Creative Perspective: Gauke Pieter Sietzema & Sipko Groefsema

Developer GP Sietzema and Art Director Sipko Groefsema share why with MODX they're "free to create anything [their] crazy minds can come up with."

By Jay Stephen Gilmore
May 1, 2012
Creative Perspective: Gauke Pieter Sietzema & Sipko Groefsema

Creative Perspectives is a series of interviews with Designers and Creatives discussing their tools, design and how they use MODX. This first series of profiles and the interview questions were produced in conjunction with CMS Expo. Over the coming weeks we will be posting Creative Perspectives on each respective site. Want to share your Creative Perspective? We'll let you know how in an upcoming post.

In this Creative Perspective GP Sietzema and Sipko Groefsema offer a combined view of how they work.


Who are GP Sietzema and Sipko Groefsema

Names: Gauke Pieter Sietzema and Sipko Groefsema
Location: Surhuisterveen, the Netherlands
Titles: GP Lead Developer
Sipko Art Director
Company: Sterc Internet & Marketing
Twitter: @gpsietzema, @groefsema

As Lead Developer at Sterc, GP is responsible for the quality of web development. He leads research in new web-related technology. Sterc as an agency focuses on user experience and internet marketing, which requires a lot of flexibility. MODX delivers this for them.

Interview

Remember your first computer? What was it? Any interesting stories behind it?

GP: It was one of those old 8086 models with huge floppy disks. I remember creating start menu’s on it, which displayed all installed games on the system. I was 7 years old and already developing stuff; I loved it!

So...Photoshop or Fireworks or both/neither and why?

GP: Photoshop, because we’ve always used it, it works and our workflow depends on it.

Who is the person who inspires you the most creatively, and what you admire most about them?

GP: That has to be the whole group of people who brought us web standards and are still on the frontline of web development. Names who come up immediately are Dan Cederholm, Jeffrey Zeldman and Eric Meyer.

Sipko: There are many great designers out there. But I don't follow or admire one in particular. When I'm low on inspiration I like to browse Dribbble; the biggest advantage of this is you only see partial designs, that way you don't get influenced to much.

People who inspire me most are the people who give feedback on my designs. It sucks if they don't like it straight away, but with their feedback give new insights and make me rethink the design which often leads to a better design overall.

What are young designers and upcoming art directors missing today that you got to experience first-hand, when you were starting out?

Sipko: Web design isn't only about making a pretty picture. It’s about usability, interaction, business goals, technical possibilities and restrictions. Concepting and wireframes are the fundamentals to build on. These 2 steps also help in ‘selling’ the design to the client. You can explain your design decisions easier this way: the design is based on the wireframe(s), which is based on the concept, which is the translation of your client’s mission statement, vision, values and business goals.

Similarly, if you had to do it all over again, what do you wish you knew then, that you know now?

Sipko:

  • Start with defining the concept, make wireframes and then make your design the best you can.
  • Grids rule, but they ain't holy.
  • God is in the details and in our line of business it’s in the pixels.
Quick, name your favorite 3 “must-have” apps and what makes them so?

GP: