Breda, Netherlands ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ

Rianne van de Rijt

UX Researcher

Hey! Iโ€™m Rianne, a Dutch UX/UI designer and researcher based in the Netherlands. I'm a nature and running enthusiast, so you can mostly find me outside when I'm offscreen.
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What is your company and job title?

Currently, I am working remotely as a UX Researcher and Designer at Luxottica, a company based in Milan (๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น) that houses eyewear ๐Ÿ•ถ brands such as Ray-Ban, Oakley and Persol (to name a few) and houses other optical eCommerce sites. Here, I work within the CRO team conducting exploratory research and design to optimize the online experiences of customers.

Meanwhile, on the other hand I am planning to grow my side hustles and I've started freelancing as a UX/UI Designer. Focussing on web based passion projects in the realms of running, hiking, yoga, wellbeing, arts & crafts and other related topics sharing my expertise with others.


Where are you based as a UX/UI designer?

For almost 4 years I can call Breda (๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ) my home now. The Dutch city is known as 'the pearl of the south' possibly referring to it's beautiful canals and that it's surrounded by woods. Within a 30 min bike ride ๐Ÿšฒ I can be in one of 5 main nature parks surrounding the city.

Breda also has its very own UX Festival! Called UX Insight, which is in April and I really liked attending it this year. It was a very insightful event, great for connecting to UX professionals.


What led you into UX/UI design?

I pivoted quite a bit but design was always my north star ๐Ÿ’ซ

My studies were all in (Graphic) Design. I actually achieved 3 diploma's, one in the Netherlands which led me to do an internship in Curacao ๐Ÿ (Honestly, I mainly went there so I could go scuba diving for 6 months ๐Ÿคฉ). Then moving on to getting a BA and MA in 2,5 years at the University of Lincoln (๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง).

After my education, I briefly worked as a book designer, I love to read stories. However, I realised that I found digital design more interesting. I started working as an in-house Visual Designer for a retail company. It was there in the UX & Design Team that I first came in contact with the nitty and gritty of UX, instantly loving it!

The behavior and psychology side of UX is what led me to then transition into a UX Design role in Brussels (๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ช). Catching up on many behavior design principles such as the BJ Fogg Model and Zeigarnik Effect.

Never being able to sit still I am now venturing deeper into the realm of CRO (Conversion Rate Optimisation) and Research.


Why are you a UX/UI designer?

People are super interesting to observe, who doesn't love to sit on a terrace on a market square just to watch how people walk by? (me!) Take this online, add in visual design and business goals and there is a whole new level of complexity. It's this super interesting puzzle I love to solve.

This is also exactly why 'only' doing graphic design wasn't working for me. A design would be largely judged by the preference or liking of clients.

In UX it's all about how users interact with the design, what works, what doesn't work, experimenting, validating, testing. I feel more 'in-touch' with my design knowing that something works and it fits the users needs.


What does a typical day look like for you?

๐Ÿ™‹โ€โ™€๏ธ Good morning, to all morning people! I definitely belong to that group. I usually start my day with a cup of tea and a good breakfast, some yoga or a morning walk/bike ride + podcast. I never leave my house without having breakfast first.

When I return from my walk I aim start the first 2/3 hours of my work day in 'focus mode'. I tend to work in silence or listening to some low-fi music. It's in the morning when I am most productive and aim to do all my 'focussed' work jumping in Figma, map out users flows and setting up strategy and research reports.

After lunch time I switch to something more 'up-tempo' or tune into some radio. Afterwards it's great to do some brainstorming and more 'free flowing' kind of work. It's also in the afternoons that I aim to plan most of my meetings and workshops (doesn't always work).

Usually ending the last hours of my working day with answering emails and planning a to-do list for the next day. At the end of the day I love to wind down on a run ๐Ÿƒโ€โ™€๏ธ


What is your current desk setup?

  • Recently I moved my desk to my living room, promptly in front of a big window which has the best light setting in my house. The major benefit is that I have the best setting to spend time staring outside, watching clouds.
  • When I do design work I always work with a Wacom tablet. I don't even know if that is old fashioned now, I have been working with one since 2012 ๐Ÿ˜…
  • What I still need: a proper standing desk to be more flexible and think about my posture and all that. So any tips on that are more than welcome!
  • Don't know why that mouse is there, I hardly use it. Recently, I also obtained a wireless keyboard, that I love!
  • Keep your notebook and fineliners close! It's an easy way to doodle during meetings, and jot down a quick idea or wireframe.
  • And a must have: some desk plants ๐ŸŒฑ


And your Workstation setup across devices?

