10 Questions with Todd Dominey.

Todd Dominey is the founder and creative honcho of the Atlanta based new media design and development studio Dominey Design, which has provided a variety of web related services for clients such as Turner Sports Interactive, Blogger, The Washington Post, Budweiser, etc.

[1] Paul: First, describe to us Todd Dominey in 5 words.
Todd: Tall, tenacious, obsessive, creative, entrepreneur.

[2] Paul: You are the creative behind Atlanta based new media design and development studio Dominey Design, exactly what can Dominey Design offer customers?
Todd: A deliverable that exceeds expectations, and the one-on-one level of communication that only comes with a sole proprietor (as opposed to a large agency). That's one of the motivating things about using your last name as the name of your business, for the two are inextricably linked. Do good work, and you bolster not only your business but your own visibility and name recognition. Do poor work, and the inverse is true. I've never 'lost' a client to someone else, so I guess I'm doing something right.

[3] Paul: Your award winning design of the original Dominey Design is an interactive and innovative experience for users. Can you share with us the process you went through to come up with this idea of representing Dominey Design and which are the awards that it won?
Todd: I went through about 3 different designs for Dominey Design back in 2000, and none of them felt right. They were all either too cliche, stale, or flat. The 'a-ha!' moment came after seeing the work of Future Farmers. I realized that, hey - here's a successful business with solid clientele and their web site is anything but business. It was playful, vibrant, and challenging.

So I tossed everything and decided I wasn't going to think about it anymore. I was going to get silly, design whatever came to mind. If some of it was usable, great. If not, so what? I was unemployed, working freelance, and with dot-bombs dropping all around I had nothing but time. I made some retro motel signage, played around with
type, added some foothills underneath for them to stand on, and...hey!...what's this?

I pushed it out there and the response was phenomenal. The site received a variety of 'web site of the day' awards from various Flash scene sites, and was linked to from some very notable web developers (some that I consider friends today).

The site was never finished, but that's okay. It was a huge learning experience for me, and played a big role in where I am today.

[4] Paul: By the way, we absolutely love your SlideShowPro product too, can we expect something similar from you anytime in the near future?
Todd: Absolutely! There will be a SlideShowPro 2 down the road, but whether
I'll have time to develop a totally-new component remains to be seen. I can only develop something if I know I'm going to take it all the way. In other words, not just a good component, but a well-written user guide, good branding, solid design, all those things that are so easy to overlook when your head is wrapped around code.

[5] Paul: SlideShowPro cost just a mere $20, are you joking us? Isn't too cheap for you to turn a profit?
Todd: Well, that would depend on how many you sell! If you're talking a few hundred, then yes. But 5,000? 20,000? Pretty soon you're talking real money. I purposely priced it lower than a lot of Flash components out there because, frankly, I think a lot of them are too expensive for what they do. I mean, I use desktop applications that are far more complex than any Flash component and they're less expensive. So I
used that as my benchmark for SlideShowPro -- high enough to earn a profit, but low enough so that just about anyone with a copy of Flash could buy it.

[6] Paul: SlideShowPro is one fine product, any specific product/applications out there catches your eyes? Why?
Todd: I use Backpack from 37 Signals every day, and am also a big fan of Blinksale, the online invoice application. I use it for all my billing now instead of desktop apps, which are usually too complex for their own good. As far as non-browser-based apps, I'm a big fan of Linotype FontExplorer X (which is absolutely going to kill Extensis Suitcase), TextMate for ActionScript development, and the new OmniGraffle Professional 4.0 for workflow diagrams. All those are for OS X, which I use 99% of the time for all my work.

[7] Paul: Other than writing the book 'Professional CSS', is there any other articles out there that's written by you? Also which do you prefer, writing or web design?
Todd: Pretty much everything I've written is at What Do I Know . I've been posting content there pretty regularly for over four years now, and I'm still not bored with it. As for which I prefer -- design or writing -- writing is more therapeutic and less stressful than design, but design provides a greater depth of satisfaction. I'm usually in a good mood when writing, but the inverse is true for design. I can be a miserable bastard when something isn't 'snapping' creatively the way it should be. Sometimes it takes days to get a feeling for what it is you're tasked to do, but then when it all falls into place and you feel that current -- like someone just turned on the lights in the room -- the last thing you want to do is unplug or go to sleep. Those multi-hour design marathons where everything is just flowing are so wonderful. If only every day were like that.

[8] Paul: Your designs are all fair neat and clean, are you really that way
in person too? =p

Todd: These days, yes, but I wasn't always that way. I used to be pretty messy, with bad eating habits and an insatiable craving for cigarettes, and my living space reflected that. I always purchased the cheapest versions of anything whenever I spent money, which was partially because I didn't have a lot of expendable income, but also
because I didn't know better. And of course all those objects either broke or grew very unpleasant to look at. So I learned over time to temper consumption, save money, and spend it on fewer items of a much higher quality. Less clutter, better stuff.

[9] Paul: Tell us something that we don't know about Todd Dominey.
Todd: I own chickenbicuit.com. Someday it will make me rich.

[10] Paul: Last question, if we were to find you online, where can we go? Any
favorite hunt?

Todd: Well, if you're looking for a little pain, you could fire up Unreal Tournament 2004 and look around for player named "GoldChains." That's my handle, which is borrowed from the hip-hop artist of the same name.