In order to be able to create meaningful designs, I think a designer should have a large spectrum of competencies. To be able to communicate with different experts, basic knowledge about their area of expertise is needed. That is why in my minor and during my master I also focused on raising my level of competence for areas which I am less interested in, like business and entrepreneurship. My two specialization expertise areas are Technology & realization and User & Society. As a designer I want to be able to include the user in my design process. In order to do this prototyping is very useful. Because if users can interact with a prototype, I experienced that the user is able to give a lot more feedback. Also I think prototyping is really important to support your project. Without a prototype it is really difficult to convince your public of the value in your idea. Including the user in the design process can also show the value, when presenting your ideas. In conclusion, I chose these expertise areas because they help me build and present a strong concept.
Creativity & Aesthetics
Technology & Realization
User & Society
Business & entrepreneurship
Math, data & computing
Design & research processes
Creativity & Aesthetics
To be able to generate, select and refine ideas by using a variety of techniques and by changing perspectives, I needed to learn to use my intuition together with knowledge-driven design.
In the course Look! I learned to support my design decisionsby making moodboards and reflect on these. In design it is important to look at the details and ask yourself why certain things are designed a certain way. In Unfolding memories I learned to work through an iterative design process to improve my designs while reflecting on my actions. To be able to follow my intuition Tangible and embodied interaction helped me to take risks. In this course we needed to re-design a communicational device. By practicing brainstorming, we worked towards our final concept of the radio. The simplistic design of Directi-Mo should show how to wear the product. There should be a direction to the product, this requirement helped me in the design of directi-mo. The wrist-band has two colors black and white, the white part is the interface for the game.
Composing rituals showed me how reflecting on the effects of the details in your design can really improve the design. Through different iterations, I was able to improve the design. These iterations were based on the insights from feedback and reflection. For the Waterpolo tournament I created the website for the tournament. In this project I also developed this website through reflecting on the use and asking feedback. Several iterations resulted in a better experience for the functionality of the website. In webdesign I learned that using your own site and iterating really improves your webdesign skills. To support design decisions in the project Qwiek.mate I used a morphological chart to ideate on the functions to use. To make a decision I used the insights from the workshop, which concluded that fine hand movements are really difficult for this target group. That is why I chose for simple tangible interactions. When a concept was created I asked feedback from an expert at Qwiek and an expert at the university in the field of aesthetics and realization. Through multiple iterations a design was generated.
Within this competency area, I used different techniques for brainstorming in my projects. And learned tools to get inspiration, like making moodboards. Small details in the aesthetics of a design can have a big influence on the experience of the user. To improve the aesthetics of a design, iterating, reflecting and feedback are really helpful.
Technology & Realization
To be able to demonstrate the technical feasibility of my design, I needed to gain knowledge about electronics en programming. To possess this knowledge could be very useful when working in multi-disciplinary teams.
In the first project of my bachelor I started learning to make really simple circuits for our prototype QuestionCube. During this project I became familiar with Arduino and started learning to write the code for Arduino. During the project frame-it I started improved my level of web developed. I already had gained a basic level of web development in an HTML-workshop. With the help of my web showcases and this course, I raises my competence of web development to a next level. In the course Creative programming I got a basic understanding of working with processing. In the project &Bounce and Slight I was able to apply these processing skills.
To improve my competency of realization, I decided to follow courses in Denmark. At integrated design in Denmark I followed the course Composite materials. In this course I learned how composites are made and what they are used for. The practical approach of seeing how composite are made for boats, really helped me to get a basic understanding of the difficult of composite development.
To support me in my final bachelor project I wanted to gain more knowledge about electronics. In order to improve my skills in electronic circuits, I followed the course Creative electronics. During my final bachelor project, I designed Directi-Mo a bracelet in which I had to fit the electronics to make a game. This bracelet was also connected to a game made in processing for which I could apply my processing skills.
