As a designer you are expected to be creative and generate new ideas. Exploring new fields and techniques is needed to generate strong concepts. The aesthetics are a very important aspect of your design, since this will be the first thing your user get in contact with.
During all projects and courses of the bachelor I was trained to generate new ideas and concepts in a natural way. I learned to communicate these ideas by making use of visuals or prototypes. I also developed a very good sense for form and detail. The course Exploratory Sketching (which teaches who to visualize and render your ideas in professional drawings), my internship at Pillo (whereby I had to generate new concepts and make wireframes for an app), the course Trends Cockpit (in which I learned to make style DNA’s) and the projects I did in the Wearable Senses squad (where I learned to combine craftsmanship with modern technologies such as 3D printing on textiles) contributed to this. By going through an iterative design process I strive to achieve an aesthetic good quality.
Designing is also about exploring new technologies in order to create new innovative concept. A good understanding of the feasibility of these concept is needed in order to get your concepts realized in a real product. Knowledge of different disciplines is needed in order to communicate with other engineers.
Throughout the bachelor I learned how I can realize my ideas and concepts in to real projects. The courses Creative Electronics and Creative Programming gained me the basic knowledge of the technology. Within my projects I extended this knowledge. Within the wearable senses squad I was introduced in making wearable sensors and actuators. This knowledge was implemented in the project A.I.M. in the Vital Play squad in order to develop soft pressure sensors.
I also realized that it isn’t always necessary to know everything about the technology. During this bachelor I learned how to communicate my technological wishes or insights and adapt to this since I gained a understanding of for example Unity. I experienced this especially during my courses in Design for Games and Play. I knew how to communicate the game concepts in such a way the students from Software Science were able to develop it.
As a designer you always have to keep in mind who you designing for and what would be the impact of your designs. To achieve a (playful) effect on the user experience it is important to involve the people who you designing for as main stakeholders in the design process.
In the bachelor I learned to involve the users in a very early stage in the design process. Through projects and courses I executed different user research methods such as questionnaires, interviews and observation studies. I learned how to evaluate and collect their insights and implement them in the process. I experienced that you have to look critical at the abilities of the user in order to create value for them. The USE learning line Decisions under Risk and Uncertainty learned me to look in an ethical and political way at the risk a scientific or technical design decisions could bring.
In order to put an idea into a real project, a designer needs to be able to look at the different value propositions of the project. You need to have an understanding of business in order to involve the right stakeholders in your project and communicate your ideas to them.
Over the years of my bachelor I learned to involve and work with different stakeholders and apply their feedback, needs and wishes in my design process. This resulted in products with a stronger market proposition. For example within the project A.I.M. we worked close together with the company Janssen-Fritsen in order to innovate the gymnastic equipment’s they develop. Also within my internship at Pillo I really experienced that having a product with meaningful value will help expanding your network, which is key for a start-up.
Overall I think I grew the most in this competence during my board year at the study association of industrial design Lucid. As commissioner of external affairs I was responsible for reaching the sponsor goal of the association. This board year thought me to communicate and organize activities with different kind of stakeholders and really make companies aware of the added value of an Industrial Designer.
Every day, the amount of data that is being collected grows. As a designer you need to be able to handle with this data in the right way. Being able to analyze the collected data and use it as input and output for your designs is really valuable.
During my bachelor I learned how to gather quantitative and qualitative data from users by setting up user studies. I learned to analyze this data and implement the conclusions in my designs. In courses like Creative Programming and Digital Craftsmanship I learned how to use algorithms in order to create patterns and visualization. Also I developed the knowledge to program my own website in HTML and CSS. During my USE learning line Decisions under Risk and Uncertainty I was introduced to cryptography and cryptanalysis in order to secure data.
For a designer it is important to know how to run a design process and which process should be used for different kind of projects. You need to know your stronger and weaker points in the process. As a designer you need to be able to reflect on your approach from various angles and perspectives.
Throughout the projects I executed in my bachelor I learned to go through an iterative design process. I learned to implement my knowledge of the different competences and approach my projects from the different perspectives. I learned to reflect on myself and the process. During my bachelor I executed different kind of processes such as an research or explorative process. I learned not to be afraid to try a different approach when this is needed.
As a designer you will be working with a lot of different stakeholders and experts. Therefore it is very important to be able to collaborate and communicate with them.
Within my bachelor I learned who to communicate with people. Working in multidisciplinary teams and doing a board year thought me how to communicate my ideas with people with a different backgrounds. I learned to do this for example with making use of videos, visuals or quick prototypes. I learned to take different roles in a (design) team. I could be the manager of a team when guidance is needed, but also execute tasks someone else gave me. I experienced that I am the ‘glue’ between different disciplines and stimulate the creative process. I learned to organize and facilitate big activities and take responsibility.
In order to face new challenges, a designer needs to keep improving himself. As a designer you do this by always exploring new technologies and teaching yourself new skills.
The bachelor Industrial Design learned me how I can teach myself. I learned how to reach the goals I set and which skills are needed to achieve these goals. It learned me to have an open mind set and always explorer new possibilities. I learned to use existing resources and build up on that. Also I learned to always keep reflecting on myself, on my process and on my projects in order to keep on improving and becoming a better designer.