The article includes contributions by these gentlemen.
I wrote an article on Medium on the need for a true UX tool:
Nice to see Proto.io reply on Twitter.
— Proto.io (@protoio) July 1, 2015
This weekend I took some time to get to know Git. It’s software that helps you work with different versions of files. If you work with multiple people on a bunch of files, like software developers often do, Git can be of great use for dealing how to merge each contribution of new code. It also gives you a way to undo mistakes.
A couple of months ago I tried to understand it for the first time with some help via Skype, but it didn’t really stick.
These The New Boston videos helped me to understand the basics. I love The New Boston videos, because Bucky (the one who explains everything) never assumes you know anything and he always explains by showing how and then explaining why.
I also watched most of the C programming language play-list from The New Boston. Again, it’s great the videos start with the absolute beginning; in this case what program to use and how to install it to run C code. I’m not sure if I’m ever going to code a real program in C, but it’s nice to know a little bit about the grandfather of so many languages.
I’d like to give some examples of the type of tools I’d like to work on and why. Firs let me humbly explain my view on how the world works.
Motivation – Most people are motivated to do the right thing. They want to improve the conditions for themselves and if possible for all people. Think about what a Miss World would talk about:
Most people know the world as a lot of problems, and we would like to see it differently. In my believe we don’t have an awareness problem.
So what’s holding us back?
Understanding – The world is rather complex. A lot of interconnected parts impact how the world operates. How do people become homeless? And what does it take to get them back on a more stable track. It’s not simple and not easy  to fix this problem.
Feedback – When you try something new, you want to know if it had any effect. If the feedback is positive you are motivated to do more of it. When you try to take on the big problems like poverty and education the feedback loop feels broken.
Broken feedback comes in many forms:
How to fix it – Improve feedback loops,simplify where possible  and make it easy to take steps in the right direction.
The assumption is that things will improve when people have a greater understanding of what is going on and it’s easier to take actions and learn from them. This reasoning gives birth to unlimited opportunities and ideas worth investing in.
Some examples of possible tools:
How about making money?
Both for my own sake and because it enables the investment in the long term impact of these tools, profitability is an essential part of the equation.
Obviously the business model shouldn’t infringe on the primary purpose of the tool. It wouldn’t make sense to provide advertisements inside a tool that was created to help prevent manipulation by lobbyists. In the same way that FIFA should not have McDonald’s as a sponsor .
So this is the rough road map for me to move forward on. It has a clear focus and it’s extremely diverse. It can include small prototypes and projects that take years to mature. There is a lot to learn and a lot to do. Let’s get going :).
[ 1 ] Simple made easy
The link is to a presentation that explains simple versus complex and easy versus hard. Easy are things that are ‘near to us’, that we understand quickly, that require little effort. Simple is straightforward, with no (or few) intertwined parts. Something simple like losing weight can be very hard to do.
[ 2 ] To quote Einstein – “Make things as simple as possible, but not simpler”
It requires deep understanding in order to simplify something complex and stay true to the nature of what you are trying to convey. This means that for designing these tools, the designer needs to become somewhat of an expert in the field the tool deals with.
[ 3 ] Google Play – Idea Growr
Android app I made for the purpose of helping people to grow their ideas.
[ 4 ] Google Play – Personal Life Goal Goach
Android app I made to help people set and keep track of their personal goals.
[ 5 ] Google Play – My Picture Books
Android app I made for the purpose of making it more fun to read with your kids by enabling you to add sounds to the pages of your books. Another angle to this app is that it makes it easier to take a whole bunch of books on a trip, because you only need to take along your tablet.
[ 6 ] Sugar Fat Salt
An idea that I have not fully worked out yet, that makes it easier to understand how healthy your food is.
[ 7 ] FIFA – Who we are
FIFA states: “Promoting health through playing football and using the game as educational platform”. Somehow this coincides with having McDonald’s as a sponsor.
I’ve put this same text on the about me page.
I wanted to find out if I could use Stackmob (https://www.stackmob.com/) to create a back-end for Idea Growr and other future projects. I did some tests last week and decided not to go for it.
4 reasons I will not use StackMob
The whole reason I wanted to learn some development skills is that I want to be able to show the potential of an app (/tool) in a real life working prototype. I can now to some extend do this, so I should focus on finding partners, coming up with interesting ideas for the app for marketing and business development. Also I can create more working prototypes and put some extra effort in how I present myself as a freelance interaction designer. So, aside from some interaction design work for a client, I will be busy with those things in the next weeks.
This marks the beginning of juliushuijnk.nl a new website I have set up to inform you about me.
I used to devote almost all of my time to FourceLabs, the company I co-founded in 2009 with Karel and Adriaan. And while I’m very proud to have been part of this company, with great projects like Chick’n’Run, it feels good to have closed that chapter and being able to start afresh.
So now it’s time to forge a new plan. There is no hurry, so I’ll take my time to do some pet projects, talk to people, have fun and learn a few new skills. On this blog you can keep track of those things.
To make this post more visually appealing, I’ll end with a series of pictures I once took, that is meant to communicate growth and playing with your breakfast.