How I work

Combining forces

My background as a product designer offers me a unique view on software development.

By combining design thinking, user research, a passion for game design and coding skills I have been able to develop a method that I believe leads to the best results for clients and end users alike.

I have come to call this method "Design By Doing". It focuses on making as much progress as possible, as fast as possible.

  • Bachelor degree: Industrial Design

  • Master degree: Design for Interaction

  • Game design experience: 4+ years

Design By Doing

I focus on generating as much progress as possible, as soon as possible. Progress can be working code or detailed designs, but also generation of crucial insight or vision for the product.

The faster we get it just right, the better.

Core principles

Design By Doing is guided by 3 core principles that I believe are true for product development where the user experience is key. These are based on both real-world experience and supported by best practices in the design field.

Product development is a process of learning.

It is almost impossible to know everything you need to know right from the outset, so you need to keep your eyes open for new insights that help steer the product direction. Continuous iteration is key.

The best way to learn is to do, see and feel.

The proof is in the pudding. No sketch, prediction, schematic or design document can replace the value of hands-on experience, especially for games and interactive experiences.

To react to new insights, stay flexible and light.

New insights are only useful if you apply them. To get the best result spend as little time as possible tying your future self down.

Making things happen

To achieve these goals, Design By Doing focuses on rapid prototyping as a means of doing design research.

Rather than designing everything up front (waterfall) or building as soon as possible (agile), my motto is to progress as fast as possible. A throw-away prototype can often teach you as much about a feature or the user experience as a real implementation, but can be built in a fraction of the time and does not have to be maintained.

Using flexible technology and advanced design research techniques, I am able to develop fast, focused prototypes. These prototypes can range from cardboard to playable game and from isolated features to holistic experiences. They allow us to see, feel and interact with the intended design before a single line of production code has been written. Further, they allow us to test with actual users and keep their needs and experiences central.

[Plaatje prototyping]

Ideal workflow

In my mind, design and development are not separate in the first phases of a project. A designer cannot design without a technical perspective just as a developer cannot develop without a strong design vision to guide them.
When these two disciplines join forces and cooperate on generating progress - that's when good things happen.

As the vision for the product becomes clearer and we home in on a viable design, these disciplines start separating and we get back to a usual workflow. Still, Design by doing does not have to end there. For any given feature or improvement in the lifespan of a product, the high-level design can usually be refined or validated using quick prototypes before significant development time is invested.

Vision informs prototypes, prototypes inform design and design informs development.

Ultimately, all that matters is a good end result. I believe this is the fastest, surest way to get there. If this approach sounds interesting to you or you have further questions, do not hesitate to shoot me an email!

Contact me