Throughout the past three years of my Bachelor’s program, I have experienced several internal and external learning activities, resulting in several competencies. These competencies will be shared below, labeled with icons representing areas of expertise defined by the TU/e department of Industrial Design.
User & Society
“…. the need for integration of experiential prototypes within the process….”
Crafting CMF demonstration
The courses From Idea to Design, Aesthetics of interaction, and project 3 inspired me to iterate on and communicate the color, material, and finish of a concept within the demonstrator. During presentations, I experienced how misleading not-representative CMF can be for outsiders within understanding the concept. Throughout these explorations of wanting to achieve representative CMF, my crafting skill was boosted, involving sawing, painting, and machine handling. During my internship at Design2Gather, after the courses mentioned above, I started to recognize specific elements of CMF that I liked or matched the context of my design. I started to create mood boards with these elements, to be used in iterative visual language development processes, of which more will be described below. This increased my affinity with materials and triggered my interest in books about materials such as “Materials for design” by Chris Lefteri.
Hand-crafted prototypes involving sawing, painting, cardboard modeling, cutting and gluing and consideration of CMF.
“….feeling for details….”
Multiple mood-boards created to define case-specific visual language.
Computing a visual language
From project 1 on to my internship until even this very website, I’ve developed my way of iterating on visual identity. I’d create a mood board containing color palettes, contexts of the product, matching fonts, materials, and even functional aspects of a concept. I like to perform this approach for concepts varying from simple everyday products, to packaging designs and digital interfaces, preferably integrating small hidden meanings or details in line with the purpose of the design.
This competence in designing a visual identity, later on, found its connection with being able to create digital visualizations of concepts, of which more will be described below.
During my internship, I used this iterative method on the visual identity of a concept for the branding of packaging. In order to do so, I developed my graphic design skill to create realistic digital visualizations. Throughout multiple experiences, I realized how by creating and showing the context of a concept, clients are being activated to think along efficiently.
Packaging designs displayed on mockups.
“…products integrated with new technology…”
Computing code for interactive electronics
Multiple projects, for instance: creative electronics, From Idea to design, and Engineering design, involved an interactive concept. A code had to be written in order to communicate this concept during presentations, as the prototype had to involve electronics and in order for these to actually interact, a code had to be written. Throughout these processes, I have developed basic coding skills in Python for Arduino, sufficient to create a demonstrator involving multiple varying sensors and actuators. This is of grand value to me as a designer, as I aspire to improve or come up with concepts that involve novel techniques and have a valuable interaction with the user. This novel technique is very likely to involve electronics today and in the future. With this competence, I will be able to efficiently communicate these ideas through an operative demonstrator.
Interactive demonstrators involving electronics.
Electrical Engineering for interactive demonstrators
Computing the code as described above, directly has to cooperate with the involved sensors and actuators integrated into the interactive demonstrator that is being created. I obtained knowledge on how and what circuits would work, what components to add or leave out in order to make it work, where to find component data, and how to measure an error within a circuit. This leaves me with sufficient electrical skill and knowledge to create the basic interactivity of a demonstrator, involving multiple sensors and actuators.
Soldering data wires to the right sensor pins and creating a circuit that makes a solenoid Arduino-compatible.
Interactive digital prototypes made with Figma and Invision studio
Digital prototyping for interactive demonstrators
Throughout project 1 and project 2, I created digital interactive prototypes. This type of demonstration resulted in highly valuable insights on the usability of a concept’s interface. Also, for design teams it aided to make decisions and agree on actualizations of features and interactions of a concept. In this current world and the future world, digital interactions are increasing in popularity and are more frequently added to a design. In order to purposefully add value by extending to such digital interaction, I think it is of geat importance to start iterating on these applications early on in the process, with representative tools such as these.
“Look at things from multiple perspectives”
Approaching and managing a design process
Throughout the experience of multiple different designs and research processes throughout the past three years, I have collected a set of approaches and tools to reach out to define the next steps. For instance, I really like starting a product design process with a benchmark on what other related product embodiments look like or what they have been looking like in the past. I, however, also concluded that every design process needs its own storyline and approaches, because of which I aim to reflect, but not to put labels, on stages of a design process. Throughout these processes, my pragmatic attitude within processes has grown. Especially throughout project 2 and project 3, where teamwork really fell apart, I’ve developed a certain determination to always look at what is possible as the next step, instead of letting what is impossible define your process.
