Dylan Allen: New Guy, Renaissance Man.

HC: Dylan – we’re super excited to have you on our team! It’s been a little over a week – how does it feel to be a Hampster?

Fantastic. We have such passionate, talented, and welcoming people here. It has been a pleasure working with and getting to know everyone. Also, the coffee is good, and there are snacks everywhere! 

HC: Rumor has it you’re a coffee aficionado. Tell us a coffee you’re loving right now and if you could describe it like a true coffee snob would, that would be great.

I have spent years trying to un-learn coffee snob language, but here goes: I picked up a bag of whole beans from local roaster Fair Fellow Coffee this weekend. It is their This Land Blend, which is a blend of coffees from El Salvador and Colombia. It is a washed bean and while I typically prefer natural, these do the trick quite nicely. Smooth, clean mouthfeel with notes of chocolate, citrus, and a hint of tobacco and toasted apple wood if you are really trying. 

HC: Pour-overs are trendy…but are they tricky to pull off with panache? Can you help us step up our game?

Pour-overs are one of my favorite things. They are relatively easy to pull off, but as with any brew method, you can do it right, and you can do it wrong, and every part of the process is important. I prefer brewing with a Chemex. The thick paper filters give you a nice slow extraction. Getting the grind right is critical. Too fine and you will get bitter coffee, too coarse and it can turn out sour and weak. The next step is water temperature. A good way to keep yourself from scalding the grounds is to bring your kettle of water to a boil, then set it off the heat for 30 seconds. Then you wet the coffee ground and wait another 30 seconds to let the grounds bloom. Then fill ‘er up!

HC: Sounds delightful. Before we get into the future of website development, tell us two truths and a lie about yourself. We’ll reveal the lie at the end of the article…it’s a cliff hanger.

I’m a vegetarian

I was born on a Friday the 13th

I was president of my senior class

HC: Are there any similarities between flamenco percussion and web development?

Both generally require hands, and are fairly difficult to do well. Other than that, not really.

HC: Good to know. Can you share a little bit about your role and responsibilities as Web Development Specialist?

My main responsibility is building web sites. Our design team provides the layout and design in a photoshop document, and I build a website to match the design. The design document is static, so I have to make sure that the site is responsive and looks good on any device and web browser.

HC:  So, you have 10 years of web dev experience under your belt (that’s a mighty big belt).  What changes/improvements in technology and within the industry have you seen in that time?

Web technologies are constantly evolving, and the role of the mobile device has taken over when it comes to user experience considerations. Analytic tools are making it easier to hone in on pain points that are driving users away from your site and address those issues.  The big content management systems are also making strides in functionality, responsive design, and site performance. It is an exciting time to be in web development!

HC:  Speaking of analytics, you received your Google Analytics certification. First, congrats! If data is the new bacon, how will web analytics benefit our clients?

Numbers don’t lie. Analytics provide insights which allow our clients to make informed business decisions based on quantitative data. We can use Google Analytics to track the same user across multiple sessions, and attribute sales revenue to multiple marketing channels such as social media, email marketing, and paid search. This data in invaluable in determining which paid advertising campaigns are really helping drive business, and which are not worth the cost. Without measuring everything, you’re flying blind and probably wasting your budget.

HC: Indeed. Rumor has it you’re a process guy. Will you be bringing Six Sigma to the interactive team? If so, will you be sharing the secret handshake?

I  am very much a process guy. HC does a great job as it is, but I look forward to finding ways to add more structure to our site maintenance processes to ensure we provide a robust service to our clients. And of course I won’t be sharing the secret hand shake. It’s secret.

HC: Understood. Looking forward, what website design and development trends do you anticipate seeing in 2017 and beyond?

Clean and minimalist designs are getting more popular, and I expect that to continue for a while, and eventually be replaced by the next trend. Mobile experience is critical, and a pared down design with fewer elements make it easier to keep page load times down, which is another critical component of user experience. Asynchronous processes are also becoming more and more widely used. 

HC: And rightly so. On an unrelated note, is it challenging living with two first names?  Also, everyone here has a nickname…what’s yours?

It’s not so bad, but you’d be surprised how many people have a hard time pronouncing “Dylan”. I have had a few nicknames through the years. One that has stuck is Superman, but I only get that while wearing glasses, so it should probably be Clark Kent instead.

HC: The resemblance is uncanny. So what’s your ping pong game like..strong to super strong?

Meh.

HC: So for the few people who are still reading this – what’s your one lie from above?

I am so not a vegetarian. 

HC: Any final words?

I am super excited to be part of Hampton Creative! 

HC: Likewise! Real nice, Clark! That’s a wrap.

  • On March 10, 2017
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