Hello, I'm Gaël.

My name is Gaël van Heijst, 32 years old, grew up between two dialects in the south-west of the Netherlands. I've settled on the edge of the Veluwe Zoom, in a small village where (almost) everyone says hello to each other. I like to read books or check up on the vegetables in the garden.

I was five years old when I found an ancient shard in the backyard.

After dinner, I continued digging the hole I dug in the afternoon. Of course, my parents were very angry. Why are you digging up half the garden?

You know what you should do? You should become an archaeologist.

Nice work, I thought. Bringing worlds to life with your hands.

It was different though.
Because when I was ten, I drew my first website.

Actually, I was seven. At my parents' kitchen table, I sketched the 'Dream Machine 2000'. With a B2 pencil, out of the blue, on paper. Black frames on a white sheet, just like a wireframe. Everything you asked of the Dream Machine came true. At least, that was the idea. It just had to be built. A bit like a design sprint, actually.

Twenty-five years later, it's a computer and a pencil.

I feel at my best where the interaction between people and machine is created. I comb out customer wishes with precision and remain curious and critical. Whatever the issue.

Of course, a lot is happening on the surface.
But what lies at the bottom?

Standing there with your keys in your hand, four missed calls screaming for your attention. Trying to place an order in the pouring rain, typing on a soaking wet phone screen. Not an ideal user experience, in my opinion.

But maybe,
maybe the ideal experience does exist.


Oh, there it goes again.

Until then, we must be curious.

By sketching, designing, testing, measuring, moving and repeating this very long sentence over and over again, we get a little closer to a better experience.

That is why I am a UX designer.
Because things can always be better.

UX Design is a sum of parts. You design it together. Developers, strategists, project managers, analysts, management, ... . And - let's not forget - a UX Designer. One with a talk like this. Working alone is treading water, that is why I like to work together. Also with users. Especially with users. People know exactly what they want. As long as it is designed to be user friendly and as visually pleasing as can be.

That way I always stay curious, even when I grow up.

Curious about what I can do for you? Take a look at my work and services. Did it tick all the boxes? Let's have a chat. Then we can talk about your project, and how we can make something beautiful out of it.

Because above all, I am a maker.

— Gaël.

Lab Digital, Utrecht
September 2019 - Nu
Clockwork (part of Ordina), Amsterdam
Juni 2018 - Augustus 2019
Greenberry, Utrecht
Juni 2016 - Mei 2018
Gaël is an interaction designer with a great feeling for technology. Is able to create interactive prototypes as well as UI/UEX research and design in a short period of time. He also has a lot of knowledge and feeling for motion design.
— Alain Dujardin, Creative Director & Partner at Greenberry, board member Dutch Digital Design
Demola, Tampere (Finland)
December 2014 - April 2016
National Library Finland. University of Tampere (UTA). Technical University of Tampere (TUT). 
Msc. Human Technology Interaction (HTI)
Augustus 2014 - Juni 2016
University of Applied Sciences, Tampere - Finland.

Human Technology Interaction. Academic writing. Project work. Statistics. Persuasive Design.
Msc. Thesis: Transparency in Adaptive Mobile User Interfaces.
Bsc. Communication & Multimedia Design (CMD)
September 2010 - Mei 2014
University of Applied Sciences, Rotterdam.

User Experience Design. Screen Design. Project work. Creative coding. Concept Development.

Bsc. Thesis: Altruism in Interactive Media. Internship at Except, Rotterdam.
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