18th December 2019

On inspiration and creativity in web design with Adrien, our Developer.

by kota


Today we’re chatting with Adrien, our amazing Developer, on inspiration and creativity in web design.

He’s a Front End developer with a solid design background, who loves a healthy dose of good UX, mixed with creative coding. His main focus is building solid, user-friendly websites for clients. Adrien likes to stay on top of the latest trends in web design and beyond, always sharing some of his finds with the team. He is also our resident barista and makes sure we’re all well-caffeinated every morning!

He hardly ever stops experimenting – that’s why he came up with his clothing label Fortune Paris.

How can you express creativity through web development?

My favourite part in web development is the interactive element, which can change how the website is perceived. For me, creativity is centred around reflecting the client’s vision and objectives.

From a wider perspective, a good current example of creativity in web development is Figma – they recently open-sourced their API to enable developers to build their plugins. I think it’s bringing a new meaning to the software. Now, everyone can create the exact plugin they need, so it brings a new way of looking at design software. I believe that creativity in development accelerates innovation.

What is your typical process?

It depends on the project brief. At Kota, we do bespoke Design and Development and each project has its own technological needs. To start we chose and set up a Content Management System (WordPress most of the time) to enable the client to control their website. Afterwards, we match the front end tools to the CMS, depending on the project requirements. In the development team, we use the latest technologies to ensure it’s as fast as possible and reflects the current web standards.

What I like in the open-source model is that it’s always evolving and improving. I enjoy working at Kota because with Nat (our Lead Developer) we can adopt new frameworks or libraries to keep our stack updated and propose the best solutions to our clients. I think it’s useful to have a routine process and familiar tools, but it’s also good to question whether you’re using the right tools. I’m always striving to improve the workflows, which can help both the designer and the client. I think we are on a good path right now.

Where do you find inspiration?

I like to think I can find inspiration pretty much everywhere, from exhibitions, movies, nature, food, travel, architecture or even by just talking to people.
But when sitting at my desk, when I look for inspiration, I like to go to websites such as SiteInspire, Hoverstates or Klikkenthek. I like these because they are showcasing cutting edge design and code. They also give a good overview of unusual, opinionated ideas.

For coding inspiration I love Codepen, it’s a playground for developers, where you can prototype some ideas very quickly and see other people’s ideas and code.
I also use Twitter, as there it’s convenient to follow individuals or companies who push creativity to its limits in terms of code and design. You can easily ask questions or read some good conversations on certain topics.

What was your favourite project and why?

This one is hard, picking one from so many is not easy. I would say it’s probably the #OneKindThing website we made for the British Red Cross. I’m super proud to have made a website for this humanitarian charity network.

We implemented a nice intro animation and transitions between pages. Also, we had to respect accessibility, usability and inclusion in the design and development as well. It’s not always easy, but I find it rewarding when you know that the website is accessible to everyone. I feel we came up with great creative ideas and I’m happy to have been able to help British Red Cross. Hopefully, we contributed to improving the quality of life of the people they have helped with #OneKindThing campaign.

Can you share some tips on brewing the perfect cup of coffee?

Good one, that’s true I like a good cup of coffee, or two or more! I like brewing coffee with my Chemex (is a manual pour-over style glass coffeemaker) during weekends, with an old electric coffee grinder I got from my family. It’s all about patience, the right temperature and the good amount of coffee. There are rules to do it right, which I try to follow. I also have a guide on the best coffee shops in London for when I want to try good coffee when I’m on the go (it’s called ‘London Coffeeshops’).

London or Paris?

For now, it seems to be London, where I feel at home. Paris is beautiful, it’s where I was born but I think it’s a difficult city to live in. It’s great but not as easy and open as London is. London is busy but you can easily find peaceful places out of the city centre. I’m in love with parks in London, my favourites for sure are Clissold Park, Abney Park, and I like Hackney Downs where you can head up to Hackney Downs Studios and enjoy the cool vibes in the no-car area. But don’t get me wrong, I’m always happy to go back to Paris for a few days to get an update on the food scene, get a coffee at the counter of a bar or walking down the Aligre market and feel the buzzing city.

How do you come up with designs for Fortune Paris?

Oh, Fortune Paris is a side project, which was started quite a while ago (2013) when I was a designer and wanted to have the creative freedom from start to finish. It’s something I learned a lot from. I was doing it completely by myself so I’ve learned the whole process of creating a clothing brand. For the Designs, it starts with sketches, weird ideas. My design has always been in direct relationship with my lifestyle or my mood. I’m creating stuff I like and it feels great when people love it too. But Fortune Paris for me is an experiment and sometimes even a meditation type exercise where I can express everything I want to because, in the end, it’s my one-man show!

Interested in working with us? Call the KOTA studio on +44(0)20 3951 0562.

We are a Creative Digital Agency based in Clerkenwell London, specialising in Creative Web Design, Web Development, Branding and Digital Marketing. We are also WordPress Content Management System experts.