Work Experience.

With 10 years of experience in User Experience Design for mobile platforms, I've produced a wealth of products for big media companies to small start-ups.
This page looks a bit crappy right now. I'm working on it.

De Volkskrant.
Jan 2017 - Current
Volkskrant Editie

In the beginning of 2017, I was asked to reimagine the digital PDF newspaper app of De Volkskrant for smartphones and tablet. I teamed up with their Art Director and we set out to ideate, design and prototype this new reading experience during weekly design sprints. The goal was to design a product that had the renown but also abstract "paper-y" feeling; a thing many people love about newspapers.

The goal for the product was to reduce churn in a specific target group while also trying to attract new subscribers.

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Key findings

By doing qualitive user research, testing our own prototypes, current news apps and copies of newspapers, we learned that the "paper-y" feeling didn't only come from touching the material. A couple of key findings from the target group:

  1. These people value experiences that they can finish more than experiences that never end.
  2. When these people flick through the newspapers, they feel exactly how far they are and how much pages are left. This gives them a high valued sense of control and progress. News apps don't give the same feeling because everytime they restart the app, the content can be changed.
  3. Less is more when it comes to articles. People are more prepared to pay for a smaller set of articles than an endless stream. Even if the endless stream also containes the same smaller set.
  4. Each page in a newspaper is tailor made and unique. This makes it more valuable than the generic pages with lists that everyone knows of news sites. Handmade triumps automation.

After a few of months of research, creating wireframes, designs, prototypes, user tests and strategy adjustments, the talented developers of Q42 started building the app during bi-weekly sprints. We continued to shave and improve the product until we launched a tablet app that had the "paper-y" feeling the target group wants and provided the editors with a way to express each page in their own unique way.

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Tasks

  • Ideate the future of digital newspaper publishing
  • Facilitate design sprints to try out numerous concepts in rapid time to validate assumptions
  • Create wireframes, flows, visual designs and prototypes
  • Conduct competitive analysis to learn how others solve the problems we face
  • Dive in to Google Analytics to see if we can learn about user behaviour
  • Analyse, process and prioritize user feedback in tangible improvements for the concept
  • Design reusable flows for onboarding, sign-up and checkout processes that adhere to the restrictions of Persgroep's legacy systems and GDPR
  • Write clear and short copy.
  • Support the user researcher during user tests by managing the viewing area and occasionaly do the interview
  • Support the product owner with the writing of user stories
  • Support the development team with their weekly sprints and release cycle
  • Support marketing with writing the business propositions

Results

In the months after launch, we saw the following results:

  • Ranked #1 in Apple Store and Google Play
  • The weekly user retention increased from 2 to 4 times per week
  • Increased average time spent from 15 to 22 minutes
  • The active subscriber base grew with 550%

In conclusion

De Volkskrant and it's publisher, De Persgroep, are extremely happy with these results. The increase in customer loyalty, average time spent and increase in active subscriber base are things to be proud of. It's not yet clear if this product eventually will help reduce the churn. Despite that, De Persgroep believes so much in this concept that it decided to whitelabel the product to try it out on different news brands like Het Parool and Trouw.
My own main take-away from this project is that good enough is the enemy of perfection, but perfection is the enemy of progress. There is a time for both.

Algemeen Dagblad & MyChannels.
Oct 2017 - March 2018

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MyChannels (formely known as MakersChannel) is a startup acquired by De Persgroep in 2017.

  • After being acquired by De Persgroep, I helped the MyChannel brand to integrate their video strategy into the mobile apps of De Persgroep
  • Conducted user tests with the users of the Algemeen Dagblad app to research what video means for them and how we could integrate it
  • Created wireframes, designs and prototypes to test hypotheses during user tests
  • Managed stakeholders of multiple departments to create a unified strategy

This project was a very political one. I learned a lot managing large groups of stakeholders with conflicting goals. Navigating between them was difficult and it was hard to keep the team happy.

Trouw.
May 2016 - Dec 2016

We built the fasted news website for the brand with the slowest news that requires no hands on deck.
In 2016 Trouw had a non-responsive website and a native app that was hemorrhaging money. The editorial team was also a skeleton staff and keeping their platforms fresh with new articles was a painful slow and manual process. They needed a new online strategy to answer the increasing mobile traffic while also reduce the workload for the team. Being journalists, they prefer to spend time writing articles.

