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An egocentric story about a boy named Bob

It was the spring of ’94, I was born as the son of a photographer. No hair on my head and a little chubby. As time flew by I rapidly grew hair and lost the chubbiness, what a hell of a deal.

Let us fast forward into childhood – During the summer days I used to go to the beach with my parents and younger sister, I would stroll the whole length of the beach in search for shark teeth and shells. But this was not even the best part of the adventure, the best part started as soon as we got home: I would spent days on end organizing all the shells and shark teeth. Back then, I did not even know what “design” meant, however, subconsciously I was doing visual data management.

Bob Wassermann in his younger years

Back then, I did not even know what “design” meant, however, subconsciously I was doing visual data management.

As soon as I went to high school I started to develop an anti-pattern towards learning, I felt like the content was not managed properly. It took me about 6 years to realize how I could learn and really remember things: I created my first infographic for a history exam, and boy did I enjoy that moment. All events where eventually sorted in a visual hierarchy and everything was clear. I eventually graduated from high school with an A for the history exam.

Design changed me at that moment. It taught me the values of life, as blinded as I was by money before, it now no longer clouded my mind and thoughts. Money is just a medium of exchange, only granting a short period of happiness. This realization made me excited to learn more, knowledge is what drives us forward.

Money is just a medium of exchange, only granting a short period of happiness.

From that moment on I started designing, day and night (literally). I Attended Communication & Multimedia Design at Zuyd University in Maastricht and by april 2013, just a year later, I had founded my own business.

As the obsession evolved, I started to love typefaces and hate the world for all its bad design that surrounds us. From that moment on I deeply respect craftsmanship, the proper execution of any profession is truly art.

What I do

People often ask me what it is that I do. I do not even know how to properly answer that question. I usually say things like "I create websites" or "I design apps". I never seem to succeeded in telling what I really do, and here I am, in the middle of the night spitting out these words on my iPad.

A title

Every job has its title, we like titles, it keeps life simple. Here is the irony: my job is to make life simple for people while I cannot even think of a simple job title for myself. So I might as well explain what it is that keeps me up at night, fills my days and my mind.

I design interfaces and code websites. I could create your new company logo or an extraordinary business card. However, my occupations go far beyond that.

The title I initially assigned to myself was "designer". It was great , until I heard of the existence of a hair designer. I realized a designer can mean anything, so I dug deeper.

Product Designer

Eventually I ended up calling myself a product designer, it's a little vague, but fancy. It basically rests on the fact that I design (create) a whole product on my own.

Unfortunately, non-techies are (probably) not aware of the title (if you read till here, you are). Below I summed up some sentences that describe what I'm not, just to paint the picture.

Everything I'm not

Back to the conversation. "What is it that you do?" My best answer at the moment would probably be "I create websites".

What the person asking the question thinks: He is probably good with computers, he can code a website.

What I meant: I create media solutions for certain problems companies may experience. How could their website get more revenue and how do people see the company? Maybe they do not even need to have a new website, a flyer might do just fine. Wait, so I create flyers too!

In the end the conversation fails. I get the job for creating the website, while my illustration-, photography-, videography- and knowledge about users- (UX) skills are undervalued.

People tend to think I can create things because I have a certain computer with certain software, not because I have brains (read this sentence in the most non-douchey way).
I am a media designer, brand promoter, website coder, brand designer, promotion analyst/designer and public appearance manager.

tl;dr: Creative thinker, visual designer, coder

A man and his tools

I love to read about what the tools other designers use (thanks Jessica Hische, The Verge, Everyday Carry and Chaun Osburn & Colin Garven) and how they affect their workflows. So, here's my contribution.

I’d love to hear your opinion or about the tools you use.

Apps

  • Clear

    Clear

  • Dropbox

    Dropbox

  • Mailbox

    Mailbox

  • Mixture

    Mixture

  • Rdio

    Rdio

  • Sketch

    Sketch

  • Sublime Text

    Sublime Text

  • Transmit

    Transmit

  • Tweetbot

    Tweetbot

  • Writer Pro

    Writer Pro

Hardware

  • Retina MacBook Pro (Medio 2012)
  • Canon EOS 650D + STM Lens
  • Crappy LG 27” FullHD display
  • iPhone 5
  • iPad Mini Retina
  • Nexus 7 (testing device)
  • Wacom Intuos 4

I will photograph everything on this list, I promise. But I really, really had to launch this.

Reads

  • How to Win Friends and Influence People

    How to Win Friends and Influence People

  • Offscreen Magazine

    Offscreen Magazine

  • The Shape of Design

    The Shape of Design

  • Typoguide

    Typoguide

Bookmarks