Mark Moskal is chief experience officer and co-founder of LiveAreaLabs, a full-service digital retail agency. Their work spans branding, digital platforms and digital marketing for consumer brand manufacturers and retailers.
Mark began his design career in Miami working in-house at a large music retailer. A sense of adventure led him to New York City where he shifted focus to digital, then San Francisco where he gained expertise in digital retail, and finally Seattle where, due to LiveAreaLabs and a young family, free time is almost non-existent.
Along the way, Mark’s worked with Brooks Sports, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Design Within Reach, Fila, Jansport, Lucky Brand, LUSH Cosmetics, Mikasa, Nine West, The North Face, Reebok, Theory and Urban Decay. His hands-on approach has garnered awards from Communication Arts, The FWA, HOW, SXSW and the Webby Awards.
Collaboration, Experimentation and Iteration
If you have a degree in what field is it? I have a bachelor’s degree in mass communications with specialization in advertising from VCU and a certificate in design and technology from Parsons.
What’s the best site you've seen lately? What’s so great about it? One of my favorites is Burberry. I’ve worked with several apparel brands and many grapple with their digital strategy. But Burberry has it down. In a desktop browser, their main site brings the brand alive through an exciting blend of lifestyle and product; it’s sleek, immersive and just really enticing. It’s even more powerful when viewed in the context of their full marketing landscape. Their campaigns are richly woven across multiple touchpoints and offers customer, and those who aspire to join them, experiences that are smart, original and well-executed.
If you were to change professions, what would you choose to do? It would be fun to go back in time and live the life of a professional musician.
Design or technology? Which is more important? Why? That’s a pretty broad question. Arguably, either can be more important depending on the circumstance. But in general, coming from someone who is a designer by trade, how people feel is most important. With that in mind, design wins. Design exists to make us feel a certain way—hopefully good. It exists to solve problems. And to make our lives better. That said, technology brings design to life. So props to you, technology.
From where do your best ideas originate? Collaboration, experimentation and iteration.
How do you overcome a creative block? I go running, preferably along the water with headphones on. And if that fails, I fall back on collaboration, experimentation and iteration.
In one word describe how you feel when beginning a new project. Optimistic.
What well-known site is most desperately in need of a redesign? REI. Their flagship store in Seattle does a great job of creating a retail experience that hits home with those who love outdoor adventure and active living. But the online experience falls short. It may be effective from a transactional standpoint, but it could offer customers so much more.
Do you have creative outlets other than web design? Work is a great creative outlet. We’re constantly building something. Other less traditional creative outlets include playtime with family and friends and being active.
What music are you listening to right now? I’m going through a big indie electropop phase but enjoy a wide variety of music.
What product/gadget can you not live without? That’s easy, my iPhone.
What’s the strangest thing you’ve bought online? A robot tea infuser.
What’s your favorite quote? “Do unto others…”
Do you have any advice for people just entering the profession? Love what you do. Early on, discover what you enjoy doing; you’re going to have to spend a lot of time doing it.
What’s one thing you wish you knew when you started your career? Serve everyone you meet through work like a prized customer, everyone, throughout your entire career. Your future self will thank you.