Convince critical thinkers of your design

Waal aan de Maas is “a creative agency for insights and interaction”. Speaking to Erwin Oskam, Strategy Director and Floris van Heyningen, Junior Design Director reveals a deep understanding of how design goes beyond UI/UX and ultimately affects the strategy and culture of their clients.

This deep understanding coupled with a thorough knowledge of concepts from Psychology and Neuroscience helped develop Waal aan de Maas’ three step methodology: “BrainSells”. The methodology is an exploratory approach that translates “workings of the mind” to strategy and strategy into design.

  1. Think (before you act)
    In this stage, Erwin Oskam guides discussions with the clients’ employees to reveal different “thinking profiles” within the organisation. People with different profiles provide different insights regarding the same challenge. The uniqueness of companies stems from the uniqueness of its people. Together they make up the company’s identity as a competitive advantage.
  2. Make (a difference)
    Taking the torch from Erwin, Floris van Heyningen and his creative colleagues are responsible for translating the strategic insights uncovered by the discussions into design and visual concepts. They translate a company’s identity into a fitting brand image.
  3. Do (not hesitate)
    The last part of the process brings everything together in a way that highlights the clients’ uniqueness and company culture, as well as the strategic objectives that drive the firm’s success. Careful planning and monitoring ensure a smooth transition from the drawing board to implementation of the new communication strategy.
Over the past few months, Waal aan de Maas have been using in combination with their BrainSells method. At WADM using has been an incremental process and it has gradually been used for various purposes starting with proving that the final designs “do what they’re supposed to”.
“We used to prove to ourselves that we are doing the right thing”

“We were designing an e-commerce platform for people looking to install a tow bar on their car. This was for a client of ours in the automotive industry that sells automotive parts to car garages. They wanted us to design a graphic interface for their website that ensures that people will find the right tow bar and the right garage in the fewest number of clicks. Then we made, in my opinion, a great design focussed on conversion. Our clients were very happy and said that the platform looked so much easier to use than all of their competitors.”

“Afterwards Floris suggested we put our design through For everything we wanted to focus on (i.e., the buttons were in the right place, attention goes immediately to the buttons you need to click) basically showed us that we did a good job.” For Floris, who is a Junior Design Director, this is a typical use case.

“ is an extra neuromarketing platform we use to add to our own insights”
“We analysed our competitors’ design with to create a clear ‘before’ picture of the client’s problem. The results of that analysis were very useful in that they reinforced our own use of our design principles. Competitors had used different kinds of colours throughout, no contrasting colours at all or too many contrasting colours and no hierarchy. By using we had a clear scientific foundation of our findings. This was not only useful in selling our new design to the client but also in making sure we wouldn’t make the same mistakes.”

“Sometimes experience can be dangerous because it will justify your own righteousness. But now, provides an independent evaluation method to show us whether we were right or wrong. In the end it’s not just better for us, but it’s also better for our customers.”
“Critical thinkers typically need scientific proof that our designs work; I think that’s what does"

Waal aan de Maas, is already quite familiar with concepts within the Neuromarketing domain as their sales methodology “BrainSells” hints. is an extra neuromarketing platform that provides proof for the neuromarketing insights applied to their designs. From the drawing board to client presentations, helps provide scientific evidence for Waal aan de Maas’ creative vision and years of experience with UX/UI design.

A lot of clients are instantly convinced when presented with beautifully designed creative concepts. “They like them because they look nice, new and different” however not everyone’s thinking profile is the same. Some clients are more result driven and require measurable evidence: “Okay, it’s a nice design but how will it increase orders and drive sales?”. “These clients require some type of scientific proof, and I think that’s what does.”

“We sell creativity. For many clients it’s difficult to judge creativity besides saying it looks nice”
“Moving forward, in my idealistic view, we would use constantly; whenever presenting a design, a campaign tactic or a new concept. We sell creativity, but for many clients it’s difficult to judge creativity besides saying it looks nice. Nice looking concepts don’t necessarily sell a product. To us, is an independent check or point of reference that validates we are doing the right thing from a scientific and data driven view.”

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