Posted at 20 Jan 2016
Interview with This Also
The New York design studio talk pushing limits in the brave new world of mobile technology.
Who are you guys and what is This Also all about?
We are a boutique design studio based in New York City. We help companies design products for mobile, tablet, and other connected devices—the new little connected things you see popping up more and more every day.
In a deeper sense, we came together to push forward a new voice in design. We think mobile is giving the world a huge opportunity to reimagine how the world relates to technology. It's ubiquitous, it's powerful, and we think apps have a strong voice in popular culture.
Who led the design/direction of your new site?
We have an extremely collaborative culture, and almost the entire studio worked on the site at different times. Most of the decisions on the site were made through consensus within the team. We all felt it was important for our presentation to feel honest and authentic, so we shot and wrote all of the content with this idea in mind. From there, everyone bounced the work around the office, and we pushed it further and further until everyone felt equally excited about every single piece.
We're super happy with the outcome, and it's really wonderful to have so much positive feedback from the community as well.
What was the decision behind showcasing only a minimal selection of work?
Our studio is only about two years old, and much of the work that we do is highly confidential. This might be because the projects are high profile or because our client is developing some new technology, making the release of our portfolio pieces much more controlled. The projects that we're showcasing now are fully public and also great at showing our area of expertise.
We don't think we could be more excited right now. We've only scratched the surface of what we can achieve in the mobile space
What are you working on/experimenting with at the moment?
One thing not often mentioned about our site is the mobile experience, which is using a custom video framework built by one of our lead designers. We ran into barriers with mobile video early on, and he quite brilliantly wrote a compression system that allows video to be sent to the browser as images, then later rebuilt, pixel by pixel, on a canvas. This allows us to play background videos on the mobile homepage, just like the desktop, despite limitations enforced by iOS.
It's quite complex, but a great programming achievement for him and something we'd all love to see released to the community as open-source software.
You’re our last interviewees of 2015! What does 2016 look like for This Also?
We don't think we could be more excited right now. We've only scratched the surface of what we can achieve in the mobile space. We feel great about the last two years of work, pushing away from the norm, and next year we'd like to keep pushing the limits of what can be done creatively in highly visible digital products—things that millions of people use every day.