Within this expertise area, I followed several courses to broaden my knowledge in several aspects of this area. During the course User-Centered Design I got introduced to several techniques of how to involve the user into the design process. In the course User Evaluation Methods, I was introduced to techniques to setup qualitative and quantitative user tests and to analyze these. In the USE-course Empathy with the User I learned about several techniques of how to observe users, their behavior and reaction to their environment.
The knowledge I gained in these courses were put into practice and developed further in project 1, 2 and 3 in which I made persona’s, wrote scenarios, observed users, setup user tests and analyzed the data gathered in the tests. Because the target groups of these projects were not people of my age, I had to learn to place myself in the perspective of my target group. By doing this, I could imagine what it would be like to use the prototype I created.
During my internship my assignment was to create engaging content for the user. However, I was not able to test with users how they felt about this content and the company was also not planning to do this. I realized how important it is to test whatever you are building with your users to make sure that it is useful.
By following these courses and using and developing the knowledge in the three projects, I built myself quite a useful toolkit to tackle situations regarding the user. During my Final Bachelor Project, I used the skills I learned in this expertise area a lot.
Because the target group of my FBP are children with cerebral palsy, which I was not familiar with before my project, I had to do research in how the children behave and move. So, in the beginning of my project I observed the children during their therapy sessions to get a better understanding of how they move and behave.
When I finished my first prototype, I visited Adelante and the children to test it. At first, I demonstrated the prototype to the therapist and explained how I wanted to execute the user test, to check whether I was allowed to test it with the children. Then I tested with two children with cerebral palsy.
When I finished my final prototype, I again visited Adelante and the children to test it and consulted the therapist first, before I tested with the children. Then I tested with three children.
I think that I developed myself a lot within this expertise area. Before I started the bachelor Industrial Design, I never thought about the users of products in this way. Now I have experience in doing user tests, observing users and involving them in the design process.