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My first two weeks at Spindle

Written by Birgit Timmerman on 29th April 2015

Biweekly blog post

Hi everyone. I just started as an intern at Devhouse Spindle. Every two weeks I will write a blog post about what I’ve been doing in the last two weeks, what I will be doing in the next two weeks and how I experienced it all. This blog post is not part of my project and will have no effect my grades, but I just think it’s nice to tell everyone how I experience my time here. So enjoy reading 🙂

Human Technology

First, let me tell you something about myself. My name is Birgit Timmerman, I’m 22 years old and I’m in the last year of my study, Human Technology. Human Technology is about researching the usability of all kinds of products where there is an interaction between the user and the product. Lots of products are made to make everyday life easier. But the way some of these products are designed, the opposite is achieved. Think about the interfaces of cellphones. For the younger generation it’s pretty easy to understand, but for elderly people it’s way more difficult. Products should be designed for ALL kinds of users. If you ever have problems with (for example) finding something on a website, it’s not your fault. This may sound strange, but it’s never the user’s fault if he has trouble navigating a website. By designing interaction with lots of small usability testing sessions with actual users, designers will be able to solve issues they’ll never think of themselves.

If you find this really interesting, you definitely should read the book ‘Don’t Make Me Think’ written by Steve Krug. In short: my job is to find solutions to problems concerning interaction between humans and technology.

Usability of our CRM

At Spindle, I’ll be doing research on how to improve the usability of CRM ‘HelloLily’. Before 2015, we used CRM ‘Sugar’. But Sugar didn’t meet the needs of the people who used the system. That’s why we created our own CRM. Lily is the face and personification of HelloLily. Lily is helping you through the entire software. During the day she is your secretary, at night she is a secret nerd who takes over a lot of your work.

Nowadays, there are still some issues concerning HelloLily. Spindle thinks there is still a lot to improve, and that’s what I’ll be working on.

A holacratic workplace

Now, I’ve only been here for two weeks, so there are no results, yet ;). First I really wanted to get to know the company and everyone who works here. There are a lot of people working here and they are all very intelligent, kind and helpful people. I immediately felt comfortable. Spindle works with a rather unique organization model. It’s called holacracy, and I really like it. There are no bosses, managers or anything. Everyone is responsible for their own work, and it creates a stress-free workplace. So far I think this is a very efficient way of working.

Plan of approach

Next to reading the new-employee-manual, setting up my new accounts like Email, Mitro, Jira, Trello, Slack, Glassfrog and what not, playing some table tennis, attending meetings (in which I don’t fully understand every topic but it hopefully will improve), eating lunch every day after a stand-up-moment at 12 AM, playing football, and getting to know everyone (a bit), I managed to finish my Plan of Approach. In this PoA I’ve set the main goal for this project and made a planning for the next twenty weeks. In addition, I’m using Trello to keep a clear overview of my ‘to do’s’.

The first step I’ll take is doing desk research. I’ll write a report on everything I want to know before doing my main research. That is what I’m working on right now. After that I’ll start working on my Research Proposal. But I’ll tell you more about that in my next blog post.

In conclusion: of course, there is a lot of work yet to be done because I just got started, but I really enjoyed my first two weeks at Spindle. I’ll keep posting a new blog post every two weeks. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask them in the comments below. Thanks for reading!

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