This month it was my privilege to interview TheRaptor, who I think is a phenomenal member of SitePoint. TheRaptor is the newest member of SitePoint ever to have won the MOTM award, having joined us just this year at the beginning of August.
For this interview, I put on my wings (I'm a part-time angel, you know) and flew to his aerie on top of the Empire State Building to see what was hatching. It's a long way to the top and I wished I had remembered to chew a stick of gum when my ears popped. I thought, "Gee, most of us are happy with a domain or two. He has a whole Empire!"
TheRaptor answered my questions with keen foresight, which was a great experience for one who has built her career on "hindsight is 20/20." We started off with the usual obligatory questions:
Shyflower: How did you land at SitePoint and what are your main areas of interest here?
TheRaptor: Roughly a month ago, I stumbled across a post from SmashingMagazine that had a list of web design and development based forums and I believe there were 20 of them in the list, SitePoint being one of them. I visited the SP forums, read a few topics, registered for an account and have been enjoying myself here ever since.
I've visited and been a member of a few other large web related forums but I keep coming back to this one. The atmosphere around here is different then any forum I've been a member of. It's a pleasure to be here!
Shyflower: Well, it is certainly a pleasure to have you as a member. I read that article, too, and I was happy to see that SitePoint was mentioned. We do our best to keep the air clear and are always thrilled to hear that our members appreciate our efforts.
TheRaptor is a very interesting screen name. Why did you choose it?
TheRaptor: A Raptor is a very large, strong, intelligent bird; these birds have always been able to grab my attention even since I was a kid, and the name stems from my amazement of these creatures. I see the speed, intelligence and amazing eyesight these Raptors possess and parallel that to the web. The web is moving very fast with a strong future, and just like these birds the web is very smart and able to grab and keep your attention.
Shyflower: Raptors certainly are known for their excellent vision. Do you have a bird's eye view of the future of the WWW and web design?
The Raptor: I think the future of the web and web design goes hand in hand. There can't be a future web without web design and vice versa. The web is growing rapidly and the technologies behind it are getting smarter and more powerful.
I believe the future of the web is in mobile development. I see the web deviating from computers, as we know them. Well over a billion users have access to the web on their phones. There are users that have no computer, live out in the boondocks, and have access to the web via their phone. As a designer, I see more and more demand for responsive layouts and ones that cater to smart phones and other smaller screened devices like the iPad. It's funny though, for a while there all the buzz was concerning large flat-screen monitors. While I believe that is still there, to a certain extent we use computers less and less and 3-4" phones more and more.
I also see the web becoming faster and faster, performance wise. Web pages are loading at phenomenally fast rates; all the rage nowadays is concerning web performance!
Shyflower: I love your insight! Your answer brings my attention to the fact that people no longer need a computer to access the web. I had never thought of small screen use in that way before.
What makes you ruffle your feathers; in other words, what are your Pet Peeves?
TheRaptor: I think my three biggest ones are: Sites that run entirely on flash, take forever to load and are an accessibility wreck. Sites that run music automatically, without giving me the option to start and stop at will. Also, popups of any kind!
Shyflower: What do you like best about SitePoint and what areas do you think could stand some improvement.
TheRaptor: From an accessibility standpoint, I think SitePoint does a good job of catering to their users. The forums are logically laid out and I don't think there is much I'd change in that area. From a design standpoint, IMHO I think it could use a bit of a refresh. I'm not complaining in any way and I think the current design is completely usable but could use a slight refresh in areas.
Shyflower: You certainly do have foresight! A Site Point re-design is in the works even as we speak!
This is your chance at blatant self promotion. Where is the work-aerie of the Raptor?
TheRaptor: I work as a web designer and developer for a company called "SmugDesigns". We create WordPress themes, customize the SmugMug photo gallery, code regular HTML and CSS websites, and do print design and development. Check us out at smugdesigns.com, follow us on
twitter at @smugdesigns and like us on Facebook.
Shyflower: What do you do when you aren't flying over New York, working at SmugDesigns, or posting at SitePoint?
TheRaptor: The web is my hobby ! Seriously though, I enjoy cycling and four-wheeling when I'm not on the web. When I am (and just relaxing :)), I have recently gained an interest in the SitePoint podcasts. Good stuff there!
Shyflower: It is so good to hear that SitePoint is one of your favorites. What are some of your other favorite things?
Social Media Site(s): I can be found on Twitter at Joe LaCelle (@joelacelle) on Twitter
PC or Mac: Mac!
Big screen or small screen: I'm a big screen guy! I have a 21" iMac, and I'd like to get another 19" vertical monitor to accompany my Mac.
Quote: "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in that grey twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat." - Theodore Roosevelt
Shyflower: Teddy Roosevelt was also known to "speak softy and carry a big stick". Your insightful and helpful posts at SitePoint show that you follow him in that way, too. Is there anything you'd like to add that I didn't ask?
TheRaptor: Yes, I would like to thank the SitePoint staff for considering me for this award. This came as a pleasant shock to me!
Shyflower: You are most welcome and it is totally our pleasure. Thank you so much for this interview and congratulations on your MOTM award!