Rick Pijnenburg, Senior UX Designer, funda

I’ve had the pleasure to have Mark as my direct lead for a period of 1,5 years. Mark is an open and honest leader, while at the same time caring a lot about his team and their well-being

He was able to establish a proper feedback-culture with relative ease within our design team, which had been a challenge for a long period before he joined.

His true leadership qualities shone through with his approach to personal and individual growth plans, in which he not only helped us establish them together, but also supported us in achieving milestones with routine check-ins.

Combine this with his humor and his ability to manage stakeholders throughout the company, and you’ll have an excellent leader to grow a design team.

Brandi LaCertosa, Experiential Design Resident, 72andSunny

Mark is one of those people that makes what he does look easy. He is an extremely agile thinker and has a wonderful way of creating understanding for others, often by using loads of post-its. It is extremely rare for someone whose mind works at that speed to be so innately patient. His cogent way of breaking down a problem or challenge allows for a smooth and logical way of creating solutions. This quality was extremely helpful especially during high-stress moments in a project. At times where things ‘just don’t feel right’ Mark has a way of navigating the feeling to pinpoint what is wrong or missing.

Over the past year, during my internship and graduation project, Mark has been my mentor; His guidance has been instrumental in my professional and personal development. He was very active in this role, always readily available to help while also giving me the space to find my own process.

As a person, he is generous, humble and has extremely intelligent humor. Also, an envy-making wardrobe and record collection

Hannah Bahl, Freelance Strategist

Mark is a great Experience Design Director, strategist and overall outstandingly brainy and fun human being to work with.

He has incredible analytical skills and always manages to see the bigger picture while he never forgets about the small things that matter at the same time. His attention to detail is remarkable and he crafts insights out of different data sets in a beautiful way.

With his calm and thoughtful attitude, Mark is an exceptional leader that gives all the people on a project and in a room the space to grow and develop. He asks the hard and right questions whenever it is necessary and adds depth to any kind of project.

While being at 72andSunny I’ve worked with Mark on a variety of projects and had the pleasure of learning a lot from him. The highlight of working with Mark is bouncing inspirational articles and thoughts along the way because while Mark is one of the most brainy people I’ve met he’s also incredibly street smart, knows all the Hip Hop from the last decades and always comes up with the best memes when you need them the most.

Leonidas Diamantas, Senior Developer, WeTransfer

It was a pleasure working with Mark. He is a master of his craft, an excellent collaborator, and an overall great character.

His deep knowledge of UX and long experience working in various fields makes him a very valuable team member, as he understands Strategy, Technology and Creative expression and he always strives to locate the sweet-spot among the three. He is really good at conceptualizing, but he will also get his hands dirty; be it designing, prototyping or crafting an actual build, Mark is very good at staying focused on the big picture and getting things done. He is more about quality over quantity, and his essentialist approach is quite refreshing within a team.

Besides his craft, Mark is someone who will empower his colleagues to do their best, without putting pressure on anybody or putting people on the spot. He will listen first, and he will always respond with a positive addition to the input presented upon him. He cares about his colleagues, he sees the value in everything everyone is doing and he encourages people to shine. He is capable of creating a very fertile environment within a team, focused on healthy collaboration and respect.

Charlotte Rubesa, Global Communications Strategist, LEGO Group

In an industry that likes, and is generally good at making things complex, Mark is a much appreciated breath of fresh air. He’s able to untangle the most intricate of messes – making us all better for it.

For Mark learning isn’t just top-down: he sees opportunity and potential everywhere. He’s been an incredible unofficial mentor to me, helping me navigate the world of comms planning and user experience design by always making time for a chat, a walk and a coffee. (whilst at 72andSunny)

Kelsey Bozanich, Communications Strategy Director, 72andSunny

“I am a better strategist after having the opportunity to work with Mark and I’d be willing to bet that all of his coworkers would easily say the same. Mark has an amazing ability to think both top down and bottom up; grounding all of his work first and foremost in culture and user behaviour. He always brings a fresh outside perspective to any project he works on.

I’m inspired by his ability to always work in service of people (users and coworkers alike) and not advertising. It helps everyone around him push the definition of creative opportunity.

Most importantly, he has a phenomenal record collection and fashion sense. I’ll miss Mark as a coworker and a staple in 72andSunny AMS culture.”

Mareka Stake, Senior Writer, 72andSunny

“Mark has been my desk mate for 2 glorious years. He’s a gentleman, a real giver of time and knowledge, a careful and considerate thinker, a pitcher-inner on sandbox playing about, and a voracious meme and face filter consumer and maker.”

Nic Owen, President, 72andSunny

“Mark brings so many things to any project or company. Not only his deep skill in his specialism; linking technical excellence with pragmatism, but also his passion to enhance the bonds within the team; going beyond to make every output better and optimizing the culture itself, through positive reinforcement and calming vibes.

Meta UX in full force.

He’s also great at memes, mentoring, fighting for the underdog, hats, coats and being tall.”

Olivia Hedman, Strategist, 72andSunny

“Mark’s ability to simplify, distill and bring clarity stretches much beyond the work itself. It even stretches beyond his impact on the creative process. It’s most apparent in his role as a manager.

He has the traits any good leader should have: he is attentive and good at listening, but most of all he’s humble enough to learn about what you want to learn. And in combination with that skill, he’s also proactive and analytical enough to help bring clarity and show a clear path forward for anyone he manages in both work and life.

