A Few Minutes With… ustwo’s Matt Gypps

January 28th, 2014

To explore the wide range of experiences and opinions within the digital business world, we’re running a series of interviews, ‘A Few Minutes With…’.

Today, we’re speaking with Matt Gypps.

Tell us a little about your organisation’s digital activity
Being a digital design studio pretty much everything we do is based around ones and zeroes, be that the work we do right down to how we present ourselves to the outside world. We have the usual array of website, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube etc.

What digital activity shows you the greatest return?
In terms of creating buzz we find Twitter a great way to get a message out to people, the way it can quickly spread across networks of contacts is incredible. The content that we send out is often links to articles, resources projects, or applications that we are involved in.

What great websites have you seen recently?
The sites that impress me the most are usually the ones that I don’t notice! Something like Feedly which has allowed me to keep my RSS feeds after Google shut down Reader is open all day in the background as a source of news. Teehan+Lax‘s site which deep dives into their projects is also really good and engaging, far better than just a few vague screenshots.

What great mobile apps have you seen recently?
Our own Rando has been a welcome break from the usual social way of sharing photos, and full of surprises! Also, the integrated suite of Google apps on (Gmail, Maps, Chrome) on iOS is really impressive — a simple, consistent design language means jumping between them is seamless.

What do you think has been the most important landmark in the development of digital media in the last few years?
I’d say the massive improvement in the quality of mobile cameras. Everyone loves to share photos! Although I still love the quality of SLR-style cameras there’s times when being able to just keep an iPod Touch in your pocket is much more convenient, and then being able to edit and share those photos on the same device is great.

What do you see as the next big thing in digital media and/or web design?
Typography coming to the forefront of design again. Tools like Typekit are allowing more fonts to be used on sites, and coupled with high resolution screens that can render them beautifully we’ll see them taking more of a leading role in sites.

Can a business survive in 2013 without a social media presence?
It can survive, but will be making life harder than it needs to be! People expect to be able to get in touch quickly over Twitter and get near instant responses, so even sticking to email these days seems antiquated!

What pitfalls do you think businesses must avoid when developing a digital media strategy?
Getting the tone of voice wrong, setting up how you present yourself to the outside world is essential.

What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve ever been given?
Under-promise and over-deliver.

What advice would you give to a business starting up in 2013?
I always think the basics are what let businesses down. Be friendly and approachable. Give answers to questions. If you say you’re going to do something then do it.

What advice would you give to a young designer or developer starting their career in 2013?
Don’t be in a rush to be the next Mark Zuckerberg success story — although you might stumble on great ideas, they usual appear from years of graft and perfecting your art. Only then are you skilled enough to see areas of improvement. (See Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 Hours discussion in Outliers)

Do you see any downsides to the rise of digital media as a tool for business?
The speed at which communication can happen is great, but mistakenly sending out something wrong, or reacting badly to a situation can become the next viral message on the internet!

If you could change one thing about the digital landscape, what would it be?
Timed lockouts on mobile devices to stop people looking at them and appreciate the real world for five minutes.

Where do you see the digital media in 10 years’ time?
Who knows, 10 years ago who would have predicted a limited 140 character messaging service would be so popular! Video must be the next big thing to be cracked, apps like Vine are allowing people to become producers super-easily now, so I see that as one of the next big frontiers.

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