What I'm up to

On my /now page, I share what I’m currently focusing on, including my latest projects, interests, and activities, providing a personal glimpse into my life and work at this moment.

March 2024

I've grown to be a fan of Brutalism in websites. A design trend that borrows the same principles from Brutalist architecture (1950-1970ish). It emphasizes simplicity, rawness, and minimalism. It prioritizes functionality and directness over sleek, polished, and visually rich designs.

I feel that the influence of Brutalism on web design reflects a broader cultural interest in authenticity, straightforward communication, and a pushback against the highly polished websites that have become common. (Especially now. When anything can be faked.)

It's very punk. Very much like the DIY-attitude of black metal. It resonates with me on a deeper level.

My ideas for this site at the moment:

  • Add a photostream page, as an alternative to Instagram.
  • Create a Goodreads-like page.
  • Have a table of my favorite music recordings, with a rating and with a 'for fans of' column.
  • Add separate 'RSS feeds' for all of these things.

January 2024

I've switched my website from WordPress and Semplice to Eleventy, a static code generator. Although I spent a significant amount of money on Semplice, I'm aware of the sunk-cost fallacy. Eleventy offers more control over the site's design, making it more personalised. It helps me focus on user experience and presenting myself as a product designer. The site is hosted on GitHub Pages, and I'll add a colofon page explaining the setup, the process and tricks used.

These coming months, my goal is to explore the music sphere even deeper, carving out a niche in music technology, musicology, product design, and user experience.

I have several learning goals. I'm keen to explore musicology further, particularly ethnomusicology and cognitive musicology. I want to understand how we experience music on a deeper level.

I find the culture industry fascinating, especially how music became commercialised and its history. These topics are genuinely interesting, especially as I plan to be part of this industry by designing products that enhance users' musical experiences and creativity.

In addition to this personal project, I'm working on a complex Smartlab project professionally. It's an exciting puzzle that requires problem-solving and iterative expansion of ideas.

As for my health and mental well-being, I've started exercising more regularly and have a workout schedule for this year. I have a simple workout setup in the attic, using fixed dumbbells and a bench. I'll share a note with more details.

December 2023

Lately, my days have been a blend of professional pursuits and personal projects. Here's a glimpse into what I've been up to:

Continuing Professional Journey as Product Owner
My role as a software product owner at a radiopharmaceutical company remains at the core of my professional life. Balancing the complexities and challenges in this field keeps me engaged and continuously learning.

Diving Deep into Musicology and Technology
I'm delving into research papers on music technology and absorbing as much as I can. These findings are meticulously organized into my Personal Knowledge Management system that consists of Zotero and Obsidian, enriching my understanding and appreciation of the subject. (One day, I'll publish my Obsidian notes.)

Launching a Blog on Plain Text
I've recently embarked on a journey to share my passion for plain text through a blog. This project stems from an open-source idea I've been nurturing for a while. The blog is more than just a platform for my thoughts; it's an invitation for others to contribute and explore the magnificent uses of plain text.

Expanding My Website as a Personal Hub
I'm also in the process of transforming my website into a more comprehensive hub. It's a space that reflects all facets of my activities and interests. Although I'm fond of the Semplice theme, I'm mindful of how it can sometimes add a layer of complexity. And, I like my control.

Introducing a 'Uses' Page on My Website
To add more dimension to my website, I've introduced a 'Uses' page. Here, I share reviews and insights on the gadgets and software I'm currently using. It's a space where I give a peek into the tools that aid in my daily life and work.

November 2022

My wife and I welcomed Loki, our Shiba Inu puppy, into our lives. With Loki's arrival, life feels more settled, and it's beginning to feel like home again.

August 2022

Feeling a need to reconnect with my design passion, I found a role at Comecer Netherlands that perfectly combined design and product ownership. Here, we are developing a nuclear medicine workflow management system.

September 2021

We permanently moved back to the Netherlands after a brief stay in Russia.

July 2021

My wife and I decided to seek new perspectives, leading us to move around before settling back in the Netherlands. Here, I explored opportunities in product ownership, aiming to be closer to decision-making processes in product development. I eventually joined Kaios.ai as a Product Owner, adding to my skillset in this field.

September 2020

Despite several distractions and a rebellious phase, I finally graduated with my long-overdue BA in International and Intercultural Communication, achieving a grade of 8/10.

July 2019

I married my amazing wife, an illustrator specializing in technology products. Her work can be found at illustratorjulia.com.

February 2018

Bitfactory GmbH offered me a full-time position, prompting my permanent move to Stuttgart, Germany. I embraced this opportunity to further pursue my passion for product design, eventually becoming the lead designer and collaborating with an incredible team to build remarkable products.

August 2017

I ventured into entrepreneurship by starting a branding and corporate identity agency. This endeavor was a fusion of all my learned skills and experiences, aimed at creating a unique identity in the market.

February 2016

I started an internship as a Product Designer at Bitfactory GmbH. This role was a significant step in my career, as it involved designing for mobile apps and deepening my understanding of UI design, usability, and user experience.

November 2015

In the third year of my education, an opportunity arose to study abroad and complete an internship. I seized this chance and moved to Stuttgart, where I attended Stuttgart Media University.

September 2015

I began studying Visual Communication at Stuttgart Media University to further hone my media design skills. This experience allowed me to become proficient in UI design and UX research, solidifying my foundation in this field.

March 2013

I moved to Groningen to fully immerse myself in student life. This move marked the beginning of a new chapter, one filled with academic challenges and personal growth.

September 2012

After a failed attempt to become a primary school teacher, I embarked on a Bachelor of Arts in International and Intercultural Communication in Groningen. This period was a time of broadening horizons, understanding cultural sensitivities, and delving into sociology. I made friends from diverse backgrounds and cultures, enriching my perspective. My love for the scientific approach deepened, and with that, exploring music scientifically. A significant part of my studies was a course in media theory, reigniting my interest in media design.

November 1991

I was born in a small village in the north of the Netherlands. My childhood was filled with creativity and a keen interest in figuring things out. Early on, I found myself fascinated by computers, starting with an old MS-DOS machine in our attic. I would spend hours playing games like Prince of Persia and exploring drawing programs across multiple floppy disks. My passion for design began to emerge as I earned pocket money by creating MySpace pages and cover art for local metal bands. During this period, I also dabbled in music, starting with playing the bass guitar and experimenting with recording and digital synthesizers. My musical journey was brief, though, as my teenage attention span led me to other interests.