Category Archives: interviews


Now Hiring Digital Optimizers: UX Lead and Magento Developer

By | Digital Operative, Internships, interviews, magento, user experience | No Comments

If you’re a strategic thinker who is passionate about innovative web and mobile design, then keep reading. And if a you’re creative type that thrives in a fast-paced environment that features nerf guns and bagel fridays, then you will most definitely want to keep reading. But let’s get serious here…DO is looking to hire two amazing individuals that will challenge cross-functional team leads on the daily, as well as get their hands dirty collaborating with engineers, back-end developers all while creating amazing web and mobile ecommerce websites. Check out the positions below:

User Experience Lead

Position Responsibilities

  • Requirements gathering that includes user research, stakeholder interviews, technical feasibility assessments, design concepting and future thinking with clients
  • Ownership of user experience for agency and its products
  • Champion principles of usability and user-centered design across the agency
  • Work with Strategy team during research process and participate in user testing and field research as needed
  • Develop logic flows, storyboards, personas, wireframes, low fidelity mock-ups, sitemaps, high fidelity prototypes, and UI specifications
  • Participate in pitch work and business development to represent User Experience
  • Contribute to the agency’s process and knowledge-base as it pertains to User Experience
  • Work with engineering team to determine tradeoffs based on business needs, user experience outcomes, and technology constraints
  • Provide quality assurance during development to ensure quality of user experience and revising experience documents
  • Provide support as needed in the areas of visual design or information design

Position Requirements

  • 4+ years creating amazing experiences including user interfaces and multi-device digital experiences
  • Complete understanding of how to combine interaction design principles with user research
  • Have practical experience working on digital commerce projects (ecommerce, mobile)
  • Expert experience with toolset (Microsoft suite, Photoshop, Illustrator, Visio, Omnigraffle, Balsamiq, etc.)
  • Exceptional presentation abilities, both verbal and visual
  • Solid understanding of interactive experiences and technologies
  • Ability to inspire confidence in client interactions
  • Team player
  • Proven experience as a team leader and client contact
  • Ability to question the norm when optimal and create the remarkable

Magento Developer

Postion Responsibilities

  • Understanding client short and long term goals and recommending a solution
  • Keeping up to date on the latest and greatest technologies
  • Setting up, configuring and optimizing enterprise level ecommerce software and servers
  • Developing custom modules for integration into ERP, accounting, fulfillment and marketing systems
  • Integrating user interface designs, flows and processes
  • Mentoring junior developers as needed

Postion Requirements

  • 3-5 years of experience building scalable robust web or ecommerce applications using PHP and MySQL
  • Solid understanding of OOP and development design patterns
  • Experience with HTML, CSS and JS (JQuery)
  • Experience working with SVN, SSH and linux command line
  • Experience setting up and configuring Apache, APC, Memcached and MySQL

Oh yeah, we’ll be looking for amazing interns soon too! In the next couple of months, DO will be in search of young, passionate and ambitious individuals in the following departments: social media, design, strategy and marketing. Stay tuned for more details!

Puj – Digital Commerce Conversation Series

By | digital commerce, ecommerce, interviews | One Comment

digital commerce conversations with PUJ

Kicking off a new series here at Digital Operative called Digital Commerce Conversations. DCC will be focused on telling the stories of successful entrepreneurs within the digital commerce space and their thoughts on areas like ecommerce, social media, mobile and multi-channel marketing. We’ll be asking them the questions that run through our readers’ minds everyday as well our very own clients. Without further adieu, we bring you Puj; the brainchild of a husband-wife team that is passionate about “simplifying parenthood.” Puj was born out of Ben & Katie Richardson’s garage about 3 years ago. Ben & Katie have been able to overcome a sluggish economy and found momentum with their first product the Puj Tub. The Puj Tub has been the #1 selling product in its category on Amazon since 2011, and is now available in over 600 retailers in 22 countries.

Digital Operative was lucky enough to get a chance to interview Ben & Katie about some of their experience and what to expect in 2013. Let’s recap that conversation with Ben & Katie…

1) What tips do you have for someone starting out with a new ecommerce initiative?

There are hundreds of ecommerce platforms, and they all claim to be the best at what they do. While they all may be similar, there are definitely differences between them and you need to find the one that meets your business needs. Some crucial things to consider are transaction fees, design flexibility, shipping modules, reporting/analytics, and scalability.

Try several different platforms before you build your entire site. Speak to other people that have used the e-commerce platforms. If you build your business on a cumbersome / faulty platform that doesn’t fit your business , you’ll spend your time focusing on the wrong things.

2) How has social media affected your ecommerce business?

