Robert Jan is one of the founders of Eend, a design agency in Utrecht. He’s interested in the humans who experience the human experience.
Robert Jan uses his ears for listening to people. To his clients. To the people who will have to use the final product. To his fellow designers.
This mouse and this mousepad are the things that get the things out of his mind into his computer.
Robert Jan uses his eyes for making, for observing, and for listening to sign language.
In the office Robert Jan walks around on his socks. It makes him feel more down to earth, and it just feels much better than walking around in tight shoes. He does put on his shoes when clients come by.
Robert Jan’s hands move all the time when he speaks. They go everywhere. He’s learning to take a bit more control over these enthusiastic gestures, since he’s learning sign language to speak to his colleague Marie.
Robert Jan’s head is where all the thinking, and most of the communicating occurs. And good, clear, and friendly communication is key to creating digital products that people want to use.
This is where Robert Jan works on the products he cares about. And this is where he works with the people he cares about. He takes real good care of the people who work for him, and he makes sure they work in a safe environment. He showed me a presentation about what it means to work at Eend. And once you saw that presentation, everything in it seems so obvious! Unfortunately not all companies treat people as obvious as Eend does.
This quote by Dan Saffer is the reason why Robert Jan does what he does.
Design isn’t just about problem solving. It’s about creating a more humane future. The human scale is essential to Robert Jan. We need to remember that we work for humans, who have to use the things we make. Many large IT-failures wouldn’t have failed so miserably if more people reasoned like Robert Jan does.
Robert Jan’s most important tool is a big, empty wall. This one needs a bit of improvement. Sticky notes don’t stick that well to it.