Between 1995 and 2001, Andi provided technology based design services to top tier clients ranging from Fox Television, to Xbox to The Smithsonian, Mandalay Bay and many others. In 2001 he decided to turn his passion into a technology startup focused on hospitality services and a digital design agency in 2004.
After a tour as Creative Director for Deloitte Digital's Seattle office, Andi joined Microsoft as Creative Director for the Communications and People family of products in 2016. Currently leading the Mixed Reality Studio Avatars Creative team, expanding identity representation and driving connections between people, work and social experiences in a Mixed Reality context.
Designing by proxy. What happens when you have someone between you and the client.
In every designer's experience, there is the time when you enter a relationship where there is an intermediary between you and the client. And you will be faced with the well intentioned intermediary telling you they know exactly what the client needs. So if you'll just snap to it and make this... (insert visual delivery vehicle here), shiny and pretty, you’ll be guaranteed the client's eternal gratitude and the problem solved.
This is where you enter the confusion zone. On one hand you have the intermediary, without whom you have no relationship whatsoever with the client, on the other you have the client’s incomplete, ill defined need. And then there’s you. The highly trained visual communication specialist, taking pride in solving complex interactivity, communication and aesthetic problems.
And if there is one thing you do know, it's this: this is where you’re going to be earning your pay. And you'll earn it in ways that have nothing to do with design and everything to do with experience. It’s the stuff that design school conveniently leaves out when they hand you the diploma and the bill for the 4 years you spent making mistakes in a sheltered environment.
When I try and explain what it’s like to design through an intermediary, there is one analogy that I draw on regularly to bring the situation into focus. It’s very much like writing a travel piece about a distant land, with mysterious cities and wonderful people and customs. All the while not owning a passport, never having traveled and relying exclusively on Google’s Street View.