Social media consistently drives huge amounts of traffic to our site each month. If you have a product or brand that’s worth talking about, it will spread in the social media. You need to make sure that your site is optimized for social media with buttons that are strategically placed and easy to find.

3) What are three (3) new tools you’re thinking of using in 2013 that could help expand your ecommerce channel?

The first two are quite obvious and aren’t necessarily new: Pinterest and Instagram. Information is becoming more and more visual and these are two platforms that excel in that. The third tool we’ll be using in 2013 is even older than the first two: email. In our opinion, there’s nothing better than an email address because you have the ability to deliver content directly to the recipient. We plan on offering tremendous value to parents throughout the world using this simple tool. (Katie does an amazing job of Content Development – If you’re a parent; her content is truly authentic and original.)

4) What are you looking forward to the most in 2013?

Launching our new products! We’ve been working extremely hard on some exciting new products, and we can’t wait to get them up and running on our e-commerce platform and launching them to the world!

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for the next digital commerce conversations post

3 Social Media Dos & Don’ts to help you Land that Job

By | facebook, interviews, social influence, social media, twitter | No Comments

Social Media is a big part of our lives now. We post pictures, share stories, communicate with friends but would you want your future employer to see everything you share on Facebook and Twitter? Its obvious we keep LinkedIn clean, but employers are doing more than checking out your LinkedIn Profile. Reppler researched 300 individuals in charge of hiring at their company and came up with a few surprising results. Whether or not you agree that this acceptable, its happening. 91% said they use social media to screen applicants. The majority will check Facebook 76%, followed by Twitter 53%, and then LinkedIn 48%. If you’re not careful you could be rejected by that dream job because of a few silly pictures on Facebook.

3 Don’ts to Consider on your Profiles:
1. Don’t post inappropriate photos of you drinking or using drugs, and don’t allow yourself to be tagged in them.
2. Don’t post inappropriate comments, discriminatory remarks, or negative comments including previous employers.
3. Don’t use poor grammar or display poor communication skills.

The best thing you can do would be to just tighten the security of your pages. Everyone has fun but there are something that don’t need to be shared with the world.

On the other hand, social media isn’t all bad when it come to potential employment. Sometimes what you share is what gets you the job.

3 Dos to Consider on your Profiles:
1. Do make your profile show your interests and hobbies, employers appreciate well-rounded individuals.
2. Do allow your profile to show off your creativity, especially if creativity is part of the industry you seek.
3. Do use your profile to demonstrate your professional capabilities, and share awards or accomplishments.

Even if you do get turned away or turned down because of your social media profiles, it may be for the best if the company does not feel you would fit well with them. Organizational fit is important, if you don’t mesh well with the company both of you will be unhappy.

P.S. We are looking for a Web Developer (PHP with ZEND and Magento experience preferred) Check out our Careers Page for more Info!

Graphic Designer & Burger Lover: Evan, Answers the Tough Questions

By | agency life, design, Digital Operative, interviews, small agency | No Comments

We took a break from working so hard to do a short interview with Evan Kosowski, one of our highly skilled graphic designers here at Digital Operative. We asked him 10 of the hardest and most vital questions we could think of, check out what he had to say!

What do you do at Digital Operative?
All things graphic.

What are 3 things on your desk right now?
Cell phone, headphones and my trusty coffee.

What is your favorite food?
Nothing beats a juicy burger.

Mac or PC?
Mac + PC?

Where are you from and how long have you lived in San Diego?
From Buffalo, New York. Been in San Diego for exactly 8 months.

What is your favorite activity?
Surfing, can’t get enough.

Where did you go on your last vacation?
Took a weekend trip to Catalina Island recently. It was surprisingly serene.

What is the last CD/MP3 you bought?
It was probably the newest Death Cab for Cutie album “Codes and Keys”.

What is your favorite airline to fly on?
Clearly JetBLue is where its at.

What brand would you love to work with?
A brand like Nike where the potential is endless and the style is cutting edge.

Thanks Evan! Only been in San Diego for 8 months, but you sure are living the SoCal life!

P.S. To see some of Evan’s work just look at the graphics on this blog. He’s created most of the DOodles’ title graphics!

