Interview with Walter Apai of Webdesigner Depot

by Steven Snell

July 2, 2009 in Interviews

I’m sure most of you are familiar with the popular design blog Webdesigner Depot. In much less than a year WDD has become one of the leading blogs in the niche. I recently had a chance to interview the man behind WDD, Walter Apai.

Webdesigner Depot

How long have you been designing and how did you get started?

As a kid, I used to draw cartoons for fun. In 1999, I started designing CD covers for my music compilation CD’s. Almost by accident, I discovered that I have a talent and real passion for design. I’ve always been attracted to art, in all its shapes and forms. Web design was the natural direction for me.

Are you currently doing freelance work?

I wish, but unfortunately, not at the moment. I usually work with other designers designing sites for my own purposes, but I don’t do client work at this time mainly due to time restrictions. I do want to get back to it at some point, but my schedule is pretty full right now.

What was your motivation to start Webdesigner Depot?

A true passion to pour my creativity into something that can be useful to others. I also realized that indirectly the blog can serve both me and others as a means of self expression.  So WDD became a shell to pour a lot of ideas and creativity into.

What have been some of the keys to success in taking WDD from nothing to one of the leading design blogs in a very short time?

The blog thrives on great content. I browse through many blogs as well as all types of offline material and try to come up with some really useful and cool stuff.

Although, I try to empower the readers with information, I also like to show them design in all shapes and forms. I want my audience to think outside the box and I try to show them examples of design in the most unexpected places.

I’m also what you would call a type A personality, so I tend to go all out for my projects and I certainly do that for WDD too. I basically give it my all and I think that the audience appreciates the energy and effort that go into this, which seems to make them gravitate towards the blog.

What are some of the challenges that you face in running a multi-author blog and dealing with a lot of different writers?

It’s important for me to be very focused on the goals that I’m trying to achieve. I think that you need to be a true leader, be organized and simply know how to work with multiple people while sorting through all of this effectively.

I get involved with every article and make changes to every aspect from wording to images as well as formatting. I constantly revise every draft until it’s just right. I’m a perfectionist at heart and enjoy putting all the pieces together in order to craft something truly special.

With WDD’s quick growth, where do you see it heading in the next year?

WDD is my first blog ever, so although I’ve brought with me many different qualities from my experience in other professions, this is still very much a learning experience for me. I read all emails and comments people leave on the blog very carefully, but ultimately I trust myself as to what’s best for the blog and the majority of people reading it. The blog is an evolving entity and I constantly tweak things based on feedback and my own instincts.

Can you tell us something interesting that most readers would not know about you?

So many! Well, my Mother tongue is Spanish, I used to host a pop music show on the radio and I’m a true Mac addict.

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About Steven Snell

Stephen Snell is the owner and editor of Vandelay Design.Connect with Stephen on google+

  • bebopdesigner

    Jul 2nd

    I’m a huge fan of WDD… We all are, and we love this guy. Thanks for sharing so much!

  • Victoria Web

    Jul 3rd

    Great article thanks for sharing, WDD is a brilliant tool and reference for web designers.

  • Caitlin

    Jul 3rd

    I really like WDD! They have lots of cool and random posts–very good site for design inspiration. Great interview!

  • Nicholas Z. Cardot

    Jul 4th

    I’m a big fan of that site as well. I’ve been subscribed there for some time. Great interview.

  • Michelle

    Jul 6th

    I liked the phrase about empowering the readers with information. I think it’s a good approach – thinking of the readers in the first place. Certainly deserves respect!

  • Dainis Graveris

    Aug 24th

    wow, yeah, WebDesignerDepot grows so rapidly, I am surprised that it’s Walter’s first blog – interesting reading..:) Thanks for that interview and keep up! :)

  • Daric Apai

    Feb 4th

    Wonderful work Cousin!

  • Gregorivs

    Jun 21st

    It’s interesting to see how many different kinds of people there are in this market. His drive and intensity are admirable!

  • vuitton

    Aug 8th

    Absolutely excellent tutorial

  • Jake Rocheleau

    Aug 22nd

    Such a cool interview, Walter’s a great guy and I love what he’s done with WDD. And look at where the site is today, even just 1 year after this interview!

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