Who I am + what I do
I’m Bettina, a multi-disciplinary designer + product owner from Germany, + living in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
My work has helped organisations small + large, to become visible, to increase share holder value, + unify products into a family of a product ecosystem.
Organisations hire me when they seek to differentiate themselves. I work with those that – besides results – cultivate one or more of the following values:
- learning through creativity, exploration + openness,
- joy through engagement, playfulness,
- social aspects through collaboration = welcoming others
- purpose, through contributing to the bigger picture, tolerance, + empathy
Currently I’m making enterprise systems that use machine learning, predictive + adaptive analytics more human, engaging, + understandable.
But really, what I dream about doing, is creating tomorrows solutions, that help people lead healthier + more meaningful lives, while simultaneously shaping the relationships of technology + society.
I got started with design at a young age back in 1992, and graduated with a degree in design from the University of applied Sciences in Schwäbisch Gmünd, in Germany. Since then I’ve gained experience in various industries + working on a wide range of analogue + interactive products across various platforms + technologies.
My work matters because I think of novel ways how to integrate design + technology into people’s lives in such a way that it is responsible, + honours its consumer as a human being. Simultaneously, I like to think about how a solution creates synergies between organisational success + human needs.
When you work with me you can expect someone with a creative, holistic + methodical approach. I have good timing. Typically I see connections + opportunities where others don’t. I simplify the complex + get to the point. Some things need to be felt, for others I draw inspiration from other disciplines.
And you’d probably be surprised + delighted by how I work in interdisciplinary teams, with people from different backgrounds + across locations. I believe diversity helps with generating innovative results that have impact.
Now my question to you is:
When was the last time you saw something remarkable?
Because people can feel intuitively when they experience something that was given the required love + attention, + that makes them interested in your product or service. They come back for more, + this affects your bottom line.
To sum it all up?
I’m a work in progress.
16 FAQs about me + my background
I got started with design at age 16 during an internship in a studio for visual communication. I loved it from its first minute. That’s when I decided to become a designer.
The designers at Lahaye Kern told me I was talented and that I should make something out of it. Several years later I enrolled into a four year program at the University of Applied Sciences in Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany.
In 2004 I graduated with a degree in design and started working as designer.
By train. No seriously. It’s always been my dream to work abroad.
After I graduated in 2004 I wanted to work on interactive products at the intersection where digital and physical boundaries blur.
I had several offers in different countries. One of them in Amsterdam, The Netherlands which was interesting to me, and so I moved there.
Below a short list of brands + companies
I have gained experience working independent by myself, in design agencies, and corporate in-house departments that are responsible for design across organizations with up to 4k employees.
I work best in environments that care about design, and provide the environment where design can flourish. Out of experience this needs to be fully backed by an organisations CEO, and leadership has to be all on board. Only this way it will work.
I have experience with various platforms, audiences, industries, and contexts.
What I enjoy most is:
- working with the people I design for
- leading the design in all aspects from inception to completion
- setting standards for systems
- working with other designers
- applying design thinking principles to what we create together
These pictograms depict the meaning of what they stand for so well that it can be understood by any person independent of their educational background or the language they speak. I perceive this as removing constraints by enablement.
I think as designer you have the ability to shape anything into a new language that enables people. This is what gets me up every morning and do what I love to do best.
Definitely my sketch book and my pens. I love Leuchtturm, Moleskin, sharpies Tradio Pentel, and copics.
There are, and they are all related:
- I grew up in Ulm, Germany with its history of the Ulm School of Design, which stands in the tradition of the Bauhaus. That meant I grew up surrounded by Braun products, Nick Roericht’s stackable tableware, Max Bill’s architecture, and the design ethos of the Ulm School of Design. It is design that is practical, systematic, (multi-)functional, has clarity, and is based on design thinking.
- I studied at the University of Applied Sciences in Schwäbisch Gmünd, one of Germany’s leading design schools (which stands in the tradition of the Ulm School of Design). Design in Schwäbisch Gmünd is practical, anticipatory with emphasis on content in various contexts, it considers social, economical, and ecological context, and creates knowledge out of design.
In 2000 I enrolled into a 4 year program called „Information and Media“ at the University of Applied Sciences in Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany.
I majored in two disciplines:
- Communication Systems (= Communication design and planning)
- Digitality and Virtuality (=Digital + Interactive Media)
The program was set up so that interaction and industrial design students worked together on projects and pollinated each other. That’s how the program was designed:
Some of my professors were:
- Xuan Dam (KMS, known for designing the museum mobile in Ingolstadt)
- Prof. Frank Zebner (IDEO, frog design, and BMW)
- Prof. Günter Hörmann (former HfG Ulm student)
- Prof. Martin Krampen (former HfG Ulm student)
- Prof. Dr. Franklin Hernández-Castro
- Prof. Günther Biste,
- Prof. Michael Götte,
- Prof. Michael Burke (8vo)
- Prof. Hans Krämer (neustart)
I can work with intense complexities and abstract concepts. I have cultural awareness.
At the moment I work in a technical environment on a product that helps Fortune 500s to excel in customer experience. The product involves predictive analytics, and multiple layers with dependencies. This requires the ability to switch between big picture and the detail. The smallest modification will impact the entire system, and so a certain degree of foresight, network thinking, and the ability to work with people from other disciplines (such as engineers, data scientists, system architects) is essential to balance between user needs and what the technology requires.
I think Aristotle’s quote summarises it well:
“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”
There are a couple of things I’d love to do, as long as it involves human senses and requires simplification of complexity, or the design of the process around an experience. In no particular order:
- Design the experience of products that help people lead healthier + happier lives.
- Design the interior of a space shuttle, because it’s an astronauts workplace and habitat for many months.
- Design the experience of using the next generation of creative or productivity software for devices that use touch input.
- My dad, because he saved the lives of the people of an entire village.
- Don Norman, because he makes sense.
- Richard Branson, because of the way he made situations work for himself, no vice versa.
- All Disney imagineers, because the experiences they create are magical.
- I am credited in two video games: HoopWorld, and Terminator Salvation
- I have two families. In the one I grew up in, I am the oldest of five children, in the other I am the youngest of 3.
- I left home at age 16 to pursue my dream and become a designer, because I already thought for myself + didn’t believe in the traditional values my parents tried to impose on me. I also + always encourage others to do the same.
Maybe I will teach internationally design at universities, while also having my own design practice (with workshop) located in a place with lots of sun, the right amount of nature and city, close by an ocean and where it’s most of the time warm.
I like to figure out stuff, and learn new things. At the moment these are:
- I go swimming at least twice a week.
- I try to read often
- I travel very frequently + try to visit new places
- My favourite past time is commuting on a bike and making phone calls with friends and families.
Outside of these I enjoy
- attending design meet-ups, workshops, and conferences
- I try to blog regularly, and
- I also enjoy the occasional visit to a museum.
Download CV (PDF)