May 1st, 2017
Erling Håmsø

Spotlight: Erling Håmsø

Meet a bald UX-dude from Sandnes, Norway who runs a best-in-class UX shop ready to take over the world. Erling is his name, value is his game, and don't ask him why he likes bridges. He won't tell you.

Tell us about yourself!

I’m a bald UX-dude from Sandnes, Norway.

I’ve been experimenting with graphics on the computer since the early ‘90s, and making stuff for the Internet since 1995. I was 13 years old then. Thank god I have a father that’s an early adopter and loves everything new and exciting.

From the moment I realised I could upload an index.html file through the FTP to a server and THE ENTIRE WORLD (at least those who had internet) could access my website and see what I’d created, I’ve been hooked. It’s the same concept that’s kept me intrigued ever since.

After working with frontend stuff for over a decade I started our UX company Okse as a combined design and development company in 2013, but in August last year we went all in on UX.

We have high ambitions and are expecting to become superstars in the global UX community real soon! We just have to conquer Sandnes and Norway first…

Tell us about your favorite Statamic experience or project.

My best experience is repeated every time I can use Statamic on a new project. Paired with our small starter theme, it’s such a breeze to create something modern, accessible, and custom.

“It is so easy to make something that creates true value for our customers without them having to pay a high price for customisation.”

The serenity the flat files gives me is a huge plus. Knowing that if all else fails, I can always just edit the files, makes me experiment more and feel safer. Keeping everything in Git also helps. I digress.

If you could change one thing about Statamic, what would it be?

Disclaimer first: Statamic is awesome! But we have a specific way to build websites almost exclusively using what we call “content blocks”. The content blocks are replicator fields, and things can get complicated in the control panel UI when you’re building stuff. The one thing I would change are some tweaks to the UI to make it easier to administrate content built with the replicator field.

If all software were cars…what would Statamic be?

I love analogies and car analogies are the best! They’re so damn applicable to so many things, right? But I must be honest: this is a tough one.

I could’ve said the Porsche Panamera for the combination of speed and practicality. I could’ve said the original Beetle for it’s ease of customization, lack of unnecessary complexity and distinct style (some of your copy is hilarious). I could’ve said a Lego car because you know how all the pieces fit together without being a mechanic. But I’m going to go with the car that gives me the same feeling Statamic does: My good ol’ Mazda 6 2006 station wagon.

It’s such a comfortable ride, I know exactly how it works, and there’s nothing wrong with it. I always look forward to driving it, and I prefer it over any other car in almost any situation. It’s got the power I need (whooping 147 bhp, which actually makes it pretty swift), a towbar and a big trunk. There aren’t many things I’ve thrown at it that it hasn’t been able to handle. It even has a sweet, sweet audio system as a bonus. I’m getting carried away here, but the analogy stands!

Describe how you felt when you had that “lightbulb” moment with Statamic?

When I realized you could use fieldsets on just about anything. Oh man. The possibilities! Global fieldsets? Go ahead. Fieldset on assets? A blessing for accessibility and galleries. Partial field? You can include fieldsets!? Holy macaroni.

Also, keeping everything – including content – in Git? Come on! Also knowing that if everything else fails you’ve always got the files. Sweet serenity!

How did you find/choose Statamic?

I try just about everything I can find out there on the web, and I think I was on a flat file CMS spree. The deciding factor was that it had replicators and that it cost money. Paid software is a safer bet, and the Statamic cost is minuscule compared to the whole project cost. It also feel good to be supporting the people behind it and at the same time contribute to further development.

Tell us about your #1 feature request?

Partial field in replicators! The possibility to add stuff like default settings to our content blocks would be like getting a taste of heaven. See https://github.com/statamic/v2-hub/issues/723 😁

If you owned Statamic, how would you spend your first 100 days?

Within the first week I’d give you guys one goal: partial fields in replicators. Week two I’d give the “content block” way of building stuff some attention; remembering collapsed state in the control panel and differentiating areas more. Also I’d force you guys to add the ability to add classes to the fields in the admin based on their id/name (or something custom) so that we could style specific areas in a specific way. The remaining 86 days I’d let you do whatever you’ve been doing. It’s clearly been working up until now, and I’m in no place to break up a winning team.

What are you reading right now?

UX Strategy by Jaime Levy and catching up with everyone else on the Serial podcast.

Mountains or beaches?

Easy one: Mountains! Beaches suck. The sand gets everywhere, I don’t enjoy swimming and I don’t enjoy frying and sweating like a pig in the sun for a temporary tan. Give me a summit I can climb and a wilderness that challenges me over a beach any day! It really isn’t a dilemma at all. On a totally unrelated note I also enjoy bridges. Don’t ask.