During the bachelor Industrial Design, I followed many different courses and electives in all the expertise areas. Next to this, I did three semester projects and an internship. All these activities result in my interests and the designer I want to become.

During the courses and electives, I developed skills in the different expertise areas. During the semester projects, I could apply those skills and develop them further.

I think that the three semester projects and my internship had the most influence on my development as a designer.

Project 1

The first project I did, Project 1, was within the squad ‘Play and Learn’. Because I did not know what I wanted to do with design in the beginning the bachelor, I chose to do my first project within this squad. In the ‘Play and Learn’ squad you could work with children and design games, which I thought I might enjoy. This was the first ‘real’ project I worked on, which resulted in Filos . The target group of this project was children in elementary school. So, to validate our concept and prototype, we had to visit several elementary schools to do user tests with the children. From doing this project I learned how to manage a design process and how I can set up user tests in a way that I get the results I need to validate the quality of my concept and prototype.

This project started my interest in the expertise area user & society. I noticed that I enjoyed creating the user tests and executing them with the children. I knew that I wanted to develop myself further within this area.

In this project I also realized how much I enjoy working with children. Children are unpredictable in how they are going to react to your prototype and they are not shy to share their genuine opinion. Therefore, you get honest results from children, they will tell you if they like it, but they will also let you know when they don’t like it at all. Because you are not sure how the children are going to react, it is a challenge to create something the children will like and enjoy using.

As mentioned in my professional identity, I have always been interested in healthcare. Therefore, I wanted to do the next semester project, Project 2, in a squad related to healthcare, to see if I also would like to design for the healthcare sector. But because I enjoyed Project 1 so much, I also wanted to do one more project in the squad ‘Play and Learn’, to see if that was the direction I wanted to go in. So, my plan was to do Project 2 and Project 3 in the squads ‘Physical and social rehabilitation’ (currently ‘Health squad’) and ‘Play and Learn’. As mentioned in my identity, I have always been interested in healthcare. Therefore, I wanted to do the next semester project, Project 2, in a squad related to healthcare, to see if I also would like to design for the healthcare sector. But because I enjoyed Project 1 so much, I also wanted to do one more project in the squad ‘Play and Learn’, to see if that was the direction I wanted to go in. So, my plan was to do Project 2 and Project 3 in the squads ‘Physical and social rehabilitation’ (currently ‘Health squad’) and ‘Play and Learn’. As mentioned in my professional identity, I have always been interested in healthcare. Therefore, I wanted to do the next semester project, Project 2, in a squad related to healthcare, to see if I also would like to design for the healthcare sector. But because I enjoyed Project 1 so much, I also wanted to do one more project in the squad ‘Play and Learn’, to see if that was the direction I wanted to go in. So, my plan was to do Project 2 and Project 3 in the squads ‘Physical and social rehabilitation’ (currently ‘Health squad’) and ‘Play and Learn’.


Project 2

I did my second project in the squad ‘Physical and social rehabilitation’. Here I was introduced to the rehabilitation clinic Adelante. The target group of this project was patients who suffered from a stroke. During this project I found out how important it is to have a user-centered approach. Because we did not know how it feels to have suffered from a stroke, we visited the rehabilitation center several times to join a therapy session. Here we could see how these patients function and what they had to do within therapy.

In this project I developed myself further in the expertise area user & society. I learned how to interview users, how to observe the users in their therapy sessions and how I could set up a user test for patients, together with a therapist. Next to this, I learned how to place myself into the perspective of the user. I had to do this, to see if the concept could work for patients who suffered from a stroke.  

Next to the area User & Society, I also developed myself in the area Technology & Realization. This was the first project in which I created a working prototype, together with a team member. From this I learned how I can make a working prototype, which might not be beautiful to look at, but which demonstrated the concept perfectly.

I also developed my professional skills during this project. This was the first project I did for a client. I learned how to approach a client, how to have productive meetings, and how to include them in the design process. I also learned how to communicate a technological concept on an easy way to the therapists and the patients, so that they were able to give feedback on it. In this project I saw how valuable it is to have close contact with your client and target group. You can have multiple moments of feedback to check whether you are still on the right track with your concept.

During this project I realized that I enjoy creating concepts for the healthcare sector. This project resulted is Muse.


Project 3

For my third semester project I was again placed in the ‘physical and social rehabilitation’ squad.

This project was a research project. Here my client was Maxima Medisch Centrum. The target group of the project was children with clubfoot. In this project I learned how to setup a big research project, how to work with a hospital and how to analyze large amounts of data. Because the hospital was our client we wanted to take the opportunity to test with children with clubfoot during their appointment with the doctor. However, we could not just start user testing. Therefore, we had to check if we would need a METC application to test, which we did. Since it takes a long time to be approved, we did fill in forms for the application, to see what it was like, but we did not send it. To make sure that we were able to test, we approached parents of children with clubfoot through the Facebook of the Dutch clubfoot association. There we found three children we could test with.

During this project I learned how to analyze large amounts of data. Because we used four different sensors on four different places with three different children, it took us quite a while to make sense of the data. For the analysis of the data we used MATLAB. I never worked with MATLAB before, but after Project 3 I understood some of the basics.

Another important thing I learned is that, when several things not go as planned, I should not give up on the project. I should be creative with coming up with solutions so that I can still finish the project. This was a valuable lesson, which I took with me in my final bachelor project.


Internship

I chose to do an internship at the company Philips. I was an intern within the department Philips Healthworks for the venture MyHealthJourney. During the internship I worked within a software development team. My assignment was to write engaging content for self-care programs. A side-assignment was to analyze a user test done by students and make a visual of the gathered data. During this internship I learned how to analyze a large user test and how to create an interesting visual of the data. I also learned how to create engaging content for users, so I improved my writing skills. But I improved most in my professional skills. It is like I became more mature in some sort of way during my internship. I became more proactive in arranging anything and I am not shy anymore to talk to people I don’t know.