@naomisusi on winning last year’s Next Big Thing at #thecritters

Now that the nominations for the Critters have closed, we’re ferretting away behind the scenes collating the shortlist with our panel of esteemed judges. One of the categories that we’re ultra fond of is the Next Big Thing awards, as it gives recognition to those people who aren’t the household names (yet), but are swiftly moving up the ranks. Looking at the longlist, there’s already an amazing lineup of NBT-ers, and it’s going to be a hard job to whittle it down to just three.

While we found a few moments last week, we caught up with last year’s Next Big Thing winner, Naomi Atkinson

What have you been up to since winning Next Big Thing at the Critters last year?

Well, things have certainly been going well — I was nominated for the .Net  ‘Designer of the Year 2011′ and was invited to speak at Beyond Tellerand in Dusseldorf and New Adventures in Nottingham, both of which were fantastically inspirational conferences which I really enjoyed being a part of.

The studio’s worked with some great clients and been involved in a number of promising products, and I’ve personally been able to flex my creative muscles with more brand and illustration work alongside my more common UI design, which I’ve absolutely loved. Keep an eye on the studio site as there will be many portfolio updates on their way!

Where abouts do you keep your Critter award?

Where else would it be than right next to me as I work? Haha, it is very much in view on my shelves next to my desk — pink, spiky, and proud :)

What do you think is the biggest thing designers need to look out for in 2012?

We need to stop thinking in pixels — and more in percentages and fluid responsive layouts. By avoiding designing for a fixed resolution we’ll in turn challenge ourselves to think more about our own processes. I’m still working at how to improve my current process when designing for responsive layouts, I believe this will be an ongoing thing throughout this year at least.

If the rumours are true about the retina display being brought to laptops, this too will challenge our processes, along with our output of course! 

Designing for the web is ever-moving, but that’s exactly as it should be.

Is there anyone you think deserves to be seen as this year’s Next Big Thing?


That’s not a cop-out answer (honest), it’s what I truly believe. Anyone and everyone could be ‘The next big thing’ — they just have to want it, and be constantly pushing themselves to do, think, create, and design bigger and better.  

Published by Luke

Luke is one of Ubelly’s resident social media guys, occasionally switching hats for a bit of design. He is the in-house meme expert, uses foursquare a little too much and gets hot under the collar when it comes to design, usability and gorgeous code.

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