I am an Eindhoven-based UX designer with specialized skills in application development and sound engineering.
I am a digital user experience designer with practical experience and strong theoretical knowledge in the fields of application development and sound engineering. My skills excel the most, when functioning as the gap between design and development, as I know how a developer thinks but highly value a great design. I work in a process-oriented way while being solution focused to increase efficiency and quality. While I have always been someone who can easily adapt to, and work in multidisciplinary teams, I am perfectly able to work autonomously.
During my study I did courses and focused on activities that would increase my abilities as a designer who puts emphasis on the user. I put those abilities into use during various projects. Through these experiences, I worked in different professional environments, being able to contribute to any stage of a project in a iterative, incremental, or agile way.
One of my weaknesses is that I ought to focus too much on a certain activity, prioritizing it above other (potentially more important) things. I try to compensate for this with stronger planning, but I do not want to limit the quality of the end result because of this. I am also very enthusiastic, and express what is on my mind too quickly sometimes. This can result in unthoughtful expressions, but also original, out-of-the-box idea's.
I see creation as one of the most important abilities that were given to the humanity. From the invention of the wheel, to the development of a solar panel, humans have always created things to accommodate their needs. Design is located at the foundation of this, as the design dictates each and every functional and emotional aspect attached to an object. By perfecting designs, humans have evolved through era's in a planetary society.
As our society has seen a rapid incline of industrial, technological, and scientific developments, a lot attention has been given to designing devices functionally. This caused many new problems that had to be fixed with later design iterations.
Nowadays, we are in an age where our designs are getting closer to ourselves. Psychological and behavioral knowledge is combined with the possibilities that technology allows us to use, resulting in products getting more and more integrated in our daily workflow. As the number of devices around us grow, the number of interactions do too. Technologies like augmented reality, computer learning, and countless more, open up possibilities to integrate designs seamlessly into our daily lives, and bring it closer to ourselves. Something that is becoming more relevant with each new invention.
Some more than 10 years ago, my great interest in computers and the overall digital environments caused me to start designing and developing website's for myself. Next to creating websites, I also started producing some music. Little did I know at the age of 11 what a good design was. I was just creating things that were looking and sounding nice in my opinion. Because of this early exposure to these technologies, I learned a lot of relevant skills very naturally. At the young age of 14 I was already able to code entire web applications from scratch. Not only the development part caught my interests though, but I also took it upon myself to do the graphic designs. This learned me the basics of working with software like adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. During the same time, I also started taking music production more seriously.
Due to this long period of being computer-savvy, I was certain that I wanted to study informatics and computer science. After giving it a try during my first year at the TU in Eindhoven, I figured that I was missing the human aspect. The content was too theoretical, and it did not focus at all on the human that was going to use the product.
After being introduced to the study of Industrial Design, I quickly realized that this might be a study that would satisfy my needs. It allowed me to combine my skills with my creativity, and grow on a professional level in area's which I never even thought existed. During the first two years I followed courses that would support me as a designer. I gained knowledge on the fields of user & society and business & entrepreneurship. By doing projects I applied this knowledge in practice and reflected on my growth, to see how I can increase the quality of my future work.
In my last bachelor year I did an internship at Philips Design, where I was able to work fulltime in a multidisciplinary team, gaining a lot of knowledge on design and research processes, as well as achieving a professional level of teamwork and communication. It was here where my confidence as a designer was established.
Currently I am working on my Final Bachelor Project about UI sounds. This project, requested by Philips, enabled me to combine my two main interests in user experience design and sound design into one thing. The project being initiated in January and running till July requires me to design a sound library, as well as guidelines on how to use this library for implementation in Philips products. As I have been mostly designing for the visual modality, it became a new challenge to try and do a structured design project on the auditory modality.
During this project I successfully combined knowledge on multiple expertise area's to create a solid deliverable for Philips. From user testing through self-developed applications, to pitching the benefits of considered sound design to stakeholders.
After successfully finalizing my bachelor in Industrial Design, I want to give myself the opportunity to work and put more hours into producing music. As I am signed to BMG/Talpa, providing me with opportunities to produce music for dozens of artists, as well for TV, I believe that I would regret it, if I decided not to pursue steps in this direction.
During this year as a music producer, I will also be working a part-time job as a UX designer at Philips, where I will have the opportunity to continue developing my area's of competence as a designer. After one year of experiencing both sides of my story I want to do a Masters study. Although I am not sure whether to do a masters in Industrial Design, or Human-Technology Interaction, I am sure that after working for a year, on the things that I am most interested in, will show me which direction I should take.
I have always highly valued the aesthetics of a design, and I always relied on my creativity to reach the aesthetics in the designs that I was creating. This can be traced back in my history as a web designer, as I was focused more on 'making it look good' and 'making it easy to use', rather than creating something new and problem-solving. During my studies I did a lot of courses and activities that helped me understand creativity and aesthetics better. I learned to approach the creative process in a more structured way, and not only by letting my mind run free. This resulted in designs with a better substantiated foundation, not only assuring a more qualitative end product, but also opening the possibility to reflect on design choices, and improve the designs in an iterative way with new information.
