Blog of a nerdy designer

Yearly review: 2022

At the beginning of every new year, I take a look back at what happened in the year before. I don’t write this article for other people (although nearly 80 people read my review last year), but for myself. It’s writing-therapy. These yearly reviews are a way to reflect and learn, but also a ‘congratulations’ to myself. I often get the feeling that I didn’t accomplish anything, and with my yearly review I realize that my years are actually quite action packed.

New Rijswijk Talent Award: theme transition

Two years ago, I participated in the first edition of the Rijswijk Talent Award. It was a great experience. I got challenged to do something new, and got a lot of recognition for it (I won!). This year there was a new edition, and of course I couldn’t resist participating and even my daughter entered the competition! Transition #The theme this year was “transition”, which I found quite challenging. The concept is very vague and difficult to grasp, and at the same time applicable to nearly everything.

Usability testing a mobile app remotely: 4 simple methods

So you have a mobile app that you want to test with your target audience. Problem is, you are “here” and they are “there”. Remote usability testing is an outcome, but how to do this with a mobile app? For all methods below, it’s necessary to have a testplan and participants. The GoogleVentures Research Sprint has great resources to get you started. 1. A regular video call #The simplest and cheapest way to test a mobile app is to schedule a video call with your participants on their desktop or laptop.

Make your research reusable: the information library for UX Research

Of course, it’s great that you already store the results of your research in a place where others can find them. A folder of reports (in Sharepoint), a wiki (like Notion or Confluence), or maybe even a dedicated research repository (like Dovetail, Reveall, or EnjoyHQ). Sharing your findings in such a way will help in making your conclusions more accessible. But does it help you as a researcher? Diving into our information library (image by me, in collaboration with Dall-E)

Enjoy a puzzle for Easter!

Me hardcore puzzling Wet from snow we arrive at my parents’ house. “You’re here!”, my mom shouts. “Come in, your brother’s also just arrived”. I see him hunched over the table, looking at the newspaper, “I already have five”, he says with a smile. I wave to my dad and join my brother. “What’s the theme this year?”, I ask. It’s Christmas time. It’s puzzle time. Every year the local newspaper Dagblad van het Noorden publishes a Christmas puzzle with cryptic images.

So you want to solar panel?

Photo by Bill Mead on Unsplash We recently decided to get solar panels, and as always I dove into this subject with enthusiasm. Here’s a short recap of what I learned. We live in an old house, built in the 1920s. Last year we had new tiles installed on our roof, and we decided it was not profitable to install solar panels. Plus we were really happy with the look of our new roof!

Year review 2021

Another year, another yearly review. Vaccines didn’t kill Covid and we ended the year in a lockdown. Still, there was enough to be very happy for, and it feels like 2021 was a transitional year in a lot of respects for me. I have a good feeling about 2022. This yearly review is becoming a January tradition for me (here’s last year, the year before that and two years back) and it’s motivating to see how much I can do in a year.

19 tips for saving on heating — I’m dreaming of a warm Christmas

When you think about saving on energy, you probably think about big investments like solar-panels, floor-, wall- or ceiling-isolation and replacing window panes. Those cost time and money. I’ve collected a list of simple techniques and tools you can use to save on heating immediately. May you have a warm and comfortable Christmas! Photo by he gong on Unsplash Update October 2022: I’ve added four tips see “👋 New tip”. Fuck Putin 🇺🇦

Killed by good intentions

This is a story about a treacherous crossing and a saint in the municipality that tried to make it better. Sadly, this hero with his good intentions failed in his quest and has created a more dangerous scenario that will kill someone in the future. Killed by good intentions. I’m reading the excellent book “The 99% Invisible City: A Field Guide to the Hidden World of Everyday Design” by Kurt Kohlstedt and Roman Mars.

Ditch your personas. Here are 17 alternatives you can use

Personas are one of those ‘things UX designers’ do. Here are some alternatives for you to use! 💪 If I say persona, you probably have an image in mind of what they look like: a name and a photo, some sliders, a quote, etc. I call these ‘template-personas’ and they are not useful. At best they offer a false promise: research once, reuse everywhere. At their worst, they are misleading us with stereotypes.