Dan Mall on being floored by talented people

Design director Dan Mall on working with some of the biggest names in the business on two massive redesigns.

One of the 10 nominees for Designer of the Year in the 2014 net Awards, Dan Mall is founder of SuperFriendly, a collaborative agency that's done some outstanding work in the two years since it started. Dan was part of the team that did the much-discussed TechCrunch and Entertainment Weekly redesigns last year, working with an all-star line-up that included Josh Clark, Jonathan Stark and Brad Frost.

Dan blogs here, podcasts at The Businessology Show, and you can read more about his background and philosophy in our big interview. We quizzed him briefly to find out more about he's been up to recently.

Give us a summary of your career so far.

I’m currently the founder of my own design collaborative, SuperFriendly. Prior to that, I was Design Director at Brooklyn digital agency Big Spaceship and Interactive Director for web design boutique Happy Cog.

What have you been working on over the last year?

Lots of stuff! Most notably, I led the design portions of a redesign for TechCrunch and Entertainment Weekly’s mobile site. Aside from that, I’ve been helping to redesign Typedia and working on a new product with a friend. I’m also proud of somewhat steadily writing on my site, where I averaged a little over one post a month.

What have been the particular high points of your career?

At every place I’ve ever worked, I’ve been floored by the amount of talented people I was able to learn from. I’ve always appreciated being the worst player on the best teams.

Who and what influences and inspires your work?

My wife. Even though she doesn’t have a background in design or web or anything related to our industry, I’ve always said she’s the best creative director I’ve ever had. She’s got such great intuition. We’ve known each other since fifth grade; she’s been with me since I first discovered my passion for design and has seen the whole journey firsthand. I run all my designs and decisions by her; she often points me in the right track on how to be a better designer and a better person.

Some of SuperFriendly's recent projects

What are you excited about at the moment?

Everything! I’ve got two awesome daughters: a 2½-year-old named Sidda and a 2-month-old named Charlotte. They are the coolest.

Tell us about an important lesson you’ve learned in your career.

Most design problems are people problems.

Name an ‘unsung hero’, someone you admire who deserves more recognition for their work.

Dave Dawson does some very thoughtful and interesting work. I love talking to him and hearing about the way he sees the world.

Vote in the net Awards!

Celebrating the best in web design and development, the 15th net Awards is open for public voting until 24 March. With a record breaking number of nominations this year, it's set to be the biggest and best yet. Have your say by casting your votes here.