Profile: Dale Herigstad

Jan 13, 2003  •  Post A Comment

Title: Founding partner, Schematic
What they do: The broadcast design and technology firm launched in early December helps content companies, advertisers, networks and distributors bolster their market positions through more compelling user interfaces, broadcast design and interactive television.
Background: Mr. Herigstad has worked in broadcast graphics for more than 25 years and spent 18 years as an independent contractor developing branding packages for ABC, ESPN, Fox, National Geographic, The WB, NBC and the CBS Winter Olympics. He started Schematic with Razorfish LA founder Richard Titus and Infospace founding executive Paul Taormino. It draws on Mr. Herigstad’s expertise in broadcast design and incorporates the technological possibilities of enhanced TV. “We take that business [broadcast design] and meld it with our technological background to design a user experience close to the screen,” he said.
Forces at play: Mr. Herigstad and his partners witnessed several “change factors” at play in the convergence of technology and television when they decided to start the company: control, mobility, interactivity and multiplicity. Through personal video recorders and video-on-demand functions, consumers now have the ability to control their TV experience. That experience, in turn, is growing more portable through handheld computers, wireless devices and phones. The ability to conduct transactions and exchange information is becoming more prevalent, he said, and multiplicity is the final factor. “Already on the screen there is a layering of information. I think that’s because the audience is ready to get more-more than one stream of information,” he said.
The interface: The firm’s focus is on evolving the user interface on the TV. “If the interface isn’t very good, the users won’t find what they are looking for and it will be a bad experience,” he said. One of Schematic’s first jobs is to redesign and upgrade the user interface for Cablevision’s digital television service iO: Interactive Optimum. Schematic has also worked with Turner Classic Movies to design the interface for the fantasy movie game the channel developed through its participation in the American Film Institute’s Enhanced TV Workshop.
Mission: “An trend I have seen in the last year is clients come to us with packages that are not yet interactive,” Mr. Herigstad said. “There is a different thinking that we do than traditional broadcast graphics firms because of the interactive element. The look and feel of what we are doing is layering enhanced and interactive elements on top of branding and marketing.”