It just so happens, all of these traits also make him a successful Experience Designer that can bring clarity, structure & progress to any problem you need to solve. It’s been a pleasure to work under Mark, and I hope we get to work together soon again”

Michael Roberts, Communications Strategy Director, 72andSunny

“Mark’s the kind of person you want working with your business. Craftsman and thought leader, he can simultaneously balance wireframes and strategic vision. Mark knows when to act and when to question. He brings integrity, determination and inspiration in spades. everyone at 72andSunny Amsterdam is richer for Mark’s time here; he leaves us all better-chart-drawers, with a greater grasp of internet culture and more lateral in our thought.

Mark and I worked as a strategy and UX director duo on short and long term projects for Google, IKEA and Klarna. it started small, escalated quickly and resulted in effective work that I’ll be proud of for a long time”

Tom Blackshire, SEO Consultant

“When I worked with Mark, everything that he contributed, through both his work and in a discussion, was carefully considered and thought through. I found myself stopping to think and constantly adapting my thought process in response to his contributions.

He has a deep understanding of how SEO and UX combine to meet the requirements of both search engine bots and humans. Something that is rarely found in a UX Designer is the ability to design an experience that also meets best practice SEO.

His personality is probably one of his greatest assets, I’ll always remember when he placed a picture of Notorious BIG with the caption, “Mo Features, Mo Problems” on the wall!

Mark is someone that I still turn to for advice, years after we first worked together and I hold him in the highest possible regard.”

Duncan McKenzie, Lead Product Manager, British Film Institute

“Mark is an outstanding UXD. I worked with Mark on the redesign and re-platform of BFI Player. Mark works well with the rest of the dev team, is self-managed and excellent at presenting to stakeholders.

Mark quickly gained a good understanding of an industry and business model he had not worked on before. Furthermore, he has a very good understanding of the user needs and is focused on driving for the best journey whilst still achieving our business objectives.

What is most astonishing about Mark is the speed at which he can deliver designs across a range of screen sizes.”

Fiona Whitehead, Expansion Lead, General Assembly

“Mark is an excellent UX instructor and we are lucky to have him part of the General Assembly instructor community.

Passionate, patient and kind with students. He is also terrific to work with, and we look forward to seeing more of him in the classroom.”

Laura Hasting, Educational Programme Producer and Alumni Lead, General Assembly

“Mark is one of the most generous people I’ve had the fortune to work with.

He’s willing to make valuable connections as well as giving his own time to advising and mentoring students outside of the programmes he leads at General Assembly.

His calm nature, vast experience, and knowledge of resources make him a well rounded, thought-provoking instructor. He also has one of the best wardrobes of anyone I know. I look forward to my next opportunity to work with Mark as he always brings a new angle to the discussion and relevant insight to make compelling lectures. “

Alex Barclay, Strategy & Innovation Principal

“I’ll be very plain here: Mark is an exceptional talent and whoever hires him next will see him add value immediately – literally as soon as he’s given a brief he’ll run with it and add insight, a craftsman’s deft touch and a whole heap of creativity to get the job not simply out the door but out the door with bells and bows on.

He’s entrepreneurial too – someone who’s in the stream of things and well networked – and driven to deliver high-quality work that makes a difference.

A heart of gold, a skilled hand and an expert eye too. It’s a no-brainer really.”

Simon Beckerman, Founder of Depop

“Mark is a very interesting person. He loves everything he does and puts a lot of passion and heart in it. His technical skills are very high and his know-how in the user experience and interface design are unique. He also has a very good sensibility and style, which makes him able to work on consumer products with great knowledge on how to engage people.

His vision is also very interesting. Very forward-thinking. I highly recommend working with him!”

Robert Surpateanu, UX Lead, Just Eat

“I had the great pleasure to work alongside Mark as part of the product department @JustEat.

From day one Mark proved to be a great team player, sharp mind, and a fully passionate UX designer and manager. Even though Mark has got a full UX focus, he also owns a perfect understanding of HTML, CSS, and Javascript, which enables him to deliver efficient, cross-device solutions.

From Desktop to Wearables, Mark’s work has one eye for the present, while the other is overlooking the future. Good sense of humour, attention to detail and passion for design, is what makes him one of the best colleagues to have.”

Adam Silver, UX Engineer, Just Eat

“Mark is the best UX designer I have worked with. He totally understands and embraces the (responsive) web, which is very rare in the industry.

Whilst navigating through very harsh constraints Mark managed to improve the experience significantly. I only imagine what he could have done without constraints.

I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend him and would love to work with him in the future. Anyone who hires Mark is very lucky indeed.”

Andrew Jennings, Associate Director, Havas

“An absolute pleasure to work with Mark is great in a team in coming up with solutions to problems and briefs. A great guy with a never-ending pot of references and a curious mind he is an advantage to have on any piece of work in hand. Highly creative, highly driven and great with time management he can turn his hand to anything.”

Geraldine Sancho, Head of Marketing, Shopcade

“Mark worked on some of the most significant projects at Shopcade. An extremely talented designer with expert knowledge in UX and UI, Mark is passionate about his work and always giving 150%.

His attention to detail, professionalism, and ability to quickly absorb a problem and come up with a solution, was a major asset and factor in the success of the projects given to him. Mark is really supportive, personable and a great team player. It’s always been a real pleasure to work with him.”

Alan Rutter, Founder at Clever Boxer

“I worked with Mark on the website at Time Out, and continue to work with him as a business partner on Trashed (www.trashedmag.com). I’ve found his design skills to be second to none – he produces brilliant work, online and in print, and is constantly keeping track of the latest design trends and best practice.

He’s exceptionally quick at producing design iterations, and always open to feedback – and extremely calm under pressure. His skills also go well beyond web design into media trends, and his network of contacts ensures that if he doesn’t immediately know how to do something he can quickly find somebody who does. I would unhesitatingly recommend him.”