The importance of breathing the entire product before bombarding the company with your improvements.

This article will cover the difference between a Bootcamp and a design job, what constraints are, and finally why it’s important to understand your own product and their (past) choices inside out.

Working as a designer is not only about making a selection and test what the best design decision is for this case. Working as a designer is mainly about working with setbacks, constraints, and more constraints.

If someone asks me about the difference between a design Bootcamp & having a full-time product design job? I always reply the same. The major difference between working as a Webdesign freelancer…


Hey Chris, your welcome! and it's a great article for sure.

That's a really good point indeed, I have quite some brainstorm / design sessions with my Product Manager (as I'm the only designer). In which I always feel the need to make every piece great and original as well. I want to proof that I'm creative and know my stuff. This could really make it hard for me when I feel like I'm not going in the right direction.

And I agree with your "not liking" argument. I sometimes get feedback from my team like it's to shiny or to bright.. Interesting but what to do with it?

Awesome that I've inspired you to write a new piece. Looking forward to it!


Thanks for sharing this story Chris.

I fully agree with this visualisation super power you mention, and as you say it's not something that's always on top of mind. But I think that's with most skills. I remember when I studied economics & psychology and was never on top of class. I thought I wasted all my time there and learned basically nothing. Until I started my Masters in Serious Games and figured out that the way I thought was significantly different than the other students with no business like background.

How do you deal with the fact that this…


Times are tough, there are a lot of UX designers and even more aspiring ones. I’m a UX designer now, but I’ve long been on the aspiring side. The hardest part is: How to stay motivated…

A beautiful mountain covered by clouds, and we don’t know what’s underneath the clouds. But up here it looks gorgeous.
A beautiful mountain covered by clouds, and we don’t know what’s underneath the clouds. But up here it looks gorgeous.
A beautiful mountain covered by clouds, and we don’t know what’s underneath the clouds. But up here it looks gorgeous.

In this article, I want to talk to all the aspiring UX designers. I’ve been one myself for over more than 5 years. I thought I would never reach it, many times. I felt like giving up and moving on with my life outside of UX. I was at the point to call these UX training and invested time a waste of my years and future career.

I’m not here to explain to you what the UX process entails there are other great articles on that. I’m here to talk first about UX and how much overlap there is between…


How to design a visually stunning app while keeping it visually minimalistic.

Minimalism
Minimalism

These are stressful and uncertain times. We get overwhelmed by new messages about (potential) threats regarding our jobs, other pandemics and the economy and we are starting at our screen the entire day. Even when in the meeting we still look at our screen. This is really asking a lot of us and from our attention span.

As designers, we can have a positive impact on this now more than ever. Focusing on minimalism in our designs and keeping the design mindful.

In this article, I want to shortly touch upon the importance of minimalism in design and how design…


What to expect when starting out as a solo UX designer in a small company.

Person working in design software. Photo by Mimi Thian on Unsplash
Person working in design software. Photo by Mimi Thian on Unsplash
Person working in design software. Photo by Mimi Thian on Unsplash

First of all my apologies for not staying on track and sharing with you my stories. I had to finish my other job and also prepare for the new one. Cause even though I have practiced Design a lot in my free time and quite well know my ways around in the most popular design programs now has come the time for me to show my real added business value, rather than doing design challenges.

The main difference between the design challenge and this ‘real’ job is that now there is pressure. Most of my designs are either for improving…


As designer we are given the opportunity to make change happen. Now it’s time do to it for the better. Our precious world.

Beautiful island with a azure blue sea and white beach. The world gave us places like these, what we give it back is an ocean
Beautiful island with a azure blue sea and white beach. The world gave us places like these, what we give it back is an ocean
The world gave us places like these, what we give it back is an ocean full of plastic. We as designers can influence this let’s take our responsibility for the better and give back to nature rather than take it and destroy it.

Prior note and disclaimer
I’m about to turn 30 so take that into account when reading this story. I want to go a bit philosophical here. This because there are things going on lately that I never believed would happen in our lives. As we are as designers can have a huge impact on how things go from here onward I believe we should stand together as one and get back to the purpose that design once had.

“Making the world a better place by simplifying complex and brain draining tasks. Next to makes these simplified brain draining tasks more…


No way, I got an UX design job offer!

A boxer is entering the arena about to start his fight
A boxer is entering the arena about to start his fight
Entering the arena, let the games begin! — Photo by Attentie Attentie on Unsplash

Prior note
This is quite a personal story with little to no research behind it besides my own journey.

The wait is over now it’s time to prove that I’m worth it!

Don’t give up when you encounter setbacks, but be wise along the way. If you’re a real risk-taker go all out, and if you’re really dedicated you’ll probably make it. I know many examples of people that did it this way. If you don’t feel comfortable risking it all, then I’d recommend taking a well-calculated risk by still going all out in your passion but keep a small…


Part 2, the 2nd interview — I’ve done quite some interviews, and learned what did and what didn’t work during these.

Pouring whiskey in a open coconut, meaning I need a break.
Pouring whiskey in a open coconut, meaning I need a break.
Pouring whiskey in a open coconut, meaning I need a break — Photo by Misunderstood Whiskey on Unsplash

CONGRATULATIONS! you’ve made it to the next interview, that’s awesome!

You should celebrate this, I’m not the best example in terms of celebrating these successes.

In part 1 I was quite harsh to the recruiters that hire for a job that they have no clue about. Not saying the recruiter should be an expert on the job, but they should at least understand the practice. Cause some interviews are like a theater play and I rather keep theater as a hobby on the side.

If you missed it see below.

Before we go in to the 2nd interview I want…


I’ve done quite some interviews, and learned what did and what didn’t work. I’m glad to share these with you. Part 1.

A guy standing on a rock, ready for his new adventure
A guy standing on a rock, ready for his new adventure
A guy standing on a rock, ready for his new adventure — Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash

In this article I want to quickly touch upon the first interview for a Design job, and what it taught me.

My apologies for being quite harsh here, and I like to exaggerate a bit. It’s absolutely not that all recruiters are like this, and that all first conversations are like this. It’s more to share with you that if you’ve experienced it, you’re not the only one, it happens more than we hope!

A while ago I got a LinkedIn message from a recruiter of a big corporate company. The recruiter told me he was interested in my profile…

Maarten van Hoogdalem

I’m Maarten I share my journey how I became a Designer with no design background or art talent.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store