Meta Q&A: Ian Ebden of DesignKarma

Lindsay McComb / Posted 7.12.2011

Meta Q&A:
DesignKarma's Ian Ebden

It can be hard to get to know your neighbors; people whom you don't know and probably don't have much in common. It can also be hard to get to know your fellow ExpressionEngine developers; people with whom you probably have a lot in common with, but sheer distance can make it hard to really build friendships.

We here at the Meta Q are all about making connections and getting to know the people in our EE community.We're here to help you get to know the people behind the add-ons and Twitter names. We're here to help you get to know your EE community.

Hailing from Manchester, England, this week's ExpressionEngine developer is Ian Ebden of DesignKarma. He's currently organizing the UK's first ever national EE conference and can be found tweeting at @designkarma.

Ebden was gracious enough to participate in our Meta Q&A.

MQ: What do you love/hate about ExpressionEngine?

IE: Love? Ease of use – for me as a designer-developer, and also for my clients. Not matter what you want to do, it doesn't get in your way. Haven't really come across anything I can't do with EE yet.

Hate? Well hate is a little strong, but I have become frustrated by the number of fundamental bugs creeping into new (and supposedly fully tested) updates. Tend to avoid upgrades for some weeks for that very reason.

MQ:  Tell us about your work in 140 characters or less.

IE: Designer and geek in perfect harmony! Constantly striving for perfection in everything we do – every pixel, and every line of code.

MQ: What's your favorite thing about doing web development/design?

IE: Well, here's a cliché but it's true: Pride in a job well done. Sometimes it's details that no-one else will ever know about but you.

MQ: What do you do when you can't solve a development/design problem?

Designer and geek in perfect harmony! Constantly striving for perfection in everything we do – every pixel, and every line of code.

IE: If at first you don't succeed etc... Having said that, spinning your wheels is demoralising, plus time is money. I tend to go do something else for a while (coffee, newspaper, gym...). Often when you come back, the answer is staring you in the face. If my problems are technical, EE has a terrific community well-known for helping each other out.

MQ: Why use EE? How do you sell clients on using EE?

IE: It's so flexible and extensible, robust and secure. As for selling it, I always stress to potential clients that they should choose a non-proprietary CMS like EE over an agency's bespoke/homemade one, and so aligning themselves with a technology not an agency. The big sell for clients though, is how easy EE is to use.

MQ: My favorite EE add-on is: __________

IE: Pixel & Tonic's Matrix is in pretty much every site I've built.

MQ: My favorite site I did in EE is: __________

IE: Every site I do is better than the last, so my last one!

MQ: My favorite site someone else did in EE is: __________

IE: Wow, so by Packet Tide impressed me recently, although more from a UI standpoint. Campaign Monitor of course (by Newism). So many...

MQ: How/why did you get into web design/development?

IE: I studied Graphic Design & Illustration but I just loved the immediacy of digital over print. Instant publishing, interaction, worldwide audience, measurable results... The enjoyment I get nowadays is in the challenge of constantly evolving and trying to refine and get better.

MQ: What would you like to see happen with ExpressionEngine or EllisLab in the future?

IE: I suppose just continue to hone the product. There are still many improvements that can be made – both to the UI and under the hood. But I've seen where it's come from up to now, so excited about the future. I do think they need to do a better job of promotion though. Surprising how many developers still haven't heard of EE.





Lindsay McComb

Writer and Content Specialist

Lindsay is Q Digital Studio’s writer and content specialist. She develops heady technical jargon into clear, coherent (and optimized) content. She has a knack for finding just the right words - but only after she’s had a nice cup of coffee (or two). She happily dives into the depths of the Internet on a daily basis. Lindsay has worked as a writer and editor the world over.