OMMA's Agency of the Year 2010: Best Web Design and Development: Rockfish Interactive

MarketplaceOnly a few years ago, Kenny Tomlin sat in a doctor's waiting room thumbing through a copy of Inc. with the magazine's notable "500" list. Rockfish was still just an idea in his head (Tomlin worked for Walmart at the time), but reading about the successful start-ups on the list, he knew where he wanted to be...on that list with Rockfish. Four years later when Tomlin picked up the latest installment of Inc.'s list, the company had made it.

This is the sort of entrepreneurial drive Rockfish was founded on, the sort that fuels Rockfish Labs, its in-house incubator for new technologies and the forthcoming Rockfish Brand Ventures, a fund to commercialize some of the company's independent projects as well as those of others.

You know those old jokes seaside towns have about being a drinking town with a fishing problem? Well, Rockfish Interactive may call itself a "digital innovations partner," but really it's a creative agency with a technology problem. It's hard to tell which is at the fore, because each is so dependent on the other.

But digital design and development ain't what it used to be. "Digital is so broad today," Tomlin says. "It's cloud computing, connected devices, mobile and because we are such a strong technology-driven business we do build a lot of platforms across all of these digital touch points."

Tomlin points out that even when you are making something for the Web you have to consider that some people may be viewing it on their phones or other devices. "I can remember when the only difficulty you had was trying to build an experience that worked in Netscape and IE the same," he says chuckling. "Today people are accessing content through all kinds of platforms and channels; that is why being so strong from a technology standpoint has really given us an advantage."

Rockfish closed out the year by launching a fully interactive site for client UnitedHealth Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to improving health care. The data visualization of the group's State HealthStats' annual rankings brought dense information to a wide audience. In Rockfish's hands, what once had been reams of charts and tables became an accessible animated map that bubbled up years of healthcare data and information on insurance. The result is characteristic of a Rockfish solution, showing what the agency can do with data.

Recommend (1) Print RSS