Process visuals of different projects over time
“…I am a pragmatic person…”
Adding a business perspective
Throughout multiple Business and Entrepreneurship focused courses, I have gained familiarity and integrated various business models and tools. Although they offer a rich variation of goals and resulting insights, I mainly view this knowledge and skill as a valuable reflection on a concept. I, therefore, remained using models such as the business model canvas or user journey map for other projects, as their application is rather broad and purpose is easily applicable as a reflection on a concept or deeper definition of the use and context of a concept. In short, they are easy to be used within a design process adding a benchmark or defining stakeholders and their values. I value integrating these tools, as I believe that adding a business perspective to a concept often adds a more realistic perspective as well. Being a pragmatic person, this suits me.
Multiple performed business models and their relations, such as the value proposition canvas within the full business model canvas.
“Working in a multidisciplinary team has my preference.”
Preparing a brainstorming workshop for a multidisciplinary product owners team.
Working in a multidisciplinary team
Throughout experiencing multidisciplinary teams, for instance for the course Engineering design, during my side-job at a cost and value consultancy company alongside highly technical teams, during my internship while brainstorming along with retailers such as Blokker and even during my years as a math tutor, I realized that my place is within a multidisciplinary environment. My interests lie in various directions and I keep getting curious more, not wanting to dive into the details too much. Having full process oversight and taking a seat in the ideation or conceptualization phase suits me best, collaborating with experts in the applicable fields to connect the dots in what is possible.
Digitally visualize concepts
During my Internship, I have been developing 3D modeling and rendering skills, in order to share my concepts digitally in full context, beyond the limitations of physical low-fi demonstrators. Throughout my Final Bachelor’s Project, I integrated and further developed this competence to experiment and communicate various concepts.
I value this skill as it adds a new dimension to my profession as a designer. Whatever complex shapes are wanted, what material is to be used, or what look is to be achieved; this way of digital manufacturing creates the opportunity to experiment with it all. I have experienced it being of great value for sharing concepts, as the concepts are perceived as done, as concepts are easily looking very realistic. This is, however, to be carefully considered. When viewed in-context visualizations, it is hard to imagine other types of embodiments.
Digital visualizations made with Fusion360 of different types of concepts.
Pictures of 3D food printing plastics.
Besides rendering 3D models into realistic visualizations, the digital processing of material also brings value to the design process within the prototyping and interaction evaluation phases. During both my internship and Final Bachelor project, I have experienced the value of being able to 3D print various shapes from various types of materials. It creates the opportunity to create a representative prototype within a very short period. This way, interaction with concepts can quickly be reviewed and iterated on. Being able to seamlessly integrate this competence in a design process can really boost a rich iterative process regarding the embodiment and interaction of and with a physical concept.
Digital food processing
The freedom of design and material that digital processing, as described above, brings numerous opportunities. Such as, for food. During my Final Bachelor’s Project, I have been 3D-printing puree-based meat meal components. In order to do so, multiple competencies developed throughout previous experiences were integrated throughout the process. First, 3D modelling, developed through using Fusion360 during my Internship to embody product design concepts. During this specific application of a 3D model, I learned about the connection between a digital 3D embodiment and the physical extrusion of the model, controlled by a computer. Such as the upper visual next to this text resulting in the print below it. This boosted my feeling for the digital processing of physical goods.
Throughout the composition of G-code, a code determining the pattern in which the body will be printed, my previous 3D printing and familiarity with Python code writing were valuable. The G-code can essentially be composed by a slicer, with which I got familiar throughout my internship, but of which a lot of variables were still unexplored by me. Besides developing skill managing these variables, for some models it is needed to manually alter this code. During this process, basic understanding of coding were valuable, defining what variables altered what and how what could be altered to achieve the wanted result.
Lastly, I’ve overcome multiple mechanical challenges that were not to be solved by G-code alterations or 3D-modelling. I did this by applying the same approaches as described for earlier projects; get inspired by other products, define what is possible and ideate from there on.
Altogether, this process has extended my knowledge and freedom within digital processing.
Pictures of 3D food printing during Final Bachelor Project.
Result of a brainstorm organized for and with clients.
Collaborating with clients and experts
During my Internship and Final Bachelor Project, I have been actively integrating clients and experts of a case within the process.
I realized the value of this to a process, as it adds a layer of realism and provides a big source of expertise. Besides this, I noticed that through repeating these encounters, I began developing a more comfortable but professional attitude towards experts and clients.
Designing for multiple stakeholders
As for project 2 the concept’s use was not understood by listeners during presentations, I began creating storyboards. Especially within processes where concepts involve more than one single intuitive interaction or multiple players are involved, this communication tool appeared to be of great value. This increase in efficient information sharing results in a quicker and deeper understanding of most complex concepts and thereby provides feedback of higher value. A video demonstrator can, in my experience, even extend this purpose as it can include elements beyond storylines.
