Running in 2018

Didn’t reach my goal, yet, 10k at a 4.00/km pace. Next year. Overall 2018 was an awesome running year, running over 800 km, alone, with family, friends, colleagues, in the rain, snow, sun and in different countries.


New challenge

After 3 years working as a UX manager for KLM, one of the Dutch corporate icons, its time for a new challenge.

This week I joined, a new Dutch icon. I will be responsible for Product Design.

I had an awesome time at KLM/AirFrance and I look back on a great time with great people.

KLM, Royal Dutch Airlines, somewhere above France
KLM, Royal Dutch Airlines, somewhere above France

Design Strategy

Discussing Design and Data at the Dutch Design Week 2018

Last week I was invited to discuss Design and Data at the Dutch Design Week, a discussion led by Kees Dorst.

It was an interesting discussion. There is this moment where data either scares or enables. What is surely does is that it changes the role of the designer.

Data, machine learning, Ai, is something that has some form of autonomy. It’s either too big to control or it doesn’t tell us how it did what it did.

From architect to planner

Designers are used to be completely in control. In my view we’re making a shift from operating as an architect, who has a lot of control on the outcome, to the role of a city planner, who has limit control of the outcome, but more control of the playing field.

This also changes the capabilities a designer needs. (Digital) design is still growing up, we’re talking to different stakeholders on different levels than we did 10 years ago. Some of the worlds most valuable companies are design driven. Design is seen.

We’re being offered a seat at the table to drive from a persons view and advocate User Centred Design. To do this we must feel comfortable in new domains.

10 years ago you needed to know how a computer operates.

Now you need to know what data can do, how to read it and how to leverage it.


How to stop the #internetofshit from happening?

Technology has become a fundamental part of the fabric of our lives. It’s taking over our house, cities and cars. It defines how we travel, date and connect to friends and family.

The always connected smartphone was as a firestarter. It created the fabric for a lot of services to build upon. It’s the device you take to the bathroom and bedroom. It’s the screen between you and your partner.

While smartphones brought us here, they won’t take us to the next step.

The future is this magic symbioses of smart devices and services all around you.

It’s your car remembering who you are. It’s the friendly voice reminding you not to forget to bring the gym clothes for your kids, again.

It’s technology as a layer that is omnipresent, device independent.

Finally everything becomes smart… right?

The problem
Unfortunately we all know this isn’t happening. The open view that brought us the web is gone. Closed systems and vertical integration won. They succeeded in bringing us the best user experience. Think about Amazon, Apple or Tesla. Total control is awesome, right?

But this doesn’t really scale, does it?

Apple can’t build all the technology you want to use in your life, even if you would like it to. The reality of a lot of connected devices and services that surround you all day is much more complex be controlled by just one company.

The next level is open-closed relations. Where you design a great singular experience while offering services from partners, integrated while separated.

And since you will need each other at different moments the relationship is not a winner defines all.

To make it worse, the experience is moving from a single private device to a range of different interfaces being used at different moments in time, some will have screens, some will be public, others will just use voice, or sensors and can be private.

The main question is. How do we design for these open-closed relations?

The proposal
I don’t know the answer, but I do want to find out.

I believe that design for these complex ecosystems of closed companies is one of the most challenging design problems we will face in the next years.

Towards SXSW I will interview designers on how they are approaching this problem. At SXSW I will present the findings and a framework how we can design for these situations.

If you like this idea, please vote on it when voting opens.

Design Strategy

Keynote Shift of Designer’s roles

The presentation on the shift of designer roles I gave at UX Riga can now be found on SlideShare.

Wilbert Baan: The shift of designer’s role | UX Riga 2018 from UX Riga

The shift or roles and responsibilities for designers @ UX Riga 2018

Had a great time giving a talk at the UX Riga conference on how roles and responsibilities for designers are shifting.

As the (digital) experience is becoming a ‘system’ challenge we move towards different ways of working and involving more people into the design process.

This has its effect on the skills designers need. Shifting from makers to change makers.

Great event, lovely city, wonderful people.

Design Strategy Generative Design

SXSW 2018 report

I visited SXSW for the third time and wrote a report for the Dutch Design blog It’s in Dutch, although Google Translations does quite a good job in translating it.

I visited mainly design talks. The biggest take-out for me is how design is changing from interfaces and experiences towards a system level. Taking into account everything that happens in and around a system, it’s a big opportunity for designers.

Design Strategy

This is Service Design Doing

I contributed to the book This is Service Design Doing as a reviewer. It’s a book about Service Design in practice and a follow up on This is Service Design Thinking. A great book about the practices of service design and how to apply it in your work.

You can now order it over at Amazon: This Is Service Design Doing: Applying Service Design Thinking in the Real World


On Changing Your Mind…

I never liked running, it always seemed boring and pointless.

With three small kids and changing to a job where I’m in the same office a lot – which I also reach by car – running became the easiest maintainable solution to get some extra movement during the week.

It’s convenient, you just put on your shoes, go out and you’re done.

Changed my mind
After two summers and now my first winter I have totally changed my mind about running. I no longer hate it, I really love it.

Being outside for a while. Trying to get better and faster with every run. I’m still surprised that something I did not like at all became something I now love.

Apple Watch + Strava
Over the past years I tried a couple of different devices to track my activity. It started with Fitbit devices (Classic, Flex, Charge), then the Pebble 2 and eventually I ended up with an Apple Watch 2nd generation.

I used Nike Plus for a while, only it failed on me a couple times not recording a run (once at the start of a race). Since 2018 I’m back on Strava and I really like the community and dashboards.

Apple Health
I’ll make sure all of my data goes into Apple Health. It’s amazing how good of a hub Apple Health has become. It’s really nice to have one place where you can collect all kinds of different data about yourself and build a dashboard.

I’m still frustrated that I have years of activity data in Fitbit and I’m not able to get it out into Apple health. I basically had to start over again.

2018 targets
My first target was to finish the 8k, afterwards it became the 8k under 34 minutes and being able to run to the beach and back. Which I now all completed.

For the end of this year the target is to run below 4 minutes a kilometer for 10 kilometers in a row.

Strava data
Strava data