  • Facilitate workshops to review current publishing processes and prioritize features
  • Research users to validate assumptions, user needs, user wants and user desires
  • Create wireframes and prototypes to test the user experience
  • Support the user researcher during user interviews
  • Design a fire and forget system to reduce the time needed to publish an article
  • Support the development team in bi-weekly sprints

Results

AaAA.

AAAA

Algemeen Dagblad.
Jan 2015 - Apr 2016
  • Add some content mate!
Carsom.
May 2014 - Dec 2014
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Carsom was a new initiative by Autotrack that aimed to make car maintenance more transparant by letting users compare quotes from nearby car mechanics. I got on board as a Product Owner and UX Designer to improve the user experience. It was a small team which allowed me to do a lot of different things. At Carsom I worked close with an external development team to reduce the legacy that kept Carsom from innovating. I redesigned flows to increase quote requests and designed a platform for dealers and car mechanics to automatically answer quote requests with detailed price and part information. We were able to do this by combining numerous data feeds.

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Tasks

  • Lead the product development together with the development team
  • Setup an Agile/Scrum process with an external development team
  • Redesign the B2C platform to improve conversion flows to get more users ask for an estimate
  • Redesign the B2B platform to improve response times from car mechanics and help them estimate the right price and order the right parts
  • Strategize the pivot from a cost-per-sale model to a micro payment credit system
  • Test different flows via A/B testing to improve conversion rates
  • Redesigned the backend systems to improve the experience for car mechanics
  • Research user needs through qualitive research and conduct user interviews

Honors

  • Nominated for DIA Most Disruptive Startup 2014

Ever since Carsom launched in 2012, the car industry was changing in a high pace. This made it hard to get the full commitment of partners to further develop Carsom and create more value for our users. We learned some hard lessons. With the loss of some strategic partners due to acquisitions, we didn't reach a critical mass in time to become selfsustainable. I left in 2014 to pursue a full User Experience Design career and the team eventually managed to sell Carsom to Bosch Car Service.

Tweakers.
Aug 2010 - May 2014
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Tasks

  • Responsible for the product development and user experience of Tweakers.net
  • Shaped the mobile strategy by redesigning the website into a responsive model and sunsetted the native apps
  • Worked close with developers and community to increase time spend on the website
  • Wrote release notes and blogs to introduce new features, do user research and keep in touch with the community
  • Contributed to Dutch IAB advertisement standards, guidelines and best practices

Awards

  • 2014: Best Website of The Year, Best and Most Popular News & Information Website, Best and Most Populair Price Comparison Website
  • 2013: Best News & Information Website, Best and Most Populair Price Comparison Website
  • 2012: Best Website of The Year, Best Community and Social Network, Best and Most Popular News & Information Website, Best and Most Populair Price Comparison Website
  • 2011: Best Website of The Year, Best Community and Social Network, Best News & Information Website, Best and Most Populair Price Comparison Website
VNU Media.
2009 - 2010
  • Responsible for the B2B and B2C email communications with prospects and customers
  • Designed and developed all the B2B and B2C email communication, such as newsletters and campaigns. I don't ever want to go back to this time again.
  • Defined KPI's and created dashboards to share results with stakeholders
  • Involved with the selection and integration of the marketing automation and list management platform

Side projects.

Besides my main projects, I frequently help brands out with smaller projects. I do these side projects to learn new things or just because I think it should be done.

Autotrack.
2017 - 2017

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Autotrack reached out to me when they wanted to rethink their mobile strategy. They were not happy with how the app contributed to their business results and figured a complete new user experience was needed. Before we started the design process, we decided more research was needed. We set up user interviews and tested the native apps to see what drives their users. We contacted potential car buyers to come in and use our app, while we gave them some tasks.

During the user interviews and tests it became clear that the app still fits the most prominent user needs. We did notice usability errors and found out that some features were too hidden. We decided a complete redesign was not neccessary. The simple and elegant no-nonsense concept of the app was still a valid idea. Instead, we focussed on improving the existing screens by making features like compare cars and save search queries more prominent, improved the usability of the filters and add a feature to remove cars from the search result lists.

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Tasks

  • Write user test plans and set up interviews
  • Conduct user interviews and analyse behavioral patterns of the native apps
  • Create wireframes and designs for low-effort high-profit solutions

While I would have loved to completely redesign the experience in the app, it became very clear during the user tests that it wasn't neccesary. As long as Autotrack doesn't want to pivot to a entire new strategy, a redesign would have been a waste of resources. This was a hard thing to present, but we get paid to do the hard things. I learned to seperate the things that we want to do and the things we really need to do.