Exclusive Interview: Dave Mendlen, Infragistics CMO

Jessica Skarzynski / Friday, March 14, 2014

We recently had the chance to chat with Dave Mendlen, Chief Marketing Officer of Infragistics, before he joins forces with Jared Potter of Sixth Ave. Studios and hits the road on our World Tour. Dave and Jared will be bringing you a free, cutting-edge design and development workshop, with US stops in Houston, San Francisco and NYC, with more international dates later this year.

Read on to learn more about the World Tour and learn more about how design and development go hand in hand:

So, a World Tour! How did that come about?
Jared and I have known each other for a little while and when I found out that he was as passionate about helping developers understand design as I was, we knew we had to team up. It’s rare to find someone who is amazing at design and who also has written code. Jared is that rare find. He gets how developers think and he is able to translate his deep knowledge of design to developer-speak and that’s critical. I’m watching this epic shift in application development – the “battleship grey” apps that we used to build are no longer good enough. Our customers have apps with amazing experiences at home on their iPhones, iPads and android devices and now they expect the apps they use at work will be as engaging. And that’s going to require new skills. So, we thought let’s take our message and this training around the world.

What do you hope attendees will take away from these workshops?
I think the most important thing to take away is that while we can’t teach you to be an artist, there is a science and rules with great design. And developers are good at following rules – so if you follow the rules that Jared will walk through, your apps will be significantly better from a design perspective.

Why is it so hard to build a great app that looks good?
I think one of the greatest problems here is that developers don’t prototype the app (especially mobile apps). And what happens is a design that seems logical but then information layout and flow problems get discovered after the app is finished. Also, the users tend to react too late to the look and feel of the experience and the re-work is either deemed too hard or too costly.

What’s the best and worse user experience you’ve seen lately?
I think one of the coolest user interfaces I’ve seen lately is Word Lens – the idea is simple. Point your iPhone at a word in another language and see it in English. Amazing and clean. I saw a customer app recently that had 4 toolbars on the top of the screen and then additional navigation on the left and right side of the screen. It was a cockpit in the worst possible sense.

To register or learn more about our upcoming World Tour dates, visit our Events Page – we’ll see you there!