Amongst the sounds of clicks, muttered f-bombs, and the occasionally opening of Red Bull, sits Steve. By day, he is a humble Manager of Interactive Design. By night, a rhythm guitar player for a punk rock band. Steve walks the tightrope between art and design. He is the fixer of problems, ambassador of functionality, and a hero to us all.
What is the most exciting part of your job?
Learning new things and taking on challenges that I don’t know exactly how to solve yet and figuring them out, whether that’s a design problem or a technology problem.
What is the most common misconception about what you do?
Probably that it’s just about making things look good. The design is as much about functionality as anything else. The design has to be on brand, trustworthy and executed well, but it also has to solve the functionality problem. If it’s a chair, is it ergonomic? If it’s an app, can people navigate it? That’s all part of the process.
What mythical creature do you wish were real? Why?
The flying dog dragon from the Neverending Story, Falcor. Is that right? It was just really friendly and soothing.
Would you own it?
I don’t think he can be owned. That’s not a soul you can own – it has to fly free. You just hope that you get to spend a little bit of time with him.
Steve, you are sort of a purist when it comes to food. If you had to pick one meal to eat for the rest of the year what would it be?
Pepperoni pizza. That’s because you can eat it in the summer, and you can eat it in the winter. It can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. No judgment. Pepperoni pizza with sriracha.
One lesson you have learned from working at Drake Cooper?
The biggest lesson I have learned, or at least that has been reinforced, is good ideas come from anywhere. No matter what your background is, or your skill set, it doesn’t matter, anybody can have the one big idea. Also, learning more ways to talk through concepts gets you out of your bubble.
If you belonged to an old western gang what would your nickname be?
The Red Bull Bandit. I would always be really energetic. My horse would drink Red Bull. I would drink Red Bull.
Ninja Turtles or Power Rangers?
Oh that’s tough. I was pretty enamored with both as a child. I would have to say Ninja Turtles. I just recently found a bucket of my old toys at my parents’ house. I found the Ninja Turtles and I was immediately transported back to that time as a kid.
If you could go back in time and watch one concert or artist, who would it be?
Lou Reed with the Velvet Underground. The Warhol days. That’s probably sort of a hipster answer. He was a really interesting songwriter and performer and had a huge impact on rock n’ roll.
To learn more about Steve Norell, read his full bio here.
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