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A fresh look for the interface of Van Dale Professional

With the new style of Van Dale Professional the experience of finding words and their definitions has become a whole lot easier. You will love it. Word.

Explore casestudy


Interface Design




Van Dale

Release Date

November 2016

The Dutch language alone has more than 240,000 words. Van Dale tries to capture all of these in its well-known dictionaries. And since it keeps up with the times, there is an online version as well.

In fact, Van Dale has multiple platforms. Every platform targets a different kind of user, so it would fit the user's needs the best way imaginable. In 2016 Dikke Van Dale went through a complete make-over and the team of Van Dale thought it was also time for their Professional-interface to get a new and fresh look shortly after.

Basically it was time to upgrade the visual identity, thus make it feel more like a modern design. The UX shouldn't be messed around with, because it should work just like the other platforms that Van Dale provides. Since we like playing around with the design of these kind of interfaces so much, we were just the right party to help the Van Dale team out.

How Van Dale Professional just fits in

Van Dale does have multiple platforms. The professional interface had to fit in with its brothers and sisters, such as the school interface and Dikke van Dale.

Dikke van Dale Van Dale - Professioneel Van Dale - Op School

The dictionary now also comes in pocket-size

Of course many professionals use their mobile phone to translate or find the definition of several words. The design should always adapt.

Van Dale - Results
Van Dale - Article
Van Dale - Navigation

Whom we are dealing with

The target group is big. It's not only just big, it's very diverse. Van Dale Professioneel is used by college students, young professionals and by the forces in the workplace of large corporates. We all felt the interface should be appealing to the entire group. It needed to be generic and flexible.

At the same time we tried to translate the visual identity of the Van Dale books, which many recognize in a flash, directly to the screen. The Professional identity had to match either the offline brand and the other online platforms.

From A to Z. We were thorough. Nothing was forgotten.

Such a complicated interface always comes with a lot of different states. That means we were dealing with errors, warnings, additional information boxes, tooltips, edit screens, search boxes and far more UI-elements which are not even mentioned in dictionaries. But hey, we like to be thorough. So we provided the team with all the states the interface needed, among which the Van Dale Wiki elements.


Where words fail, colors speak

We wanted the style to be true to the books and the other digital products.









White Smoke










Enough with the talks, let's take a look.

These are some screens we're most proud of. Browse through the interfaces and discover all the ins and outs of the new design.


Van Dale Professional looks all professional again.

It is good to know that schools and corporates were already happily using the new Van Dale Professional not long after we finished the screens. The development side did a good job and implemented the design satisfyingly well. Unfortunately we can't let you play around with the new interface yourself, because logically it's a paid tool.

It was kind of challenging to keep so many aspects in account, like being true to the branding of the books, the other online platforms and the fact that we were dealing with a diverse audience while creating the digital identity. But that's precisely why we enjoyed working on this particular UI so much.