Interview with Adam: Director of Digital Marketing

By | agency life, interviews | 2 Comments

Have you heard? Digital Operative just hired a new Director of Digital Marketing! Welcome to the team Adam! We asked Adam a few questions to get to know him a little better:
Give us a little background info. Where are you from and how did you end up in San Diego at Digital Operative?
I’m from Andover, Massachusetts (where Jay Leno is from).  I joined the National Guard straight out of high school and spent three years in the Army National Guard. When I was discharged I moved to Santa Barbara and began attending UCSB. While  attending college I was hired to be the marketing director/on air at KJEE FM. In 2008 I received my BA in Communication and in 2009 I accepted a job as Digital Director/Marketing director for the central coast for Cumulus Radio.  During this time I began to feel as though my interests were dramatically shifting from traditional media to digital media and I really wanted to learn as much about digital media as I could. As such, I left Cumulus and began attending Harvard Extension School in pursuit of my Masters Degree in Information Technology with a concentration in Digital Media Arts and Instructional Design (4.0 average thanks for asking!). Once I had completed my on campus requirements I moved out here to San Diego from the east coast to live with my girlfriend, and started to look for a job. I knew I wanted to continue working in digital marketing, and began looking for the company in San Diego that had the most innovative and driven people working at it (and a foosball table). I found Digital Operative and think the team here are so smart and motivated.
What experience do you have working with marketing?
From 2004-2009 I was the Marketing Director/Morning Show Host at KJEE-FM in Santa Barbara . While there I was in charge of all things digital and had great successes including youtube videos with over 300,000 hits and large twitter and facebook followings.  By combing digital media with traditional media the station was able to achieve great success on a limited budge. We were voted “Best Morning Show” in 2008 in the Santa Barbara Independent. and  the station was consistently ranked number one in our key demographics. Additionally using my contact and press releases the station was  featured on: Mtv, Vh1, Sports Illustrated, Best Damn Sports Show, ABC, WBCN, KALC, KVYB, KBBY.
Additionally I write alot and have been published in The Santa Barbara Daily Sound, 805 Living, Ventura County Reporter, and Radio and Records.
As  the Digital Director for all of central California for Cumulus Media I ran successful Youtube, Facebook, Twitter and audio campaigns. I was also an early proponent of mixing digital and traditional media, and increased audience engagement. These programs reached a wide variety of audiences and by connecting to them digitally we were able to build a sense of communtiy.
Great! So outside of the office and digital world, what do you do for fun?
I like to go for runs. I enjoy reading, especially Malcolm Gladwell. Watching TV, especially “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”, “Man vs. Food” and any Red Sox or Celtics game.

Okay and now that you’re on the team, what exactly do you do here at DO?
My title is Director of Digital Marketing – It is my job to make sure that our clients messages reach their intended audience in dynamic and interesting ways. We are building a team that makes Digital Operative a one stop shop for digital marketing. We provide the strategy, knowledge, and technical expertise to execute dynamic marketing solutions.
Awesome, so where do you go to keep up with digital strategies?
I read Wired, Fast Company, eWeek (shout out to my Dad Eric on that one), and Mashable to stay up-to-date.
Great sources. Last question, what trends do you see coming for digital marketing?
Digital marketing will continue to grow as more people become comfortable in the digital space. I expect that digital marketing will continue to become more mobile based, especially with the popularity of smart phones increasing. I expect Digital Operative to be at the forefront of it all.

Thanks Adam! Glad to have you on board. Can’t wait to see what you bring to DO!

DO’s App Expertise featured on San Diego 6 News

By | agency life, apps, Digital Operative, interviews, mobile apps | No Comments

When we think about saving money or finding deals here at Digital Operative we go right for our favorite web and mobile apps. When San Diego 6 needed some experts on apps, they found DO and we were happy to welcome them to the office.

If the video embed code isn’t working below, visit this link.

DO Launches The New

By | design, digital identity, interviews | One Comment

We recently launched the newly designed website of Mark Ramsey Media. The all-new site is a merger of the original and the popular blog. The new showcases the one of a kind content that is created by Mark Ramsey along with the background on the company as well as lists of services and easy ways to connect with Mark via all the key social media channels. The site contains all the latest features in social media integration including

o Facebook Like features
o Blog share features
o Disqus commenting with Twitter & Facebook integration
o Vimeo video player
o Easy to use audio player that pulls the mp3’s from Hipcast

In addition the new provides a complete archive of blog posts, audio tracks, and videos from the original blog. The new site is a valuable resource when looking to learn more about the media industry from one of its key insiders and thought leaders.

Digital Operative took on the task of creating an all new look and feel that supported the latest in social media web integration, all the while being built on the most recent WordPress 3 platform. From initial concepts through launch Digital Operative handled each and every step along the way. We are excited to showcase the new site, which you can see here at We also asked Mark a few questions about his new site and the work that was done…

DO: Why did you decide to not only redesign but also combine with the popular blog?

Mark: The original site design was a homemade affair (thank you iWeb). The thing about those homemade affairs is that it doesn’t take long to graduate out of them.

The blog has always been the driving force of the effort since it’s the most dynamic part of the digital portfolio and drives whatever attention the portfolio gets. So merging the two under one banner allowed me to (gradually) retire one brand name and place the emphasis on the brand that was monetizing the strategy.

