About me

I love to build products that enable others to create, shape or become more effective. I’m currently doing exactly that at no-code design and development tool ConvertCalculator, and by building exciting features for my sideproject Shortcuts.design. When I’m offline, you’ll probably find me working out, reading, roasting green coffee beans, brewing craft beer, or road tripping with my best friends.

Michel van Heest - Working
Michel van Heest - In Dinant Belgium, visiting Leffe Brewery
Michel van Heest - Working
Michel van Heest - Drinking beer with friends at Stadsbrouwerij Middelburg in Zeeland, The Netherlands
Michel van Heest - Vacation in Norway, Hardangervidda, sitting on a rock looking at snow
Michel van Heest - The Next Web

We can build anything, but what is the future we want to build together?

— Branden Kowitz, Design Disruptors

When I’m happy at work

Over the last few years working and learning as a designer, I discovered that I’m at my best and most satisfied when I’m working on tools for others to create something themselves, work effectively, or lead a fulfilled life. I find myself being motivated when I believe in a vision and have ownership of my process and the product I’m working on.

Currently I'm working at ConvertCalculator, a no-code design and development tool SMBs can use to create product configurators, calculators, forms, sales funnels and more. I just started here, but there are a lot of interesting challenges ahead in improving the visual and logic builder, lowering the barrier for non-designers and engineers to build great performing products, and telling our story to attract the right customers.

How I got here

Before all of this, I worked on native apps at YipYip where I also scaled up the design team from me-myself-and-I to a team of 4, built out a design system with our engineers to keep one of the products we were building maintainable, learned about accessibility for native and webapps, and balanced user focused, technical, and business-driven needs and constraints.

Earlier I designed mobile-first presentation software for Paste by WeTransfer, worked at Awkward on Coffee by Benjamin and learned a lot from being around the people building Sketch Cloud, taught courses to design students, and graduated cum-laude and with an 10/10 (A) at the Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences.

Check out my resumearrow
Michel van Heest - Working
Michel van Heest - Working
Michel van Heest - Working

On the side: Traveling

Every year, I try to visit at least two different countries, whether it’s a city trip or wandering around in nature. One of those trips is usually a road trip / camping trip with one or multiple good friends, and an old red 1992 Maza Miata.

I’ve got some epic travel stories to share when we’d grab a coffee, and I’ll probably convince you about how great Sweden🇸🇪 is, just check out how beautiful it is.

Recently, we roadtripped through Norway🇳🇴, Scotland🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿, and went to Sweden🇸🇪 with -25°C. Next up: Morocco🇲🇦.

Image of what traveling

On the side: Fitness & road biking

Since COVID, I picked up road biking on nights and weekends. I love to road bike on the Dutch island of Flakkee, where I live.

Recently, I picked up going to the gym, and started liking it way more then I ever liked roadbiking. I'm starting almost all days of the week with an hour of weight training in the morning, which really helps me to feel great during the day, feel better mentally, sleep better, and build better things for Convert!

Check out some photos on Twitter of where I live and ride.

Image of what fitness

On the side: Learning & creating

I’m often reading books about design, productivity, and self-development, listening to podcasts, spending too much time on Twitter, and dabbling around with side projects.

I used to work on a beer tasting web app and a Figma MUI/Vuetify UI kit, but for now, those are on the back burner as designing for Convert gives me enough fulfillment at the moment. When I do work on my side projects, I'm mainly focusing on Shortcuts.design, my first side project that became Producthunt Product of the Day back in 2017.

One of my friends wanted to shoot a quick picture of me just after I launched, and as you can see, I awkwardly agreed — Years later, I'm more than happy that we captured the moment. 😉

Image of what learning-and-creating

On the side: Discovering craft beer

I really enjoy discovering craft beers with friends (You can often find me at Frontaal in Breda) or messing around with homebrew beer kits in my kitchen. In the last couple of years, the my homebrews weren't a really tasty experiment, but I just pre-ordered a new kit in which I'm going to try out whole malt brewing, which hopefully will lead to better results 🤞.

It’s an interesting tho! I’m learning a lot about recognizing flavors, what I like or dislike, and somehow it’s making me better at articulating my thoughts.

Image of what discovering-craft-beer

On the side: Roasting coffee beans

Besides cycling, I’m roasting my own green coffee beans in a little oven in my backyard. I don’t know if it’s the IKEA-effect, or if I truly roast and brew the best coffee out there, but I believe it's the best.

Check out this Twitter thread if you want to learn more.

Image of what roasting-coffee-beans