Motto: Learned when young is done when old.
Zus ziet, earlier a mom lifestyle and beauty blog but since the 1st of June 2016 a blog about my true passion: Kids and tech. Especially the combination of the two. Today, learning to code or at least practise the way of thinking and problem solving is in my humble opinion equally importent for kids as learning the english language. I hope to inspire (young) parents and kids to learn about technology so that they grow up not only as technology consumers but also als creators.
I’m a Dutch mom (1979) who grow up around technology. I studied Computer Science and I have a Masters degree in Human Computer Multimedia at the University of Amsterdam. I had my first computer in 1994(?) I can’t remember actually… I do remember that it was a MSDOS computer with a black and green screen which ate floppy disks. What??? Yes 5,25 inch flexible floppy disks HAHA. Shortly after that I got my first Percard Bell pc with Microsoft Windows 3.o. I was intrigued by my big brother who was like a Dexter from Dexter’s Laboratory (No, not the other Dexter…) and always always always busy with his computer(s). Back at home our rooms were like the NASA controle center, screens and computers everywhere. He taught me to figure stuff out for myself before running over to him and ask for help. (Read The “Friendly” Manual, he’d say…) Oh, the sweet memories. Those were the best times of my childhood. We were also the first once in the street with ISDN (two telephone lines), because we were online all the time using our dialup connection and therefore our phone was always busy. Remember, this is before there were mobile phones for the masses and it isn’t even that long ago…
Nowadays, I’m a Freelance User Experience Designer. Sounds complex but it isn’t really. I form the bridge between users of a website or computer programme and the guys and girls who develop them. I try to find out what users need and I translate that into a design which I test and discuss with the users, stakeholders and the technical team. My goals is to design stuff as user friendly as possible and the only way to do that is by listening to and design with the users themselves. It’s called: User Centerd Design.
Since around 2003 I’ve been blogging. Well, blogging didn’t exist at that moment in time. I’d made my own website in HTML. I added an extra feature, I embedded a live webcam stream. Why? Because I wanted to know how to get a live webcam stream on my website… That was the whole point, just to figure out how to get it to work. I pointed the camera outside into the yard and that was it, really. I also shared a lot of pictures on my site but over time that didn’t interest me as much any more. It became a online photo album with a live stream, not that interesting… *hihi*
I also created other sites on which I shared my hobbies, but it was never interesting enough for me to stick with it and keep posting. In 2014 my son was born and that gave me inspiration to write about our live as young parents. I became a mommy blogger and for a year or two I really enjoyed doing that. My blog began to grow, I started to get noticed by companies yada yada… But after the birth of my second child, our daughter, I suddenly realised I didn’t want to share al the private stuff anymore. Around that time I started freelancing and I it just didn’t feel right. I was back at square one, where I wanted to write and make youtube video’s but I didn’t have an interesting topic. I even tried some beauty stuff but it didn’t fit my style…
Then, on May 30th 2016 I had a late night conversation with my husband about my blog. I was at the point of quitting and it felt horrible because I spent so much time and effort in building it up… Then my husband asked: “What’s your true passion?” And then it hit me… I had a little through-back moment where I thought about my childhood with my brother, our computers, our great times. I also thought about the great time I had at the University where I conducted a studie on the perception of social intelligence in robots. I used an iCat Robot (picture above) as in interface that participants had to use to preform certain tasks. So instead of using a mouse or keyboard, they had to talk with the iCat to get things done. I studied if the participants perceived the robot as being social intelligent and what that ment for them and for possible future use of robots in the everyday household.
Since my husband and I are both tech savvy, our kids are also growing up around computers and technology. We plan to introduce them in an early stage to the world of coding and educational robots. Then it hit me… I want to help other parents and kids also! I want to write and share about everything I can possibly think of if it comes to this topic! Heck, I even want to buy the robots not only for our own children, I want to go out there and visit pre schools, elementary schools, the daycare even to play with the kids and give them the opportunity to discover the world of coding and technology! So there you have it, Zus ziet (Dutch for Sister sees) is from now on about my true passion and it feels fantastic! A feeling I never felt before when it comes to my blog.
I write and share about:
- Educational robots
- Coding for kids
- Design cycle (Idea -> design -> prototype -> test -> refine -> etc.)
- Cool talks I stumble upon
- Cool studies I stumble upon
- and maybe more
Welcome to my blog. Have fun!
P.S.: Zus is dutch for Sister or Sis. When my brother and I were little he couldn’t pronounce my name “Francesca” so he called me Zus. Ever since it’s my nickname.