During my bachelor I already followed a course which introduced my to intelligent products, Principles of intelligent systems. But in my master I wanted to learn how to apply learning algorithms. In the course interaction in intelligence we developed an learning algorithm. Within the project in this course, I focused on the adding the sensor and developing the product. After this I had to integrate the code for these sensors in the learning algorithm, which helped me to understand the algorithm.
In my project ReMu I was introduced to new electronic components. This was the first project in which I had to work with sound. To help me with my circuits and show me the components I could use for this, I got feedback from experts in field of electronics.
Because I am really interested in webdesign I always used HTML and CSS to build my portfolio. For my final master project Qwiek.mate I made several iterations of a web application which used a database. By working on these databases I improved my HTML and CSS skills, and gained new knowledge about Java and PHP. Also, during this same period I helped organize the Nayade waterpolo tournament. And because I already had knowledge about webdevelopment, I build the website for the waterpolo tournament. Practicing my HTML, CSS and Java skills, I am improving my level of competence in web development everytime.
Within this competency I am able to understand and build circuits for my prototypes. To direct these circuits I able to program the arduino. To make games and apps I have basic knowledge in Unity and processing. During my studies at industrial design, I took a lot of effort to understand HTML, CSS and Java. Throughout my bachelor and master I kept updating my knowledge about web development. And after my final master project I can add basic knowledge about PHP and databases to this.
User & Society
In order to improve the user experience of my designs, I need to have an understanding of the psychology and sociology of the user. With different methods and tools I should be able to empathize with the user and gather quantative and qualitative data.
In my project QuestionCube I got introduced to co-creation and co-design. Through simple prototypes the user can be included in the design process. In this project I learned it is really valuable to include the user in your design process.
To be able to understand the perceptions of the user, Trendscockpit showed my how trends influence these perceptions. With tools learned in this course I am able to predict trends and use this to target a specific user. To also get an understanding of how different cultures can influence the user experience, I followed the course Unfolding memories. In this course I was introduced to Maslow's triangle. And I went through an iterative design process to create a jewel for someone from romania. I used his personal story about his culture to make a jewel which fits the story.
Next to empathizing with the user, expert feedback can also help you improve your design. The interaction with &Bounce aims to support a change in exercise behaviour through gamification and requiring minimal effort to use the product. The usability of this product showed me that simplicity in use is really important. During this project we conducted unstructured expert interviews, I learned it would be useful to conduct expert interviews early in the process.
In the data enabled design theme I learned to take another approach to guide interviews. In the projectframe-it we insights and data we gathered to guide the interview. Showing this data would help the user give valuable feedback.
Because I think it is really important to include the user in my design process, I wanted to take a user-centered design approach in my project Tools for the Tovertafel. In order to do this I started as buddy to implement the Tovertafel a design of Active Cues, a company in Utrecht, at the care facility. This way I could easily implement different probes at the care facility. During this project I experienced that planning your user tests is really important although this planning should be flexible. In projects which include people with dementia, asking permission for visual or audio material can take a really long time.
Because for physical or mental vitality behaviour change could be necessary, I wanted to learn how to approach behavioural change.I learned to target behavior change for users in different stages of the process of behavioural change in the course Design for behavioural change. During the project we targeted the availability of a product which could stimulate behavior change. The first stages of change are really challenging, and people get stuck for longer periods of time in the contemplation phase. For the implementation of a product in the context, the knowledge about behavior change could be very beneficial. I learned what to offer people in a certain stage of the change process.
When including the user in the design process, documenting these session can be useful to ensure you do not miss valuable information. In the project ReMu I visited people with dementia living in different care homes. When doing a project on your own it is especially helpful to document everything and analyse the recordings. I was able to use a lot of recordings during this project. I think this was a really strong project, because I was able to test the product with people with different genders and from different care facilities and analyse this data.
