Stephen Hallgren

2 comments | Posted: 16 January 06 in Interviews, by Nathan Smith

A few weeks ago, I did an interview with Keegan Jones of Neubix Studios, now merged with Unborn Media. This week, I have caught up with his busy new co-worker Stephen Hallgren, the creator of Colourmod. Stephen is one of my favorite designers, having done the BetaChurch and Noah Institute websites. He has also contributed to Treehouse Magazine, which I have written for too.

Nathan:

How did you get your start in design, and what people have been most influential in the way your personal style has developed?

Stephen:

My design career actually got started when I was a Freshman in high-school. At that time I was doing 3D-graphics for Michigan State University. As time progressed I started doing more and more web-based design and eventually landed a job doing full-time web design. My love for 3D-graphics has been a major influence in my designs. I like realism and love to try to make my designs look realistic. I also love minimalistic design. There have been way too many people to list for that inspiration, but interestingly enough I am now working with Ryan Sims, whose design style has been a huge inspiration for me.

Nathan:

You are the creator of the acclaimed ColourMod. What prompted you to begin this project, and what technologies are involved in creating something like this? How much tweaking was involved to make it into a Dashboard widget?

Stephen:

ColourMod was birthed out of another project that I had started called StyleMod. The idea behind StyleMod was to modify CSS dynamically without the need for multiple style-sheets. In making ColourMod I used the concept of StyleMod and integrated it into the colour picker allowing users to update colours on a website dynamically. Since ColourMod is created with XHTML and JavaScript it translated quite easily into the Dashboard widget format. The only tweaking that was involved was adding additional features such as preferences and additional colour selection and conversion formats, since Dashboard could handle much more complicated JavaScript processes than a typical browser.

Nathan:

You’re now working for the Boston based design house, Neubix. How has the experience been thus far, and what types of projects have you been involved in?

Stephen:

Well, Neubix recently joined forces with Unborn Media Inc. So I am working with the Neubix team but am really employed by Unborn Media Inc. The experience has been great! I couldn’t say that I could be any happier. While I don’t think I can give you specifics about what projects I’m working on right now, I can say that I’m doing a heck of a lot more DHTML than I ever have done in my life. I’m really excited about some upcoming projects that will allow me to pull out all the stops in using DHTML and Ajax technologies.

Nathan:

What advice could you give aspiring designers and programmers? Are there any key things that one should do, or any potential problems to avoid?

Stephen:

My best advice would be to obsess over what you are good at and try to develop new skills that will help compliment what you are good at. The smartest thing I think I ever did was to expand my skills by learning PHP and JavaScript. The biggest problem I’ve noticed is when someone is satisfied with their skill level, even the best designers can always improve.

Nathan:

Would you please share your testimony, and how you came to faith in Christ?

Stephen:

I came to faith in Christ when I was young, around 4-5 years old. It has been an up and down walk throughout the years but God has been faithful to me and has been really leading me to new places spiritually and in my daily life.

Nathan:

Well, I guess that sums it up for me. Do you have anything else to add before we close?

Stephen:

Keep up the good work!

Discuss This Topic

  1. 1 Yannick

    Stephen: Awesome work on ColourMod. I love it and use it quite frequently. Also I admire your work for Beta Church and the Noah Institute. Keep up the good work.

     
  2. 2 Stephen

    Thank you!

     

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