Five minutes with Alistair Henry

This week we delve into the mind of our senior project manager Alistair Henry and explore all things digital…

Define digital?

Digital is a strain of technology that has permeated almost every aspect of our lives – usually as an interface – to allow us to engage with each other or with the technology itself.

In a full service agency, why’ve you chosen digital?

I’ve had a deep-seated fascination with the internet since I first went on a bulletin board service (BBS) in the early 1990s. As websites have evolved and our lives have become more digital-centric, this industry seemed like the meeting point of all my interests and talents. So you could possibly say that digital chose me.

How does digital match your personality?

Digital is essentially just an endless series of 0s and 1s that follows a rational order. This works well for me since I am extremely logical and organised, with a love of numbers and maths.

What’s the newest thing in digital?

It’s changing so quickly it’s hard to define what the newest thing is. It’s easier to keep up with digital trends which are currently geared toward integrating all aspects of our lives. This can be seen in the way Amazon and Google are jumping on the artificial intelligence (AI) bandwagon with Amazon Echo and Google Home.

What should we expect for digital in the future?

I think AI is a trend that will continue to gain traction over the coming years as these systems control greater parts of our home, work and social lives. Amazon has claimed Echo can manage 3,000 different types of tasks from locking your car to operating household appliances. For some this might seem a bit invasive, but we are already comfortable relying on Siri for information so it seems logical that the next step will be to live in “smart” houses.

How does creativity factor into digital?

I think creativity affects digital in two different ways. Someone at Apple came up with the idea of an iPhone and at the heart of that ingenuity is immense creativity. Then, once a product is established creativity comes into play again in pushing the envelope of what you can do. One of the best examples of this is web development, which is evolving quicker than any other digital product.

What company does digital well?

Marks & Spencer has an excellent website with a homepage that layers information into five or six menus, making the presentation uncluttered and products easy to find. They’ve mastered the art of information architecture and hierarchy.

What’s your dream digital project?

I love web projects. It’s what brought me into this industry and it’s at the heart of what keeps me interested and fulfilled. I have worked on a number of different types of websites including brochure, eCommerce, parallax and microsites with scopes that range – from a simple five pager to a monster of site that has over 2,000 pages. I love the diversity.

If a creative agency were a car, what part would you be?

That’s simple, it would be the infotainment system! It’s the car’s communication, information and entertainment system.

What superpower would help you with digital?

The ability to see into the future. That would give us quite the edge over the competition.