Writings
on the
wall

We like to learn – and we love to share! On this page, we write about our projects and learnings, successes and hiccups. Do you want to know what we work on and how we handle our projects? Consider this blog a sneak peek into our buzzing hive mind ...
CLIENTS OPERATIONS OFFICE OPERATIONS EXPERIENCE DESIGN HARDWARE ENGINEERING LEADERSHIP NATIVE APPLICATION DEVELOPMENT PRODUCT OPERATIONS STRATEGY AND SERVICE DESIGN WEB DEVELOPMENT Apple Appmiral BASE company Ferranti Q Spencer Spotify VTM android architecture business company update design ios our methodologies our tools our work review reviews spencer teardown technology vtm web

Our website performance commandments

Website speed and performance might be one of the most-repeated subjects in front-end land. Our front-end magician Sander walks you through his (not quite ten) performance commandments.

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Sander

Team lead - Web app

21 Mar  ·  6 min read

Announcing Spencer: the mobile workplace assistant

We're proud to announce that we're launching Spencer, the digital workplace assistant for employees!

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Tom

CEO & founder

7 Mar  ·  3 min read

Our take on devops, part 2: Baboon

After our Devops 101 post, we’ll start introducing you to our gang of automation monkeys. First off, Baboon, who automates the creation of 'entities' in all November Five tools to help with housekeeping, security and reporting.

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Ruben

Director product operations

2 Mar  ·  5 min read

The real challenges when adopting Kotlin

For Android devs, Kotlin, the new cool kid and rising star in town, doesn’t require much of an introduction. We take you through the challenges we encountered while adopting Kotlin, and the best practices we uncovered in the process.

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Vincent

Native applications developer

23 Feb  ·  6 min read

Our process for tech assessments

We share our learnings and current process on how to screen a customer's technical stack.

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Stijn

Director web development

16 Feb  ·  8 min read

Love is in the air

Just in time for everyone's favourite pink holiday, we asked our coupled coworkers for their romance-related tech recommendations.

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Noémie

Research & content designer

9 Feb  ·  5 min read

Our take on devops, part 1: The history lesson

Devops is nothing if not a buzzword, but what exactly does it entail, and where does it come from? With this post, we kick off a series on our take on devops!

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Ruben

Director product operations

19 Jan  ·  19 min read

Packages in composer

In this tech tutorial, we show you how to change a library package name in Composer… Use it wisely!

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Kevin

Web developer

12 Jan  ·  2 min read

Jenkins serving Cake: our recipe for Windows

We walk you through our complete automated build process for the Universal Windows Platform, using Git, Jenkins and Cake.

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Dusty

Native applications developer

5 Jan  ·  12 min read

A very happy 2017

The first week of a brand new year is in full sway, and we hope you're all ready to embark on new adventures!

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Tom

CEO & founder

3 Jan  ·  1 min read

Dreaming of a techie Christmas...

Are you still looking for a last minute gift? These are some of the things our team would love to find under the tree this weekend...

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Noémie

Research & content designer

22 Dec  ·  6 min read

Preparing your Android apps for freeform

After diving into the new Android announcements from the past few months, we quickly became convinced: fully resizeable Android apps are coming, and they’ll be here sooner than you think. So what do you need to do to make your apps freeform-proof?

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Arne

Team lead - Android

6 Dec  ·  8 min read

Hardware Teardown: the Withings Body Cardio weighing scale

This month, we're cracking the case of the Withings Body Cardio, one of the most advanced consumer body composition weighing scales on the market today.

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Nick

Co-CTO & Founder

30 Nov  ·  5 min read

Our designers' thoughts on prototyping tools

Our designers compare two leading prototyping tools: Framer and Origami Studio.

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Kjelle

Experience designer

24 Nov  ·  7 min read

You make us Q: designing the Q mobile app

We've written about our collaborations with Belgian media company Medialaan before, when writing about the VTM app we built. This time, we'll be talking about another one of Medialaan's brands: Q.

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Justin

PM

10 Nov  ·  7 min read

Happy birthday to us!

There’s nothing wrong with buying yourself a little something – so we got ourselves a killer birthday present!

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Tom

CEO & founder

5 Nov  ·  3 min read

Let me see that 'thon: our very first Hackathon!

What happens when you let four groups of our team members loose around the office for a weekend? Apparently, hacking magic! Take a look at the results from our first ever Hackathon.

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Nick

Co-CTO & Founder

3 Nov  ·  6 min read

Hardware teardown: the Naran MicroBot Push

In the beginning of this year, we pre-ordered the MicroBot Push from Naran Inc, and we’ve been itching to try it out. Due to some manufacturing hiccups, the Push was only shipped out recently – perfectly on time for this month's teardown!

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Nick

Co-CTO & Founder

27 Oct  ·  7 min read

The down low on Objective-C Runtime

Were you expecting a blog post about the recently released Xcode 8 and Swift 3.0? Not this time: we’re talking good old Objective-C today!

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David

Team lead - iOS

4 Oct  ·  9 min read

Hardware teardown: the Logitech Harmony Hub

We’re continuing our series of hardware teardowns! This month, we tackled (or more accurately, dismantled) the Logitech Harmony Hub, a device that aims to unite your connected home.

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Geert

Hardware engineer

29 Sep  ·  5 min read

The Nordics and beyond: introducing German

We’ve been hiring awesome people to grow our teams these last few months. Today, we’d like to let the newest addition to our Leadership team introduce himself: welcome, Germán!