I believe that designing for multiple stakeholders shows that you, as a designer, are aware of the environment of the concept you are designing. It also creates the opportunity to have the concept add value to more participants of the environment, and can potentially benefit the sustainability of the concept, as multiple players are involved in keeping the concept ‘alive’.
Storyboard involving multiple stakeholders.
Video demonstrator to illustrate the interaction with an inventory tracking device
“…it satisfies me to create or increase value for the user’s daily experiences.”
Designing a user and/or environment study
Throughout all project processes involving the collection of data from direct users or their environment, I have learned to carefully and iteratively consider and compose a user study. For example, during my Final Bachelor’s program, the verbal ability of participants would, on the spot, change the practice of full questions, tools, and timelines set up in advance. The course User Evaluation Methods has, however, provided me with a basic set and understanding of what to apply in which situation or with which type of user. What remains crucial to the integration of such methods and tools, remains, however, to adjust to the participant’s language and ability first.
Pre-defined timeline of user study during project 3
Video demonstrator of the project 3 user study case.
Integrating the direct user
Multiple projects throughout my education gathered user insights and therefore both quantitative and qualitative data to analyze and interpret. This made me experience the practice and differences of multiple methods specific to the type of data gathered. For instance, whether a study is structured or not, influences whether themes still have to be defined from large collections of interviews, or were already defined beforehand. But even then, one can still realize that some themes should be added or dismissed as a result of the given data. After the management of various collections of user data for various purposes, I concluded that each data set, regardless of to what extent it was guided or prepared beforehand, needs careful assessment and consideration before an analysis method is chosen or the analysis itself is performed.
Distribute quotes over a from full interviews defined set of themes.
Analyze and interpret user data
Project 1, project 3, design <> research and my Final Bachelor Project needed user insights and therefore both quantitative and qualitative data to analyze and interpret. This made me experience the practice and differences of multiple methods specific to the type of data gathered. Carefully, one should consider whether keywords should be collected from interviews, for instance when additional answers were given to closed questions or short answers were the result of open questions. Whether a study was structured or not, influences whether themes still have to be defined from large collections of interviews, or were already defined beforehand. Even then, during analysis, one can still realize that some themes should be added or dismissed as a result of the given data. After the management of various collections of user data for various purposes, I concluded that each data set, regardless of to what extent it was guided or prepared beforehand, needs careful assessment and consideration before an analysis method is chosen or the analysis itself is performed.
Distribute interview quotes over themes defined from full interviews.
Clustering of keywords of qualitative data.
Boxplot visualization for analysis of likert-scale user data.
Bar-chart visualization of closed question responeses.
FBP midterm presentation.
Pitching and presenting
During my Final Bachelor’s Project, I’ve been pitching both my progress and eventual concepts at various times. First, this made me reflect on my presenting tools; what types of attributes and visualizations attract the listener in the way you’d like in order to convey your story, dilemma, or concept effectively. Secondly, it made me realize that for final presentations, it is valuable to user-test your pitch and set up. Elements of a pitch might already be effective, but even the order in which it is being shared can make or break a successful pitch.
Concludingly, I realized that I should view a presentation as a concept in need of iteration for future purposes, for pitches varying from educational to business purposes.
To enhance the competencies developed throughout my past education, I aim to pursue the Industrial Design master’s program at the TU/e. Within this master’s, I believe that the track of Research Design and Development (RDD) would suit my vision best. Within this direction, there is the opportunity for a user-centered design approach, to design for a less represented user group, and to potentially integrate new technologies in order to make them accessible for these users in everyday life. As my interest has been developing toward product design, I aim to integrate a selection of courses involving product design skills and approaches at TU Delft during my master’s at TU/e. Besides these courses, I aim to perform my master’s projects in a multidisciplinary way, either reaching out to experts of other disciplines for a project or creating a multidisciplinary team for the courses and projects possible.
The plan described above aims it focuses on the development of the expertise areas of user & society and technology & realization. Within my future as an industrial designer, I view the remaining three expertise areas as a collection of competencies to realize the pursuit of my two main expertise areas of interest. Below, I include a couple of future goals and directions I have defined for myself to accomplish within the upcoming master’s program.
Physical multi-stage validation experiments with direct users.
Define a specific direction/profession overlapping over projects.
Create a realistic demonstrator of a physical product that is extended with an app.
Inspirations for future work