Every product we use or interact with, should be a valuable addition to our lives. Only when a product or service is designed in a way that the end user is put in an environment where he can move freely, without constraints, he can truly express himself. The ability to express creativity is probably one the most important needs one has.
Only when a developer imagines the user, the product, its interaction and its environment, in every step of the developing process, a good product can be achieved.
How I approach my work
If the focus of a developer (or a designer for that matter) is purely on writing good, functional code, the final product is missing out.
An interaction designer can create a wonderful intuitive design, but if the developer does not understand the vision and goals of the design, the product will never reach its full potential. The developer needs to imagine the user, its product and their interaction in order to translate this in useful interactive code. On the other hand the technical knowledge a developer has can inspire an interaction designer, and together the concept will be brought to a higher level.
So, the developer has to have more skills than solely writing perfect clean code. He needs to be a creative thinking team member.
This is what I love about what I do;
I am the one who gives the product its heart beat. In the team we create awesome interactive concepts and beautiful visual designs and then I pick them up, write my code and suddenly there is a cool new tool to experience the world with.
Stuff that makes my heart beat faster
Interactive installations / Physical computing
During my study, I discovered the world of interactive installations, and it stole my heart. It is one thing to let a computer do what you want with a mouse or keyboard which transfer the input, but take them away and give user other tools to interact with and it gets really interesting. Imaging using oddly shapes objects, or maybe even your whole body to achieve a reaction in a creatively build/visualized interface. When Arduino's or Raspberry Pi's are thrown in the mix, I can not only work on the software, but also on the hardware. Needles to say, my home is becoming more and more automated.
During the third year of my study, we created a system in which kids stood for a large screen (8 x 2.5 meters). Then, by jumping up and down, the projected water showed their fluctuation in waves. On these waves boats were floating which should move from the left to the right side of the screen, by means of these waves. In my fourth year, I took part in a group which created a game for the Microsoft's Surface Table. We created a social, face-to-face gaming experience on this massive super sized tablet.
During my graduation, I developed a system in which the user could operate a computer without ever touching anything. No controllers, no gloves, solely pure motion.