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If you have a degree in what field is it? Allen has a BA in architecture from UC Berkeley and Cyril a BA in Psychology from the University of Cincinnati; both have an MFA in design & technology from Parsons School of Design.

What’s the best site you’ve seen lately? What's so great about it? We see a lot of Web sites and the ones that make a strong impression on us are those with compelling narratives. We really love the One in 8 Million: New York Characters in Sound and Images series on nytimes.com. It features a story each week about a unique New Yorker. The photographs, narratives and audio are superb. The story of May Wong Lee made us both weepy over our morning coffee.

If you were to change professions, what would you choose to do? Allen: State Department diplomat; Cyril: airplane pilot. After we wrote down our alternative professions we realized that they are connected in a way that makes sense to both of us. We want to see the world and these professions, in our minds, symbolize the freedom to experience new things, new people and new ideas.

Design or technology? Which is more important? Why? Technology in our society pulls and leads more than design but there needs to be a good marriage in order for digital products to work successfully. Thankfully, we love both but we do tend to be a bit skeptical when it comes to new technology.

From where do your best ideas originate? We sit six feet away from each other so there’s a constant volley of BS checks throughout our working process. If an idea resonates with both of us and withstands a bit of scrutiny, we may have found something worth pursuing.

How do you overcome a creative block? Hanging with creative and motivated friends usually gets us out of our doldrums.

In one word describe how you feel when beginning a new project? Rejuvenated.

What well-known site is most desperately in need of a redesign? Hands down, it’s mta.info (New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority). It could really benefit from some thoughtful information architecture; it could be a great resource for New Yorkers but instead it’s a relic from the time when we used dial-up. The graphics and copy are abysmal.

Do you have creative outlets other than Web design? Model trains, designer furniture, French language, landscape architecture, plants.

What music are you listening to right now? Phoenix, Matt & Kim, Joni Mitchell.

What product/gadget can you not live without? Apologies for being like everyone else: iPhone.

What’s the strangest thing you've bought online? Feltidermy. We bought a bunny head.

Whats your favorite quote? “Money cannot buy health, but I’d settle for a diamond-studded wheelchair.” —Dorothy Parker

Do you have any advice for people just entering the profession? A portfolio needs to ooze passion. We can usually tell very quickly who loves what they do. Passion needs to be coupled with a systematic process and an attention to detail. Learn how to effectively present your work both visually and verbally.

What’s one thing you wish you knew when you started your career? Run from any client that gives you the heebie jeebies.
[photo credit - © Christophe Tedjasukmana]

Allen Yee and Cyril Tsiboulski are partners of cloudred, a New York City-based Web and interactive design company. Notable clients include MTV, The City of New York, NYC & Company and SuperCook.com. Originally from Moscow, Russia, Cyril moved to the U.S. when he was eighteen and currently lives in the Lower East Side in Manhattan. Allen was born and raised in San Francisco and currently lives in Greenpoint, Brooklyn (and doesn’t miss San Francisco’s fog at all). Both partners would readily give up the Big Apple for Paris—it’s all about the baked goods and cheap wine.
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