Blog Entry

Interview with Joshua Strebel

Joshua is the founder and president of Ob├╝ Web Technologies. He races cars, he plans parties, and he goes to Refresh. He’s one rockin’ awesome dude with a lot of helpful advice.

How did you get started as a web designer?
I fell into it really. I had always been playing around with computers since the 1200baud modem days. When I went to college I first tried computer programming, and quickly moved into the visual communication program at NAU. I figured Art + Computers = Easy college degree. For a while I thought Flash was the answer to everything. I really got into the “web” my senior year in 2002-2003.

How long have you been working as a web designer?
I had a 4 month stint at a local web design company in 2003 before I founded obuweb.

What part of your job do you like the most?
Well depends. I do not build too many websites anymore as I mostly handle the business end of the process now. So the part of my “job” I like the most is really seeing projects come in that are challenging and then working with my staff to discover and implement a solution.

What was the first website you ever built?
Back in ’95-96 when I used to play in the MUDS (look it up) I built a website for my clan and some of the other players. It was your classic 16 color “Times New Roman” laden piece of history, Complete with animated gifs.

What’s the biggest mistake or hardest lesson you’ve learned as a web designer?
The client will always choose the design you like the least. So you better not show the client anything you are not comfortable looking at for the next while.

What’s the most helpful thing you’ve learned?

What is a typical work day like for you?
1 hour commute to my office in scottsdale, grab a mocha at starbucks along the way. Spend most of the day chasing down new work, managing current clients, and discussing solutions and new ideas with the staff. 1 hour drive home.. typically a 12 hour day.

What are some sites that you visit daily or regularly?

Any other words of advice for new web designers?
Unplug: Play sports, drive fast, chase girls/guys, go hiking, do some charity work, break some minor laws, meet your family, and have a face to face conversation with your parents on why you forgive them for not being perfect. The experiances you have away from the glowing LCD will sharpen and refine your talent and allow your creativity to expand to new heights. Do not take yourself so seriously, but remember everyone is faking it until they make it. And use an old fashioned #2 pencil and paper to sketch designs (Mr. Gomez swears by it).

Thanks for the interview Joshua!

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