Alex Jenkins is Interactive Creative at London based digital agency unit9 and has concentrated all his energy into creating online experiences for over the last 5 years.
Initially freelance, offering specialized skills in character animation in Flash, illustration and graphic design.
At unit9, Alex has progressed his skills and experience and applied them to the conceptualizing and creation of projects such as 'The creative mind' for Adobe, and has worked with various clients ranging from, The BBC, Virgin, and Philips to The Framestore.
He has spoken at events, speaking on behalf of unit9 and its work ethic and how he personally approaches his work at; OFFF in Barcelona, Future of Web Design, and for Adobe Inspired Media.
Alex feels passionately about entertaining web users, he relishes the chance to create characters as a way to bring emotion and life into his projects, and keenly explores narrative as a way to approach and find novel solutions when creating website experiences and campaigns.
Pulling the emotional trigger.
Unit9 has a long history of creating rich and immersive on-line campaigns for clients the world over, with projects such as Adobe's 'The Creative mind', Discover Card's 'Send an Elf' campaign, Honda 'Grrr' and many more. Campaign sites such as these, were created aiming to entertain and focus on directly marketing to users who embrace on-line, often surfing for enjoyment over more traditional forms of entertainment.
Finding myself puzzling yet again, over what might make my projects 'entertaining', I've decided that creating immersive experiences for commercial brands is a ticklish affair from which to err but a small way from the invisible path of 'accepted wisdom', can have you being publicly flogged by a troupe of acid-tongued reviewers. But, for all the new technology and latest ways to disseminate information and all the arguments about whether a site should be functional or intuitive, or how user oriented or passive it appears to be, one aspect I do feel certain about is the importance and relevance of trying to capture an emotional response.
I believe, when creating interactive experiences, a 'human' touch can be as simple as the way the copy is written all the way up to a fully-blown cinematic quality 3D sequence and, if handled well, for at least that one golden moment, I may have earned myself the opportunity to tease open a window into the audience's soul and fill it with an alternate view, away from the immediate concerns of their own lives, maybe through laughter, curiosity, benevolence, pity perhaps, even anger, but I stand the chance of earning something as good as real human contact. Something that can hopefully satisfy and indulge people'Ûªs curiosity enough to engage just that little bit longer.
With that in mind and with the year drawing to a close, I want to take a moment to reflect back on some of the unit9's more recent work and try to look a little closer at what I think worked (and what didn't!), how we tackled some of the briefs to answer these needs and the problems that came with them.