The hear2.0 blog itself is very old for a blog – about 6 or 7 years. And it was professionally designed at a time when “blog designers” were all the rage and blogs didn’t necessarily cohabitate with the rest of a site’s digital portfolio.

This change allowed me to switch from Typepad to WordPress and place the whole site, blog and all, in that up to date environment.

DO: When taking such an important step as to redevelop your website presence why did you decide to go with Digital Operative?

Mark: Two reasons.

First, I had heard great things about your team from uninvolved third parties and really wanted somebody locally-based to work on my stuff. I wanted a wide range of experience and no roots in the world of media per se. That is, I wanted to bring best practices from everywhere to my media-oriented site and produce something unique in all the firms which focus B2B in media – and that’s exactly what you’ve done – and you’ve done a great job with it.

Second, I had a vision where the Blessed Virgin muttered your name.

DO: How does the digital presence (website, social media, email) for Mark Ramsey affect the impact of the physical work being done?

Mark: My content is all about pushing the digital boundaries of media in general and radio in particular. It makes sense that the context for this conversation would be state of the art. So that context allows me not only to get the word out to every corner of the media galaxy, but also to emphasize my credentials – to prove my value – in resolving those problems and propelling media companies ahead profitably.

Overall, these facets allow me to do more stuff, do it better, make it look better, without a huge incremental effort.

DO: What was the overall experience like for you as you went through the process from concept to launch?

Mark: The experience was pretty much trouble-free. I like that DO kept pressing forward on the timeline – even when I was the bottleneck. There’s a clear emphasis on getting results and getting them on schedule. I like that.

Plus I like the team involvement. Everyone seemed to have a stake in my project, which I appreciate.

DO: Are there any thoughts that you have about working with Digital Operative on this project as well as just the website in general? …Please provide only good thoughts! ;-)

Mark: You guys should send a digital “congrats on your new baby” card when you birth these new sites.

I’m happy to work with DO on this and other projects, and I look forward to working with them again. The reviews from my clients are in and they’re all “thumb’s up.” Thanks D.O.!

About Mark Ramsey Media:
Mark Ramsey Media is one of the best-known research and strategy providers to media companies in America. MRM President Mark Ramsey has worked with several television and innumerable radio broadcasters over his career, including all the biggest names, from Clear Channel, CBS, Bonneville, Sirius XM, and Greater Media in the US to Corus and Astral Media in Canada. Clients from outside broadcasting have included EA Sports and Apple.

DO Welcomes Thiago Brandao To The Team

By | agency life, Digital Operative, interviews | 2 Comments

Digital Operative would like to welcome the newest member of our team, Thiago Brandao (sounds like CHEE-AA-GO). Originally from Rio De Janero Brazil, Thiago and his wife recently moved to San Diego via Michigan and New York. Thiago is stepping into the vital role of Project Manager. His duty is to make sure resources are allocated properly, timelines are accurate, and deadlines are made as well as bring a little South American flair to the team. After graduating with his degree in Communications and Marketing from Facha University in Rio, Thiago went on to work with Alexander Interactive in NYC and Garrison Solutions in Northern Michigan. He has expereince with brands such as Pepperidge Farms, Ivanka Trump, and Vanity Fair.

Here are a few questions to get to know Thiago

1) What is your favorite food?
Mexican! I’m actually vegetarian at the moment. Haven’t had a piece of meat in three weeks.

2) Mac or PC?

3) Where are you from and how long have you lived in San Diego?
I was born in Brazil, lived in New Zealand and New York and have just arrived in San Diego after two long winters in Michigan.

4) If you could pick up and travel anywhere in the world right now where would you go?
New Zealand for sure. If I could make a detour in Thailand it would be awesome.

5) Where did you go on your last vacation?
Rio de Janeiro, visiting family. Before that I was in Alaska for two weeks during the summer.

6) What is the last CD/MP3 you bought?
Porcupine Tree’s latest album, The Incident.

7) What is your favorite airline to fly on?
The one that lands safely. I hate flying.

DO Gets Some Love From Kim Krause Berg at Cr8pc

By | blogging, Digital Operative, interviews | One Comment

Interview on Cr8pc

What a fast 3 months it’s been for the team here at Digital Operative. We managed to connect with some great clients, partners and friends to spread the word about our new little shop. Staying connected to people that add value in my life is the core of how I do business and since people do business with people; it just makes sense. Over the years, I’ve been able to stay in touch with so many folks from all over the web, some that I’ve never actually met in person. The bond you form with people through your work, projects and causes stay with you forever. In the following case, Kim Krause Berg decided I was involved in some cool projects over the years that gave back. You can read the interview with Kim on her blog.

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