The Firm List > The Firm List Spotlights > interFUEL

Your source for finding web design & development firms as well as individual web designers, developers, programmers and other multimedia & new media professionals from all over the world. The site has been growing since 1998 and now features more than 15,000 firms in over 185 countries.

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interFUEL Spotlight on the Firms
About Yourself
FL: How did you get into Web design?
IF: I started out in print design. Before I started my own company, I was an art director for a clothing company. When the mid '90s rolled around and everyone was jumping on the website bandwagon, I designed the company's first website. I guess it wasn't too bad, it won a few awards.
FL: How long have you been in Web design?
IF: I've been designing for the web since 1995 although I did some work for Nickelodeon's AOL presence back in 1994 when AOL WAS the web.
FL: What is it about Web design that attracted you David?
IF: It was two things:
1) The instant gratification of the design process and,

Most print designers who move to the web love to leave behind all the annoyances that come with the print world. But after a few years of being away from it I learned to love it again and now I enjoy designing for print as mush as designing for the web.
FL: Do you do any Web design work outside of work? personal sites?
IF: Yeah, I have a friend who I do odd web projects with. About a year ago we launched that was a love/hate project. It was real difficult to look at those hideous things for so long. We have a few more fun projects in the work right now, actually. I am also working on a site for my friend Willy ( He builds custom hotrods and furniture. We're doing a trade of services so, needless to say, my excitement level has increased greatly on this project.
FL: Do you find the website-for-hire business challenging or exhausting? Would you rather work on many sites or just a few?
IF: Actually it's both challenging and exhausting but if it weren't it wouldn't be so rewarding either. Working on many different sites, many different types of sites, is one of the best things about this industry. It allows us to keep moving, to keep learning and the keep growing.
FL: How valuable is it for someone entering the profession to have a knowledge of all the latest technology and software?
IF: It's only valuable if you plan on succeeding! The thing about web development is that it's not just one thing. You need to be versed in the whole enchilada or you'll fall flat on your face. If you only know one thing, all your solutions look the same. A former co-worker always used to say "If the only thing you have in your toolbox is a hammer, all your problems start to look like nails."
FL: What kind of background do you think is the best fit for new Web designers & developers? Is academic training in the web/multimedia an advantage or disadvantage?
IF: I think whether or not a person has academic training or not isn't the issue. Of course, you need to know a lion's share about computers, web applications and the web in general. Beyond that, the best thing that anyone can have in this field is the desire to do it. It's just like any other career, if you hate it, you won't last long.
About the Web
FL: What is your biggest fear about Web design & the Web?
IF: That it will either become stale or just go away. Of course these are irrational fears, it could never go away, right?
FL: What Web technology or site that you are waiting to be developed that will help you do your work easier and more efficiently?
IF: I am actually getting real excited about the recent advances in QuickTime.
FL: How will do you the think the Web is addressing the global nature of the Internet?
IF: It's certainly at the forefront. The Web has been one of the largest factors in globalization. More and more sites are now multi-lingual. In fact, we have developed several multi-lingual sites including multi-lingual e-commerce sites. The Web is the easiest and most cost-effective way for business of any size to reach new markets.
About Work
FL: What's your position at interFUEL?
IF: Well, we aren't really big on titles here but when I have to use one it's creative director, art director, something like that.
FL: How many people work for interFUEL?
IF: We just added on more person to the team which now makes it 6.
FL: Give us a sampling of the some of the work interFUEL has done.
IF: Here are some of our current clients:
Nickelodeon: �
Guard-Dogs Eyewear:
FL: What is the best site you ever worked on and why?
IF: Boy, that's tough. It was either for Nickelodeon because it is pure fun and creativity, or Extra Mile for Warner Bros. because it was a real compressed project with lots of third party coordination and it all came together beautifully before the deadline. That's one of the best feelings you can have in business.
FL: What was the worst site you ever worked on and why?
IF: Without naming names, it was the one where the client felt he had to do every last thing himself. He never hit a deadline and was generally impossible to work with. Although we were very diplomatic and delivered a fantastic site, getting him to pay the invoice was like pulling teeth. It's not the work itself so much that makes a project good or bad, it's the people involved.
FL: How did interFUEL get its start?
IF: It started out as a moonlighting business for myself then grew from there.
FL: What is one thing about the Web that your clients still don't seem to get?
IF: Still a lot of clients don't understand the time it takes to do it right. Too many people think that it's a few clicks and you're done. Very few seem to grasp the idea of usability and its importance.
FL: Do your clients come to you with all their material in order, or is part of your process to work with the client to produce/refine the content?
IF: Usually we work with our clients to produce and/or refine content. Very few come to us with every piece of content ready to go. We actually like to work with our clients through the initial phases because we can always suggest better ways to get it done and our clients are always thankful for that.
FL: How does your company go about the process of finding qualified hires? Is this a process you feel comfortable with or is it still an inefficient method?
IF: We are not a huge company and turn over is low so finding a large pool of qualified hires has not been an issue. Plus we get several resumes each week from very qualified people.
FL: Does interFUEL have a target audience or an industry specialty?
IF: We target the entertainment industry, of course, and we also target small to medium sized businesses that are too small to go to the larger firms but need everything that they have like e-commerce, intranets and interactive content.
FL: Does interFUEL do any work outside the US?
IF: Yes. We are tapping into the Japanese market, in fact one of my partners will be going to Japan next week to meet with several potential clients.
(spotlight first ran February 2002)

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Extra Mile

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