Meet the Designers – Interactive Designer John Jaber and Art Director Casey Hawes

We at Innate prides ourselves on executing exceptional conversion-centered design, ensuring that our clients’ clients have a seamless experience when using their website. It takes a lot of behind-the-scenes magic to increase the likelihood of a user converting on a web page, such as flawless programming and sleuthy keyword optimization.  While those are critical components, we want to give a round of applause to the designers. Without their creativity, use of design principles, and endless knowledge of color psychology, the user would have a very different experience. Think, web sites circa 1999…pause for a collective shudder. Below is a quick intro of the guys that bring the creative A-game at Innate. We’d be lost without them.


  1.       How did you decide to go into web design? Was there an aha moment?

JJ: I always loved designing products for people to use, so interactive design was super appealing to me.

CH: No aha moment. Like a lot of designers my age (and older) I started out in print design. Over time I became more involved in digital products and fell in love with the kind of problem solving that comes with user experience design.


  1.       What is your favorite part of being a designer? District Taco on Fridays is not an acceptable answer.  

JJ: District Taco isn’t an answer? I guess doing what you love is pretty cool, too.

CH: I’ll piggy-back on that previous answer; it’s the problem solving. A design project comes with a series of problems, goals, guidelines, users & businesses, wants & needs to satisfy. We are the hands that take those pieces and solve the puzzle. Being the thinker or creator of something smart, beautiful, and functional is very rewarding.


  1.       What is a project you are most proud of and why?

JJ: I’m most proud of my isometric chalkboard mural!

CH: One of my first assignments here at Innate (CDG Interactive back then) was an iAd for GEICO. It was called the “The Happiest Song in the World”. We were given full creative control and built a mobile game from scratch. Visually, I explored a new aesthetic. The process of building that new look was different and it established new ways of creative visual-making for me.


  1.       Do you have a specific creative process? Any interesting rituals, such as cleaning off your whole desk before starting a new project?

JJ: We usually do our “Innate dance” prior to starting a new project.

CH: I’m rarely in a ‘ready’ or ‘set’ before we have to ‘GO’ on a design project. So there are no consistent starts, but I will say I get pretty OCD about my file structures. A sloppy PSD is a bad look and harder to navigate. I also encourage drawing in our process. You don’t have to draw WELL to be a good designer, but you do have to draw.


  1.       What is a typical day in the life of an Innate Designer? We know it includes burritos… I’m sensing a Mexican food theme here

JJ: We divide and conquer the wide range of projects that come our way. Then comes lunch, where we usually decide on burritos. After lunch, it’s back to the design hustle.

CH: Every day is different, except the burritos.


  1.       It’s almost the end of the year, we’ve been thinking ahead. Chatbots and Super Reality seem to be coming up a lot in our news feed. What design trends do you expect to see in 2017?

 JJ: VR is going to be huge, but the technology and consumer adoption needs to catch up first. Maybe we’ll start pitching VR to our clients!

CH: The constant focus on UX has a lot of the digital landscape looking the same. Layout design doesn’t get too unique anymore. I expect digital products in 2017 to start to separate themselves more through creative interactions, reactions, animations, and other pieces that will surprise and delight users.


  1.       What piece of work-related technology is on your wishlist? Interactive tabletops perhaps?

JJ: I could go for a 27” 5k iMac with 32GB RAM and the Radeon R9 GPU and an iPad Pro with the iPencil (or whatever they called it).

CH: I already have it. A Wacom Cintiq is all I ever wanted.


  1.       Tell us about something interesting you do outside of work.

JJ: I tend to spoil my car a lot. Her name is Bella.

CH: It WAS playing basketball, softball, wood-working, going to the gym, concerts, etc. Now that I’m 4 months into fatherhood, it’s working on my dad jokes and dad bod. I am about halfway through seeing every active MLB stadium. I should have another four stadiums checked off in 2017.


  1.       What about any projects you’re working on outside of work?

JJ: I’m building a side table…so there’s that.

CH: Thinking about selling some of my illustration work in the near future. You’ll have to stay tuned on that.


  1.   One last question, be honest, how many times have you been to Well Dressed Burrito in the last month?

JJ: 3!…or was it 5? Lets go with 8.

CH: They know us there. ‘Nuff said.


Ready for a more spiffy looking website? These are your guys. Give us a call and we’d be happy to create a mock-up for you.


Crystal Konz

Administrative Assistant

Crystal's official title is 'office manager,' but she likes to think of herself as 'office caretaker, decorator and personal assistant.' In her free time she likes to spend hours perusing Pinterest, cooking and baking, doing makeup for weddings, and binge watching Netflix.

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