Willem Van Lancker
Willem Van Lancker is a designer and entrepreneur whose work spans brand, product, and business design. He is the co-founder and Chief Product Officer of Oyster (acquired by Google). Founded in 2012, Oyster launched the first Netflix-for-books service, delivering unlimited access to more than 1,000,000 books for less than $10 a month.
Previously, he was one of the lead product designers at Google Maps and a designer at IDEO. He studied at the Rhode Island School of Design.
“Fuck concepts. Don't be afraid to be confused. Try to remain permanently confused. Anything is possible. Stay open, forever, so open it hurts, and then open up some more, until the day you die, world without end, amen.” ― George Saunders
Articles by Willem
It is often the case in interaction design that the best solutions simply get out of the way, allowing the user to achieve their goal and get on with their life. With Google Maps, this is certainly the desired outcome. Geographic navigation and search should be smooth, efficient, and ultimately straightforward. When this is successful and the product works as it should, the nuances and details behind these experiences can often go unnoticed, written off as algorithmically derived and invisible…
Success in business today is often equated with hyper-efficiency, hustle, and an extreme busyness. Cut the fat, focus on your work, and all else must follow. And in this pursuit a lot of distractions are removed, some good, some bad: time-wasting iPhone games, evenings with friends, aimless internet browsing, Netflix binge-watching, and more often than not, reading books…
As the founders of a company all about reading, it’s unsurprising that the three of us are book lovers, yet from slightly different angles: our CEO Eric grew up in a house literally stacked full of books; Andrew, our CTO, was already a voracious reader in primary school before discovering the internet and technology; and I have always loved books as printed, designed objects — I hand-built books, typeset pages, and designed type at the Rhode Island School of Design…
The future of books is on your phone, not your tablet
An interview with Oyster co-founder Willem Van Lancker.
RISD Mindshare 2015 presents Willem Van Lancker of Oyster Books
Willem leads a diverse team including designers, writers, community management and editors all focused on making sure that readers have the best possible experience on Oyster.