The countless design/research methods that were introduced to me during my bachelor, made me a very versatile designer employable in a wide range of design / research projects.
Technology and Realization has always been one of my strongest competencies, as I have always been clever with computers. By using my creativity to think about new ideas, my competence in the Technology & Realization area made it possible for me to realize these ideas. If I had trouble with achieving something that I had in my mind, I would go through trial and error to try and figure it out. If trial and error did not work, the infinite information source that can be found online would help me. By doing this countless times over the course of the last couple of years, I have acquired a fully autonomous problem-solving way of thinking.
Having a fair amount of experience in the area of Technology and Realization, I have spent a lot of time during projects and courses helping other students grow in this field. This would solidify my knowledge and give me a deeper understanding on the different skillsets like programming and prototyping.
One of the competence area's I grew in the most is User & Society. Before starting my studies as an industrial designer, I mostly designed intuitively and with my gut feelings. Doing courses and projects which revolve around the user, made me realize that there were countless ways to design with the user in mind. This allowed me come to a point where I can operate from multiple different perspectives and reflect on the design in different ways.
After a dozen of designs, and experiences on a professional level, I have come to see user centered design as an inherent part early on in the design process. Especially in the field where I am operating in (digital designs), the user is the most valuable stakeholder. What this competency also means to me is the ability for a designer to design something that benefits society. This taught me to not only look at how a design can be created to fulfill it's initial superficial purpose, but how to consciously design something that can benefit every stakeholder and the environment in the long term.
Before I started this study, I had very little entrepreneurial knowledge. Economy and management studies have always been my weaker point during middle school, and I did not actively practice it enough to see any progress. This all changed when I got introduced to industrial product design. Reflecting on my performance after my first year made me see that I was very inexperienced in this area of expertise. Being aware of this, I chose to follow the USE Business & Entrepreneurship learning line. With three courses that focus on the entrepreneurial skills and knowledge, I learned quite some important things that can be applied both during, and after the design process. It can generate new information and new opportunities to research, but it can also help push the product to the markets.
I also find out during my internship period that the skills that fall under these area of expertise, are of great use for any designer. Professional communication with stakeholders is important, and identifying risks in an early stage can make the road ahead seem easier. It is important to consider the business-side of a design.
Utilizing this area of expertise can benefit a designer in a lot of ways. As I started my academic journey, I had a fair amount of knowledge on the basics of math's and data handling. It was later that I learned how to correctly implement it, for it to be of reliable use for any type of project. By combining my knowledge on programming, I automated the analysis of quantitative data in multiple projects. This resulted in a much more efficient way of user testing and data extraction.
I do think that I have capabilities in this area of expertise that I yet have to explore. By integrating for example machine learning into my designs, a whole new dimension of communication between the device and user can be added. I expect to utilize such techniques in the near future with other projects, as I believe that such 'smart' designs will eventually result in more conscious product design and development, benefitting the user and society.
Approaching my final bachelor year, I gradually started to understand the importance of a solid design/research process. The quality of the execution depends for a big part on the chosen process. Different processes are applicable to different types of projects. In my first year as an industrial design student, I got acquainted with this area of expertise during the From Idea to Design course. I did not realize the importance of the process, up until Project 1, where the progress was slow at the beginning, but as soon as we figured out the importance of the steps that we had to take, the importance of the project process and structure jumped to light. By carefully reflecting and planning during the next projects, the reliability of the outcomes would increase.
I feel that I have booked a lot of progress within this area since the beginning of my academic career. I remember not enjoying group projects. Mostly because I was always skeptical about the abilities of my group members, while I thought of myself as a 'perfectionist'. This caused me to do a lot of work autonomously, and sometimes even do the work of other people because I was just not trusting them to do the right job. Being aware of this at the very beginning of my studies I have actively tried to change for the better. Looking back almost 4 years later, I can say that I successfully overcome this bad trait, and learned to put more trust in the people that I am working with.
Through the years I realized the importance of being empathetic and looking from various perspectives. This opened me up a little bit more as I became more for receiving and giving constructive feedback. My level of professional communication also went up. After being active as a designer in different types of environments, I had the chance to do a lot of presentations and pitches. During my internship I also spent time working in a project group that used scrum at the foundation of their project. By doing daily meetings, a retrospective every two weeks, and a presentation after every sprint, I learned to communicate in a professional way.
I always had a deep interest in the most different kinds of things. The underlying motivation to learn about the things that interested me resulted in a quite impressive skillset and a very broad knowledge. The study of industrial design shaped me from an unpolished stone to a designer with a useful amount of knowledge on how to run projects from the beginning to the end. The most important things that had a role in this was training my ability to reflect on choices, as well as setting smart goals working in a structured way. I started my academic career with the thought of these things being useless and a waste of time, but after experiencing clear improvements on my way of working it became evident that it is maybe one of the most important skills that there is.