Before starting my Industrial Design Bachelor, I did not have much design experience. My best pre-bachelor design experience was during the high school course “Het beste idee van ANW” (The best idea of ANW). In this we had to make a product to prevent children under 18 from smoking. For this we had to go through the process of brainstorming, researching, designing and building a product. I really liked this assignment and I was then told the study Industrial Design might be something for me.
In my first bachelor year, I was mainly exploring what kind of designer I am. Through the courses Creative Programming and Creative Apps I have found out that I’m interested in programming. While doing Creative Electronics and my first project I also grew fond of building (semi-)working prototypes. This falls mostly under Technology and Realization and is where my biggest growth has been.
By doing the course User-centered Design and performing multiple user tests during Project 1, I also grew in the User and Society expertise. Through doing user test I learned the value of involving users in the design process. As you are designing for user, you need to understand the users and their needs.
Throughout the following year I found that my interest for Smart Homes could send me on a specific design track. The following courses and projects I chose were all chosen with becoming a smart home designer in mind. My second project was in the Social Interactions in Shared systems squad. Although the squad was chosen with different expectations in mind, I was still able to learn a lot from this squad which will be applicable for smart home design. I mainly learned the difficulties of designing for social systems.
I followed the Technology Entrepreneurship USE learning line to be able to take my ideas to the market. I have greatly improved the Business and Entrepreneurship expertise through this learning line. I also took the course Business Thinking to further improve the expertise.
To further develop the Technology and Realization expertise, I followed the courses Interactive Intelligent Product and Technologies for Connectivity. The former course taught me the basics of Artificial Intelligence, which is becoming more central in the Smart Home industry. The latter course taught me to create a well-documented and easily maintainable framework, from which other developers could expand their work. As the Smart home industry is carried by open source, this course was very valuable to me.
I have also followed two separate programming courses, one on Python programming (which is used in many Machine Learning practices) and one on (Android) App programming. The latter helped me in understanding (basic) code for android apps including sensors, which means I can make a quick and dirty android app prototype that uses different phone sensors.
Through all of my projects I have done user tests. After I did the course Elementary Statistics for Designers the results of user tests have also properly analyzed. Because of this, I have been steadily growing in the Math, Data and Computing expertise (after the initial boost from the aforementioned course).
The Creativity and Aesthetics expertise area has been my least developed area. With the course Aesthetics of Interaction I gained the perspective that aesthetics of interaction should be very tightly connected to the context and the use that the design is for. By this I mean that aesthetics of interaction should also take into account the practical use of the design. This also means that aesthetics of interaction should not be limited by the viewpoint of the designer, but should fit with the sensations and experiences of the system.