Interview with Brad Wofford
A Creative Director / Designer
combining a genuine flair for innovation with the vision needed to increase the impact and awareness of client products and brands. Unafraid to push the boundaries, and expert in building a culture of creative exploration, Wofford specializes in the design of compelling web and print experiences that always exceed expectations.
Hey Brad, would you introduce us to some projects you have been working on at BW Design lately?
I've been working on some UX design improvements for an app created for a summer camp called Pine Cove. It's a pretty big summer camp here in the U.S. and serves about 35 - 45 thousand campers per summer and they have an app that allows parents to send letters to their kids while they're at camp and the parents were having a hard time in the app, understanding the limitations the parents only get to send two letters to their kid during the week because it's such a big ordeal in the back end. The letters have to be sent to the correct camp, the location across the U.S. and then they're delivered to the campers while at camp. We had to try some new things to let parents understand that there are deadlines and there is a letter limitation to that communication. They can also get letters back from their campers, the campers write on a coded piece of paper that has been scanned in and automatically sent back to the parents. And so it's a unique UX design problem and it's fun and challenging to kind of work on something like that. I'm also working on a branding for a conference, annual conference for nonprofit donors. And it's called the Gathering. This year it's happening in Dallas, Texas and that's one of the other projects I'm working on.
What has been the largest project you've worked on with BW Design?
The largest project I think I've worked on since going full time with BW design is probably the new brand identity for a business called Work hub. It's similar to WeWork or something like that. And I was able to do the identity everything from the Website to signage you know, collateral all that type of stuff. And it's fun you know working with a company from the ground up and helping them. Just work out their visual language you know what their stuff is going to look like and how it communicates to the people that they want to communicate. Other than have been doing some consulting for Pine Cove summer camp. It's a place that I made the logo for and really helped them build out their entire visual language. And it's kind of fun doing doing design for a summer camp. Beyond that those are probably the biggest things I've worked on recently.
What's your strategy for growing BW Design without compromising what makes it special today? Do you have an aspirational clients or collaborators?
I think my main strategy right now is to number one support my family I've got three kids and wife who works too. And so you know, I'm able to kind of curate my clients a little bit. So that I'm a good fit and they're a good fit for me. I'm kind of under the radar as far as I don't do much marketing for myself right now. But at some point I might need to and I think kind of the things that are in my wheelhouse right now- I think the benefit of working with me is I've got you know about 20 years experience doing what I have been doing and there's not an account person between us. There's not somebody this project managing things I'm talking directly to the clients and I think sometimes you really need that as a designer to just kind of see you know what your client is saying and there's these intangible things that you pick up when talking to clients that sometimes isn't communicated and it's fun being able to not have a barrier between my clients and myself. So I'm a little hesitant actually in the idea of growing because some of the things that make my services unique- I have to do with you know me talking directly with the people I'm doing work for. As far as aspirational clients- I just really love this company called Teenage Engineering and they make synthesizers and other things and I'd love to do something for them.
Take us through your strategy for UX designing. Do you start with User research? As creative director you probably have a lot to say about the UI as well as UX.
So as far as strategy for UX I'm a little bit different. You know I'm kind of an older dude. I graduated '98 with visual communication degree and have been really into graphic design ever since then. My take on UX is really that it's very similar to what I've always done. It's it's finding out who the users who I'm communicating to or who's using a specific product are really trying to find out who they are. And also being really militant about unneeded things- I'm easily confused as a technology user. So it's very easy for me to ask the question why is this here? or how does this work? And so I really I ask those things of myself first. Also a lot of the clients that I have right now either have a a long relationship with and they trust me or. They're smaller and don't have the budget for these huge focus groups and user testing and all of this kind of stuff. So a lot of it is intuitive, you know? And so I'll develop wire frames, prototypes whatever is needed to communicate what it is we're doing. One thing that I've noticed that is different about UX than classic design is- I don't think that there is as much innovation because there's so many patterns out there that are easily usable and so I tried to put some new ideas out there.
Do you have any exciting projects coming up in 2019? Any new goals or plans for the new year?
There's a few exciting projects I have coming up that I know about in 2019. Two of which are conference branding. There's some branding where I'm doing all the conference branding for a thing called the Gathering that's happening in Dallas and I'm also doing some conference branding for a conference, I've done the branding for the past three or four years called Mockingbird. That's a that's just another kind of slightly off the beaten path conference that it's fun doing work for. I've got some personal projects. I've got a brand that I made a kind of like a hat brand apparel brand called Rose City and it's based on our town Tyler, Texas which is supposedly the Rose capital of the U.S. or something. But anyway there's kind of some love around that and so I I made some hats and people kept buying them. So I kind of stay on top of that. I'm also hopefully going to be kind of rebranding my business in 2019. Working on kind of a new identity and stuff that's just a little bit more fun. I've been using BW design as my initials really since college. So and I also have an app, a web app that I'm working on that's that's kind of communication between drivers using license plate numbers. It's called the Finger but we'll see if that launches.