About me

Piet is an award-winning user research professional with deep domain experience in enterprise applications spanning cloud management, automation, and open source. He’s currently the user research lead for IBM’s Business Automation portfolio.

As an UX Architect with HPE, Piet successfully petitioned the OpenStack technical committee to accept user experience as a formal team and built a team of developers, operators, designers, and researchers to help drive a user-centered culture within the open source community.

Piet occasionally speaks publicly and has presented at the OpenStack Summit, UX Y’all, UXPA, HFES, and All Things Open conferences. He is a certified user experience professional (CUXP), scrum product owner (CSPO), and has a product management level III certification from the Pragmatic Institute. He is also a former director with the Board of Certification in Professional Ergonomics.

Most importantly, he adopted three geriatric Great Danes named Izzy, Pixie, and Frank, which equals about 340 lbs of drooling dogs.

My Values

Integrity

The easy way and the hard way of doing something is altogether different than doing what is right and what is wrong. Doing something right may not always be the easiest way of getting work done, but it is the way I do my work. Integrity is at the core of what I do, and I will never do something at the expense of my users.

Multiple Persepctives

I recognize that we all don’t think or see the world in the same way. Some companies may define their development process as engineering, product, or design thinking driven. At Eight Arms to Hold You I respect the contributions of multiple perspectives, and in so doing, the contributions of many different teams who represent the different functions across my company. Embracing diversity of thought and perspective delivers a better overall product and helps us be a better overall company.

No Assholes

Sorry to be blunt, but if you feel that your best career strategy to get ahead is to screw over your co-workers when things don’t go well then please don’t apply. I value people who do the right thing no matter how much it hurts. That includes recognizing your own fallibility, and understanding that your ability to support your teammates is the key to your own success.

Experience Is Value and Drives Expertise

Just like the industry I love recent graduates, but I deeply value people who have spent their lives generating expertise in a few specific areas. I feel that this depth of knowledge leads to innovation. Fresh ideas arise from a variety of faces, some less experienced and some more.

Jeff Calcaterra

Design Research Lead, Bluemix Hybrid Cloud at IBM

“Piet has led the establishment of the OpenStack UX Project and has been a driving force behind most of the other accomplishments of the UX group of the last 3 years. He is an energetic advocate for the full spectrum of users in cloud environments. He is also great at connecting with the right stakeholders in the OpenStack Community to keep UX projects moving forward. And throughout all these, his deep knowledge of user experience comes through. It’s been a pleasure working with Piet over the last few years and he has been a huge asset to the community.”

Carol Stuart-Buttle CPE

Director, Board of Certification in Professional Ergonomics (BCPE)

“I have to put in a recommendation for Piet because he is so good at what he does and a pleasure to work with. As Executive Director of BCPE, I worked closely with Piet. What would we have done without him? I am personally, as well as the Board, appreciative of the hours of volunteer work Piet gave us. He led us superbly through a complete UX process of a new database and website from beginning to end with analysis of our needs, through design wireframes and onto the validation of the site. He brought us up to date on all the internet functioning we lacked. I still turn to him for all our UX questions! Piet is hard to let go as he is so great to work with: fully professional – reliable, competent, efficient and thoughtful.”

Daniel Kingshott

Chief Cloud Dude at Point Inside

“I have worked with Piet on various projects for a number of years now, first of all during the development of the HP Helion product and later on the OpenStack UX project whilst Piet was at Intel and I was at BestBuy. From a UX standpoint, cloud isn’t sexy, it’s also not something that most UX designers have any experience with. The inevitable outcome is that the the user experience of the tools we use and provide to our end users generally suck. PK took the time to understand cloud, understand the workflow of the various persona’s within an infrastructure organization and then moved onto understanding the needs of our end users (typically developers) This isn’t something I’ve seen before, I am proud to have helped him along this journey, it lead to some radical improvements in the launch instance workflow within OpenStack amongst other things. I’d happily work with PK again in any capacity at any company.”

Melissa Meingast

Master Technologist & UX/HF Research Program
Manager at Hewlett Packard

“I have worked with Piet for several years, and find him to be a dedicated, skilled UX designer, with a true passion for the user and their experience. In addition to his design skills, Piet has a solid understanding of UX research techniques, and when and how to apply them in his design work. He shows both determination and growth in his design practice, finding creative solutions to resource limitations, bringing in new tools and techniques, and pulling in partners from both industry and academia. His initiative, and commitment to the OpenStack Community, continue to impress me.”

Danielle Mundel

AHFP OpenStack Community User Researcher/Usability Engineer

“Piet is a great boss. From day one, it was easy to work with him despite the communication issues that can arise from being remote. Piet is clear about his expectations for my work, and at the same time, enables me to choose an appropriate research plan to accomplish Intel’s goals for the cloud. It’s refreshing to work with someone who is a “triple threat” – timely with deliverables, expertly skilled in the field of UX, and genuinely just a nice guy.”

Alexander Sulgrove

User Experience Engineer at LogRhythm

“Piet and I have worked together in UX for several years both with HPE and through the OpenStack UX Project. Working with him has been very enriching and insightful! Piet has a vast amount of experience and knowledge of the UX domain, from his outstanding ability to penetrate complex sociotechnical systems to his capacity to synthesize disparate insights into comprehensive designs, he understands and is successful across the full spectrum of UX design and architecture. What I enjoy most about Piet is talking shop! He is always pushing at the boundaries of his knowledge, and sharing that knowledge with his colleagues! Thanks Piet!

Anne McClard

Experienced UX Researcher, Lead Pathfinder, Product Innovation, Smart Connected Devices

“I worked with Pieter several times when he was a Human Factors Engineer at Intel. I enjoyed working with Pieter. He is self-directed, and knows what he wants to get out of each project that he works on. He has good project management skills, stays on task, and within the scope of requested projects. He is decisive without being domineering. He is open to trying new approaches to solve old problems.
Pieter is conscientious, personable, and a solid manager.”

Ross Teague

Director of User Experience

“We brought Piet on to support our current team for his expertise in ergonomics and his background in heavy equipment cab/operator interface design work. From day 1, Piet used his depth of knowledge and experience to provide us with direction and guidance. He lead the initial field research efforts in the US and Europe and worked closely with our client to plan and support this research. Piet’s efforts helped us to identify a number of important feature and design opportunities that we are continuing to pursue. Piet quickly became a part of the Insight team and his work ethic and project management skills were continually called upon and he delivered.”

Connie Olberg

User Experience Researcher at Microsoft

“Piet was a great asset to our usability team at Microsoft. He pursued innovation in approach and delivery of his work. He brought fresh ideas and processes to the team that were outside of the current norm. Piet was always ready to help out other team members, listen to ideas and offer solid well founded feedback. Piet interacted exceptionally with customers and the team with high quality deliverables that led to actionable decisions and change.”

Get in Touch With Me