A Chat With David Smiley, Mozilla Design Contributor

I posted about the results of our WebDev badges design challenge yesterday, and today wanted to share a bit more behind-the-scenes perspective via a quick Q&A with our winner, David Smiley.

Many thanks to David for sharing his talents with us…the work turned out great. Be sure to follow him on Twitter, and read on for more details about what it’s like to be part of the Mozilla design community:

What’s your design background? How did you become interested in design?
I’m a recent graduate of the University of Central Florida where I studied studied studio art. However, in terms of digital design I’m primarily self-taught. I’ve always enjoyed drawing but I think that it was Flash that really made me fall in love with design. I started creating Flash animations when I was about 14 years old and after that I just couldn’t get enough of it. A few years later, and countless hours spent toiling away in front of the computer screen, I find myself offering my services as a freelance graphic designer and still enjoy every minute of it.

How did you find out about this design challenge?
I actually found out about the challenge through the Mozilla Creative Twitter account. To be honest, I’ve been geeking out about Firefox OS lately so I’ve been following news from Mozilla pretty closely.

What was your thought process behind the work here? Any particular inspirations or influences you’d like to share?
I’ve been following the Open Badges project for a while now and have just been absolutely fascinated by it. As someone who is primarily self-taught when it comes to digital design I can definitely see the merit in a system that allows you to get recognition for skills you’ve learned outside of the traditional channels. For inspiration I looked to the existing Mozilla Webmaker badges. I felt like the contributor badges should continue the visual style that those badges started. I think the most challenging aspect of this project was the fact that I was pretty unfamiliar with contributing through Github, so it took some research before I was comfortable representing these achievements. I’m really satisfied with how they turned out though, and I hope the contributors enjoy them as much as I enjoy their work.

Any advice for other designers looking to get involved with Mozilla?
Follow @mozcreative on twitter and then head over to the design wiki at the Mozilla Developer Network to get started! It really is immensely rewarding to contribute and be involved with such an awesome organization!

2 responses

  1. David Boswell wrote on :

    This is cool — it’s great to hear how David got involved and how he approached the designs. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Balu Ertl wrote on :

    John, thanks for this mini-interview, I really enjoyed, because David’s situation was so close to mine: Github also win +2 more new users by this Mozilla contest đŸ™‚