does it play? What does it feel like when the User interacts with it?

What makes one a web design professional?
You got me. No clue. Most likely an attitude of humility and an obsession to deliver a product that your client will love.

What are designers/developers doing right (or wrong) in the web 2.0 world?
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe we are at like web 3.14159 right now — at least somewhere around there. Sorry, math joke.

I’d say we need to familiarize ourself with the artful expression of complex transforms, not that I have that expression. Video game designers and Flash programmers have for years now had transformations and animations at their fingertips and have learned to polish those to a graceful state. We are just entering that realm, so we need to be careful. If not our sites are going to start getting ugly again with nasty animations and should-be-illegal transformations.

What’s your favorite flavor of design or development programs/languages?
For design, I use Adobe Fireworks for everything, including icon design. It’s dead simple and easy to use. Photoshop confuses me. Occasionally, I’ll jump into Adobe Illustrator. It’s good, but I’m not really good in it.

For development, I use Panic’s Coda, OSX terminal and a VM under Virtual Box (typically FreeBSD, but now using Debian). Firebug or Debugger in Safari is a must have as it’s changed the whole HTML/CSS/JavaScript scene. CSS Cachebuster over at Jason Beaird’s site is a huge time saver when refreshing CSS to see how it affects a site.

What is your favorite book?
Bill Johnson’s “When Heaven Invades Earth” absolutely. It changed the whole way I look at God’s love and the miraculous.

What is your favorite movie?
Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. I know a lot of critics don’t like it as much as the third or the first, but there’s something about it that catches me.

Who is your favorite musical artist (or What musical artist are you listening to the most right now?)
Right. I’m sure almost nobody can say they have a favorite. For me, right now I listen to two podcasts a ton: A State of Trance by Armin Van Buuren and Tiësto’s Club Life by DJ Tiësto. A few tracks from the recent The Prodigy album, Deadmau5.

When not listening to electronica, I tend to listen to Christian music. I have to give those artists props too, as I’ve found some really great stuff as of last year: Jake Hamilton, Cory Asbury and Kim Walker are amazing, faith-filled musicians.

Rogie King is the force behind the jungle at Komodo Media. His website has been a staple for a long while to the web design community and home to some really great content and downloads. Be sure and follow Rogie on Twitter too, @rogieking.


Gene Crawford

With over a decade of experience in the industry he has overseen the design and architecture of hundreds of web sites and applications. An active member in the design community, he's the editor & producer of, the ConvergeSE, ConvergeFL, ConvergeRVA and the Breaking Development conference series.