Hello there! I'm Hylke Bons and
I design pretty and usable digital things
about — — @hbons


People who haven’t met me in person sometimes wonder if this is a guy’s or a girl’s name. It can be used for either, but I’m a guy. Originally I’m from The Netherlands (but partly of Asian blood). More specifically the northern city of Groningen. There I studied Information Science at the local university.

At the moment I live in London, England, where I work as an Interaction and Graphic Designer at Red Hat’s User Experience team. I like creating (digital) things that aim to make people’s lives easier, and make these things look pretty at the same time. I try to document my experiences in these areas in the Journal section of this site. Right now, SparkleShare and GNOME get most of my attention, but you may know me from my earlier icon work on Pidgin and MeeGo.

In my free time I like to do fun things (surprise!), like doing photography, playing games, and cycling on my trusty Brompton. I like to travel to places to just wander around and see the world, although I should do that more often.

I take design jobs for food, simply send me an email. You can also find me on Twitter, Flickr and Github. If you are in need of an illustrator, consider hiring my sister (because she's awesome).

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Announcing SparkleShare

I’m very happy to finally being able to announce a little project of mine that i’ve been working for the last couple of weeks.

Thu, 10 Jun 2010

What is SparkleShare?

SparkleShare is the result of “Project SparklePonyP. At the Usability Hackfest this year in London, a couple of us open source designers came to the conclusion that we don’t have a proper collaboration tool. We have been using Dropbox for this for a while. Dropbox has a great user experience, but it has downsides as well: you can’t host your own server; it’s not open source and has some freaky things in its license agreement.


So SparkleShare aims to replace Dropbox for us. There are some resemblances and some differences. SparkleShare creates a SparkleShare folder in your home directory in which you can add different remote folders (these can be on different servers). It has the same Dropbox like notification system, one feature that we really liked. It allows you to see what others are doing and take peek, much easier than sending around e-mails, forget attachments and add wrong CCs. The most important thing is that the synchronisation is automatic and happens when you add or edit files.


SparkleShare is build on Mono, GTK+ and wraps around Git. It aims to integrate with the GNOME desktop environment. I’m planning OS X and Windows versions as well (in that order).

There is no release out yet, as I’ve yet to fix some nasty bugs, but my programming skills are quite limited as of yet. So this is a…

Call for contributors

Help would be very much appreciated! Any kind of contribution would be great. Translations, bug reports, code, docs, it doesn’t matter. Check out for links to the source code on gitorious. Join #sparkleshare on if you have any questions

Special thanks…

…to Jakub Steiner and Lapo Calamandrei for the awesome artwork and website design!

Comments? Send me a tweet.