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On this page, you can find my current progress in the five areas of expertise and other skills. Both regular and extracurricular activities have steered my development within the competency areas.  I will explain my development in each area and will go over some of the skills I gained that concretely show my development. 

Creativity & Aesthetics

To stimulate myself in creation and creativity, I followed Exploratory Sketching and Tangible and Embodied Interaction. Both courses taught me new material on how to use aesthetics and learned me about tangible aspects of design. I learned how to sketch digitally using a drawing tablet for faster sketches and digital deliverables. In the literal sense of Aesthetics, I formed a design language and style of my own. I did this by creating large mood boards of all beautiful designs I encountered during 6 months and analyzing patterns in this. Next to that, my view on aesthetics, in general, got more clearly developed during the past years, also making me consider how aesthetics influence interaction and behavior. I further explored this by writing a paper about my learnings of the book The Psychology of Everyday Things by Don Norman (1988), who explained the basic influences on design very well. 

During my final bachelor project, I chose a physical display to communicate intent, as I learned from Tangible and Embodied Interaction. Next to that, I used many techniques for creativity such as exploratory sketching, interaction relabeling (Djajadiningrat et al., 2000) and the new brainstorm principles (Rossiter & Lilien, 1994) to further stimulate creativity. 

This expertise area is about coming up with creative ideas and striving for good materialistic quality. It is about finding the balance between knowledge-driven and intuitive design

User & Society

The area User and Society is about being open to different societal, historical, and cultural contexts for your product and about researching in an ethical, moral, and respectful manner. User and Society stands central in many designs I work on

Design should never be for the sake of design and should address the needs of a user and/or society. Here, it is important to look critically at the current day, do good user testing, and consider the societal impact you can have. I learned the basics of user testing during User-Centered Design but took a deep dive to learn more. I consider working with users very important for my view on technological interaction design. I learned more about this during the course Design <> Research. I learned using the three perspectives (First, second and third person) on your design from Marketing Research and Design Methods. 

Viewing your design in a cultural and societal way is important. I learned the fundamentals from this during Socio-Cultural Sensitivity. For my final project, I wrote an appeal for further research on a societal level since I felt like this needed addressing from this point of view. To further develop I read The Handbook of Usability Testing by Jeff Rubin and Dana Chisnell (2008) and applied my learnings during the testing of my Final Bachelor Project. Here I applied Focus groups for ideation, and later on expert interviews and mixed methods user testing to validate my design. 

Math, Data & Computing

 I firstly learned many basic hard skills, such as programming in C#, R, SQL and Python. My skills here were applied very often: coding for Arduino, data analysis but for instance also when creating a program to simulate a game or interface. I learned the basics during Creative Programming, where I built a game and vectorized a poster using code. As an extra-curricular activity, I set up a Raspberry Pi, followed an introduction course into using the command-line interface in Linux given by Fontys. After installing a camera, I installed Octopi which uses AI to detect misprints and allows me to control the printer remotely. 

During my FBP, I conducted data analysis using Python on the quantitative part of my research. Next to that, I used my programming skills to import custom Visual Studio scripts into Unity for changing forces and output in the model.

Math, Data and Computing is an expertise area about working with data, and using computing for design.

Technology & Realization

Technology and Realization is an expertise area about making the technical part of your design into a product.

I learned the basics of technology during Creative Electronics, where I built a laundry sorting machine. I learned how to use Arduino, sensors, and other hardware to create a model. I worked a lot on my skills in realization as extracurricular work. I can create models in Fusion 360 and have basic knowledge of SolidWorks. During my internship, I learned a lot about realizing your designs, such as production and assembly drawings, injection molding, and using sheet metals. Next to that, I learned how to laser-cut and 3D print for creating my models. 

During my project, I used my skills to create a 3D model in Fusion 360, and export this as an object into a complex Unity model. I also made renders of the model and explored 360-degree VR videos for the best experience ability of my concept. 

Business & Entrepreneurship

Though User & Society are central to a design, a design will often not succeed without a business approach. To learn more about marketing, I followed the USE line New Product Development and Marketing. I learned many of the basic principles about business models, competition analysis, and other marketing statistics. I learned to apply my knowledge during my internship, the creation of my own product, and during Marketing in Action, where we ran a digitally simulated company for a quartile long. I have learned that Business is often tied to design in a very close way. By taking the business into account throughout the project, you can deliver a more unique and sustainable value proposition. 

During my FBP, I conducted data analysis using Python on the quantitative part of my research. Next to that, I used my programming skills to import custom Visual Studio scripts into Unity for changing forces and output in the model.

Business and Entrepreneurship is about creating new value, checking the customer fit and demand, and creating a business case for your product

Scientific & Professional Skills

Scientific and Professional skills are for instance critical thinking, work ethics, management, and presenting

Next to the areas of expertise, I also gained professional and research competencies. Starting off with my Scientific and Professional skills, I learned how to construct, observe and report in a structured manner. I learned so much from the analytical way of this, such as the single-cause fallacy and discussing your own work. I gained many skills on time from my internship. By clocking all working hours, I learned how much time tasks take and gained better insight to plan ahead. I volunteered as often as possible for pitching and presenting, leaving me with good skills in this area. From my internship, I learned to present in a sincere manner that feels less like a product is being sold to you when listening. 

I applied my skills during my project by pitching and using earlier work and my own research as a basis for further ideation. I learned how to apply Latin Square to my research design to counter sequential effects. 

Design & Research Processes

I feel that the Design & Research Processes I learned are fundamental to my way of working. Using Design Thinking to see past boundaries has been very helpful. I applied basic design processes, and also learned how to work iteratively. This taught me how to build up in complexity, to allow for faster changes, and always have a working product. 

During my Final Bachelor Project, I used my skills to find a fitting design process, have a clear structure for my activities, and by setting up research goals for each part of my project. I learned how research can influence your design, and how important design is to your research. I would like to pursue a career in researching design, as you can further read in the ‘Future’ section. 

Design & Research Processes are about steering your design and research in a clear, structured, and autonomous manner.

References for this page:

Djajadiningrat, J. P., Gaver, W. W., & Frens, J. W. (2000, August). Interaction relabelling and extreme characters: methods
for exploring aesthetic interactions. In Proceedings of the 3rd conference on Designing interactive systems: processes,
practices, methods, and techniques (pp. 66-71).
Norman, D. A. (1988). The psychology of everyday things. Basic books.
Rossiter, J. R., & Lilien, G. L. (1994). New “brainstorming” principles. Australian Journal of Management, 19(1), 61-72.
Rubin, J., & Chisnell, D. (2008). Handbook of usability testing: how to plan, design and conduct effective tests. John Wiley & Sons.