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Tom

CEO & founder

8 Sep  ·  3 min read

How to connect the internet of things: Lora vs Sigfox

Are you working on a project for the ubiquitous Internet of Things? We compare two networking technologies to help you connect with the world!

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Oliver

Web developer

6 Sep  ·  8 min read

Around the world, around the world

With Appmiral, we build some of the best festival apps in the world. And since this year, we do so on four different continents!

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Robin

Client service manager

26 Aug  ·  2 min read

Hardware Teardown: the Withings GO activity tracker

Here at November Five, we like to know exactly how stuff works. That’s why we’re introducing a new recurring topic: the hardware teardown! Our first “victim”: the Withings GO.

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Nick

Co-CTO & Founder

19 Aug  ·  8 min read

Improving our project setup flow with RAML

Everybody knows that time is money, and you can never have enough of either! Well, that might be a cliché, but we still made it one of our main goals at November Five to not waste any time.

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Mario

Web developer

4 Aug  ·  4 min read

Structural design: creating a website’s design language

A large telco client asked us to completely reconstruct their website – without delivering the actual product yet. A great opportunity to highlight the importance of building a coherent design system!

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Kjelle

Experience designer

20 Jul  ·  5 min read

Spencer hacks: automating our garage doors

Our hardware team created a useful remote control hack for our office garage!

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Geert

Hardware engineer

15 Jul  ·  3 min read

What's up at Google?

With Google I/O come and gone, and subsequent announcements piling up, we’ve compiled a crash course to get you up to speed with Google’s latest.

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Arne

Team lead - Android

8 Jul  ·  9 min read

Pass the Dutch

Our office family contains a couple different nationalities, and while we’re all fluent in tech talk, we recently offered three of them an intensive crash course in Dutch. Curious about how that went? Let’s dive into it...

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Veronique

Talent manager

1 Jul  ·  5 min read

An honest look at the WWDC announcements

Our Apple Tech team talks messages, Swift, and more as they share their takeaways from last week’s WWDC opening keynotes.

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David

Team lead - iOS

23 Jun  ·  12 min read

Less work, better care: designing PT²

Once upon a time, we tried to build a solution to improve the field of physical therapy – but that didn’t quite work out. Today, we’re revisiting that concept. Presenting: PT²!

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Dario

Strategy & service designer

15 Jun  ·  5 min read

How consumer trends enrich your products

You might think that consumer research is boring… We’re here to prove you wrong! This post shows you how to use consumer trends to create products that add value.

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Nikki

Team lead - Strategy & service design

10 Jun  ·  7 min read

Automating our office entertainment room

One of our awesome interns walks us through the project he’s been working on with us: the automation of our entertainment room.

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Oliver

Web developer

3 Jun  ·  4 min read

Video revamp: redesigning the VTM application

The VTM app is one of our prize ponies. This year, we crossed a major threshold together: our one millionth download! Time to lean back and bask in our glory? Hell no! So today we present: the complete makeover.

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Justin

PM

26 May  ·  12 min read

8 tips for user interviews that will improve your digital products

We're always working to make our processes user-centered! This week, we share our best advice for getting valuable feedback from user interviews.

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Yasmine

Strategy & service designer

13 May  ·  8 min read

An energetic project: building a self-service platform for Ferranti

Software firm Ferranti knocked on our door to help them expand their business model and build a new module for their flagship product.

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Marc

PM

22 Apr  ·  5 min read

Our designers' thoughts on Sketch 3.7

Our design team walks you through the changes and improvements in the latest Sketch release.

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Jens

Experience designer

14 Apr  ·  11 min read

A very Android afternoon

All of our teams care about sharing knowledge, so Team Android got together for an educational afternoon.

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Arne

Team lead - Android

8 Apr  ·  4 min read

Setting up a private Python Package Repository on S3

Team Product operations opensources a tool to install Python packages with pip from your private repository.

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Ruben

Director product operations

6 Apr  ·  5 min read

Building our custom-made connected coin hopper

Our hardware team takes up some convenient office automation.

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Nick

Co-CTO & Founder

1 Apr  ·  6 min read

Our take on things: Apple's spring event

Traditionally, the end of March brings two things: the official start of Spring, and its accompanying Apple event. Our teams discuss Apple’s latest.

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David

Team lead - iOS

25 Mar  ·  9 min read

What is love? Spotify's Valentine Matchmaker finds out

Music as the spark for a romantic match: it’s certainly not a bad idea.

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Justin

PM

18 Mar  ·  4 min read

History in the making

Things are gonna change...

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Tom

CEO & founder

4 Mar  ·  4 min read

Out with the old: selecting the right CRM

As any larger company can tell you, a well-oiled CRM system can be a tremendous improvement to an organisation. But when the system is flawed, it can cause a lot of mayhem and frustration for everyone involved.

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Masood

Strategy & service designer

1 Mar  ·  8 min read

Game of Watches: Designing for WatchOS and Android Wear

Love them or hate them, smartwatches and wearables are here to stay. Our designers compare the big players’ platforms: the big battle of WatchOS versus Android Wear.

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Noémie

Research & content designer

29 Feb  ·  9 min read

Slacking off: updating the way we communicate

Like many companies with, say, more than half a dozen employees, November Five was beginning to struggle with email, too. So we set out to bring the fun back into our communications.

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Noémie

Research & content designer

29 Feb  ·  7 min read

What to do with HTTP/2

While we like our shiny gadgets and tricks here, we also keep an eye on the basics that power our digital business.

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Stijn

Director web development

21 Feb  ·  6 min read

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