Mike van den IJssel

Head of Design at B.made

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What would you do, if you weren't working as a designer?
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Hmm good question. Probably joining the military, but I also love to help others who have it harder in the society.
What design tool do you currently use?
Figma, After Effects, Blender, Illustrator and Photoshop are my basic tools.
What's your favorite band or artist to listen to while designing?
For maximum concentration definitely piano music, but most of the minutes go to 2Pac.
Your favorite font? :-)
Hmm, a lot, hahah! For now I go for Monument Extended.
Favorite book or movie (non-design related)
Narcos on Netflix.
What's your favorite color in hex or RGBa? (gradients are allowed too)
What was your first real/paid design project and when did you make it?
Oh wow haha, back when I was 15 (yeah, 15 years ago). I was designing posters for a local gas station.
If you could write something on the loading screen of all design tools, so all designers can see it, what would it be?
Don't make the logo bigger...
Did you study design, or are you self taught? And how did that path influence your work style?
I did a design study when I was 17, but before that I already worked as a designer. I taught myself most of it and I would recommend that to any designer. Discovering everything within our world, experimenting with tools and design fundamentals is the key to discovering where your designers heart lies and to gain skills. Always keep experimenting and embrace today's innovations to stay on topic.
The biggest innovation in product design right now is...
Remotely collaboration and interactive high-end prototypes. Love it, and your clients too! And definitely curious about what AI is going to bring us in the future. Embrace it!
With all the current experience, what would you tell yourself when you were just starting out?
Create, invest in your soft skills and create your vision on design. Besides that, deliver what you say you will deliver. The best designers are those who do what they say.
What do you think is the biggest problem in the design industry right now and how can it be fixed?
The digital transformation has accelerated enormously in recent years. This can give you the feeling that you are lagging behind what is going on today. Make sure you keep investing in yourself, so that you continue to believe in yourself and don't be afraid of the imposter syndrome. There is not 1 path to a designer's success, create your path. As long as you don't stop.
Conversation resumed: Jul 1
What do you think about Google starting their own UX Course? Do certificates like this look convincing if you ever planned to hire a junior designer?
Definitely, I love designers who are investing in their skills and knowledge. But to be honest, I don't judge designers on their papers but really on their skills, personality and motivation.
What’s your favorite non-design activity?
Spending time with family.
How can people learn design better? What should they focus on the most?
Create every day, keep experimenting, talk to other designers, visit conferences and meetups, keep reading (10 pages a day), surround yourself with people you can learn from, don't be afraid to fail, have confidence and enjoy the road. Coincidentally, I made a post for this topic on my instagram. There are even more tips!