To include the user in my final master project the Qwiek.mate, I wanted to implement a project in the context for a longer period. I noticed that the period of testing needed, depends on the amount of possible interactions with your product. This product was tested at a small care home, in a living group of 16 people. And of these 16 people, only half was regularly in the living room. Also visitors of the residents visit once a week and staff changes a lot, which means that in one week not everyone has been introduced to the product and there are not a lot of possible interaction moments. To make the quantitative data more reliable the prototype should have been tested for a longer period of time.
I really liked improving this competence, because I am really interested psychology. Learning about behaviour change and user experience was really interesting for me. And the tools and information gained in these courses could help me identify my target group and how to approach them.
Business & Entrepreneurship
To be able to design meaningful products that create value for people and the economy. I needed to learn how to make value propositions, business models. And be able to identify market trends and conduct a competition analysis.
In my bachelor I learned to analyzing the market and trends, I chose the course Trendscockpit. In this course I had to analyse trends, and used thematical analysis to cluster details. But because I found it difficult to raise my level of competence in the field of Business & entrepreneurship, I chose to follow some projects in this field within my minor.
At integrated design in Denmark I followed the course Marketing management to get a basic understanding of marketing. In this course I learned several methods to analyse and target a specific market. To understand these tools we applied these tools in several assignments and a project. In Denmark I also followed the course Project management because I wanted to be able to structure my projects better. In this course I learned how use milestones and to set goals. The course Project management was examined through an oral exam, which I thought was a pity because I did not really learn to apply the skills gained. In the course Experts in Teams gained new methods to analyze the market and evaluate the concept. During this project I got introduced to 'SWOT' which I found a really useful method to reflect on your concept.
During my master I wanted to learn more about entrepreneurship, in order to prepare me for the market. I followed the elective Activating your innovation radar. It was a really challenging elective for me, because I do not see myself as an entrepreneur. However, the tools introduced in the elective were really interesting to find opportunities for innovation. We used a motivation matrix to find a missing link within the current situation, this is a helpful tool to find opportunities for innovation. In my final master project Qwiek.mate I tried to apply the methods and tools I learned to support the value of my concept. I used a value proposition and a value flow model to map the values and costs for the stakeholders. And helped to support defining the target market.
Business & entrepreneurship was a really hard competency for me to develop. But I am really interested in analysing the market. I learned to identify competitors in the market and how to differentiate from competitors. Also I am able map how values, gains and costs are divided to analyse the concept.
Math, data & computing
To be able to analyze, structure, simulate, and validate solutions. I need to learn how to use data analysis and models.
In the squad of data enabled design we got introduced to different ways of presenting and analyzing data. Within this theme Iworked on the project Frame-it. In this project a prototype was developed which could send us real-time data. I learned to analyze this data by noting differences in the data. These insights were used to guide the interview with the user.
To be able to make 3D simulations for my concepts, I did a minor in integrated design in Denmark. Within integrated design, I had a course about CAD. In this course I learned to assemble an minipicker. With this minipicker I had to make a simulation and had to make calculation with simulink to create this simulation. Another course within my minor which supported my competence development for math, data and computing was Composite materials and manufacturing. In this course we learned to calculate with the different properties of a composite. We applied these calculations in a project, to calculate if the composite bed was strong enough.
In The project Remind data was also used as a way to gather insights, but in this project I learned a new way of presenting and analyzing data. this project deardata was used to map the data of our morning routines. For a usergroup which is easy to relate to this is a really useful technique. When analyzing the deardata, other perceptions of the data could reveal new opportunities. After analyzing our own morning routine, we gathered data from other people with a prototype. We compared this data to our own data and found opportunities to add to this routine. Data is a really valuable way to gain insight in behaviors of the user.
Design & research processes
During my projects I learned to apply the tools and methods gained in my time as a Industrial design student. I learned to make design decisions with based on academic knowledge gained from research. And with tools and methods was able to include the user in my design process. By analysing qualitive and quantative data, I can get insights and evaluate my concepts. To be able to identify the market, I have knowledge about the different methods I could use to identify competitors. And analyse the stakeholders and opportunities.