  • The apps on my phone are (partially) sorted by color (funnily, my actual bookshelf is not)
  • With the exception of the apps that I use more frequently for running, nature guiding, work, or my business.
  • On my MacBook I am still team bottom toolbar, but keen to explore swifter ways of working. I try to keep it tidy mostly navigating between apps using CMD-Tab or CMD-Spacebar to search ๐Ÿ™‚
Learn UX/UI live โ†’

What work are you most proud of?

Maybe it's uncommon, but I would like to highlight something here that is still a work in progress.

As a huge ambassador for passion projects, I would love to highlight one of mine here. Already I am really proud of the ideas that are taking shape and because it's a collaboration with my dad.

My dad is a beekeeper and to promote his honey locally the idea emerged to create his own personal branding and website. He also has some funny (Dutch) sayings which would fit perfectly on a decorative tiles. We're now working on setting him up with a decent website, webshop, instagram, logo, hell maybe even some apparel. This is where the design juices start flowing! I look forward to work on it more.


Which Product recently blew your socks off?

Ever felt bored? And beating yourself up over it? Not anymore being bored online never felt so good. It is websites like this that remind me that it's better to have a fun and engaging website than a boring one that no one wants to explore. Combining the art of whitespace and simplicity, as Mari Kondo would say, to 'spark joy'.

Rediscovering the beautiful simplicity and joyfulness potential of Web design:


What challenges do you face as a UX/UI Designer?

Time is my biggest challenge (isn't it everyones? ๐Ÿ˜…) and focussing is the runner up. My mind tends to get chaotic so that's why I aim to have a 'system' in place for routines and ways to create a more 'productive' mindset.

On a UX/UI level my biggest challenge is keeping my attention to detail even if I am working on a project that takes a few months. Variation is key here, everyone zones out a bit if you keep staring at the same screen for too long.

Honestly, I think my biggest challenge is to get away from my screen, to not get too 'stuck in the work'. That's why I value my offscreen time even more. A few years ago this was the sole reason of becoming a nature guide, taking the story telling that I love in design offline, by taking people on a 'journey'. Not a customer journey, but an actual adventure. Showing them how intricate nature is, and sharing my interest in plants and animals.


What tunes do you listen to whilst designing?

When I am working I mostly don't want to be disturbed by too much 'language'. My work can range from designing in Dutch and English, meanwhile talking to colleagues hearing Italian. Then English or Dutch songs or radio chit-chat can become quite distracting. That's why I tend to go for Chill Low-Fi music. ๐ŸŽถ


Three suggestions for budding designers?

  1. In need of a color scheme? My go to tool for generating color scheme's SUPER FAST is:
  2. Definitely check out UX Insight if you are keen on learning more on the side of UX Research!
  3. Laws of UX is a great collection of best UX practices to start with.


Fun Facts (BONUS CONTENT ๐Ÿ˜‰)

โ˜•๏ธ ย LOVE the smell of coffee, but more of a tea drinker here!

๐Ÿฅพ ย Free-time nature guide and botanist-in-spe for the nearby Nature Reserve National Park The Biesbosch. If you're ever in the neighborhood, looking for a private nature guide hit me up!

๐Ÿƒโ™€๏ธ ย Enthusiastic runner, I've run my first marathon last year, and now planning to run one in Switzerland ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญ

๐Ÿซ ย Huge foodie. Hence this is my main reason for running, more running means more food. Oh and baking, I now allowed myself to only bake stuff when I am able to share it. Must try: Ironcast skillet chocolate chip cookies ๐Ÿช ๐Ÿ˜

๐ŸŽ‰ ย Love venturing into new areas, I got my boating license last year (a small one for inland waters). I also drive a ๐Ÿ (need to acquire myself a new one)

Thanks for reading my story!

Breda, Netherlands ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ

Rianne van de Rijt

UX Researcher

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