'Meet the frogs' : Michiel Essen

'Meet the frogs' : Michiel Essen

The one and only from 'Enkie Town', Michiel has been working at aFrogleap for 5 years now. He studied Interactive Media at the Hogeschool of Amsterdam. It was at this moment that he first got involved with mobile... and with aFrogleap. Naos happened to be the external supervisor in Michiel's final project: creating an augmented reality experience for the Stedelijk Museum. People could see various pieces of art in augmented reality through their smartphone using Layar. With such a cool and innovative project he found reasons enough to join the frogs. In our weekly meetup he is 'Michiel Metrics' when he enthusiastically presents the latest statistics in mobile, together with a fun quiz with questions like: How many swiper per minute do you think Tinder processes worldwide?? We are happy with someone who makes data and metrics so lively as he does. And if you need an encouragement or a cheer up, Michiel is your man!

What is your position within AFL?

'This is my 5th year of working at aFrogleap. I work as a UX designer and a data analyst. As a data analyst I help the product owners manage the backlog of a project, and give them advise where they might need it. The main question you try to answer while working as a data analyst is: "How is the data that we process and present in our apps best appreciated by our users?". Keeping this in mind throughout the project can be a challenge when you have other factors like tight deadlines and/or a smaller budget. Doing so, however, will really improve the quality of the experience that the users have with your product!

As a UX designer I create sketches, wireframes and designs that have the users at its center. The question I ask myself as a UX designer while creating an app is: "Is this the most easy and logical way for the user to use the app?" A question that needs a lot of context to be answered! Contextual questions can be: "Who is the user?", "Where is the user when he uses the app?", "What tasks does he want to perform?" and "How can he perform these tasks with as little effort as possible?" Answering these questions in the best way possible is what drives me! No one has all the answers...This is why I am very happy with the input of my fellow creatives here at aFrogleap. We help each other out and keep each other sharp!'

What do you like about working at AFL?

'I like the way everyone can be him or herself and how we all get along in the office. It's a very relaxed and informal atmosphere. People here are intrinsically driven and motivated to do their work. Although we work a lot in agile teams, you have to feel good about working independently too. The office is comfortable, it has a very good and positive vibe.'

What fun facts or quirky habits describe you in a different way?

'Well, work-related, I think people see me often with my (way too) big headphones on. I love techno music and I just can not sit still when I'm listening. My head moves and jumps up and down and it may look a bit goofy/funny. But I decided to just let it go and not care what others think :). I hope that my screen is big enough to block a bit of the view for those who sit next to and across from me ;).'

Are you a morning or a night person?

'I'm definitely a night person. I need coffee in the morning, with enough milk and sugar. Not because I like it so much, but I do it for the caffeine. My energy levels need a little boost in the morning, whereas in the evening they come more naturally! In the evening I could easily continue working too, but I like to watch tv series or play games. It might sound a bit weird, but besides playing games myself I also enjoy watching other people play games through Twitch! You have no idea how fun e-sports can be. Try it! You might like it. ;)'

What is your life motto?

‘Dance like no one is watching’.

What would you like to read in your fortune cookie?

'You will live a happy and long life to open many, many fortune cookies.'

How does your lunch at aFrogleap look like?

'I make the perfect tosti's with cheese and chorizo. The new grill works great! A softly boiled egg on the side and we're done!'

Your 3 favorite apps at the moment?

'I mentioned this already, but both the platform and app Twitch are awesome and I use it a lot to watch games such as Counter-Strike and League of Legends. I'm sure that more frogs are hooked on this app ;). I use Tripadvisor when abroad. It just works great. The Google's app Primer is interesting because it helps you make your app a success! It offers lessons too, like how to make sure that your users keep coming back to your app. Its design and UX are awesome, and it's great to catch up on some reading when I'm in the train to or from work. And finally, the Pebble Time app, because we just won a Pebble with the Appathon. Yeah!'

But there's more than work, right?

'When I'm off work I love to do as many fun things as possible with my (almost) 5 year old son Liam! He is my mini-me who completes me. I love taking him places like the swimming pool or playground. Anywhere where he can run around and chase girls! He is a little casanova :). He is into dinosaurs now, which is awesome! I love dinosaurs myself and we spend a good portion of the day discussing what dinosaur could eat the other one!' RAWR! Oh and by the way, the answer to the quiz question on Tinder is 590.278 swipes every minute! Unbelievable!'

We are happy that you now know Michiel a bit better. Wanna meet one of the other frogs?