layers of the

depth model


To illustrate my vision on this hidden depth, I have created a model throughout the years of my education. The functions will be further elaborated below.


Body

Current design can fail to make users reach the deeper layers, since they might lack a proper superficial layer. I think that enjoying the body is of great importance, as it gives a first impression and guides the user to the rest of the layers. For example, this could be a good material choice, visual design or anything with a wow-factor. Already enjoying the design on a superficial level, the user can now go a level deeper and connect to the soul of the product.

Soul

This could be properties of both the physical (hardware, embodied cognition (Kirsch, 2013)) and the ideological part (a balanced process, resonation, learning algorithm) of the design. Many of my current design activities are centered around this layer, showing the importance of this layer. Even going a level deeper, the user could access and admire the reason of existence of the design.

Reason of existence

This could include the initial intrinsic motivation of the designer (such as a vision, personal story, etc.) or scientific grounds that prove the (societal) relevance or effectiveness of the design. For instance, empathic design can increase the probability that a product will meet the user’s needs (Koskinen et al. 2003). Designers can be trained to improve research skills and an open attitude towards users (Kouprie & Sleeswijk, 2009) in order to create this deepest layer.


Kirsh, D. (2013). Embodied cognition and the magical future of interaction design. ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction (TOCHI), 20(1), 3.

Koskinen, I. and Battarbee, K., 2003. Introduction to user experience and empathic design. In: I. Koskinen, K. Battarbee, and T. Mattelmäki, eds. Empathic design, user experience in product design. Helsinki: IT Press, 37–50.

Kouprie, Merlijn, and Froukje Sleeswijk Visser. “A framework for empathy in design: stepping into and out of the user’s life.” Journal of Engineering Design 20.5 (2009): 437-448.

 
my personal

Identity


Where I come from as a person and who I am now. It reveals my unique way of designing in order to achieve my ultimate goal, described in the vision above.

From growing up with two divorced parents, I’ve learned to stand up for my own opinion. Spending my time in different houses and locations with different values, I started to think about my own values. Easily being comfortable on my own, as a designer I naturally prefer doing things entirely on my own too. This changed though, during my time at the university. First of all, I started to immensely develop more social skills. I started to recognise my fascination for people and social structures. (Overly) caring for people and showing them my world of interests has played a big role in shaping my vision. Secondly, as I started to work in different group compositions, I saw the value of working together on something. I’ve learned to trust in other’s capabilities, instead of doing everything myself. The thing I still need to develop in, is making use of experts, external sources and clients. Although fellow-students and coaches can be valuable input for my project, stepping outside the context of my desk is important too.

My broad interest has made me a busy person. Currently being both an ID student, composing musician, freelance graphic designer and a mathematic teacher, there’s always something to do (not even mentioning my other hobbies cooking, photography and videography). This results positively in ambition, dedication, patience and perfectionism. On the other hand, this negatively results in being overambitious and unrealistic, not finishing things, bad or no planning, last-minute rushes. For this, I need to keep planning and reflecting on it to stay on track.

A lunch meeting with experts at GGzE eLab

A lunch meeting with experts at GGzE eLab

Fun / playfulness


As a designer, I implant serious topics and tasks with a certain amount of fun and playfulness. Fun means a light-hearted character and sometimes a sense of humour. Quite similar to this, playfulness means that my design can be amusing by a game element (B21, B31, M11R1 projects) This factor makes my design accessible in order to easily grab the user’s attention. By exploring he will be rewarded: he will become aware of the deeper ideas or functions, now he’s experiencing them in a fun way.

Adaptiveness / adaptability


Similarly, I use adaptiveness to gradually shape the design around the user (B12, B21, B22, B31, B32, M11R1 projects). This way, the design gets personalized, creating a stronger bond between user and product. Sometimes, I do this by giving the design a certain sense of life, e.g. making it behave like a cute animal (Whoozle (M12 elective) and Takkie (M12 elective)). Such a dynamic design can keep the user interested and engaged. With adaptiveness, the product has control over its state. With adaptability you can create a similar effect, but the user has control; he has the power to customize the design to his desires and comfort. An example of this is Tuun.

Beautiful complexity


During the last semesters, I’ve recognised that I often beautiful complexity, e.g. complex patterns or abstract shapes (B31, B32, M11R1 and M12 project), mathematical theory (my student job) or hard to understand concepts (musicianship).  Naturally overlapping with my vision, I use this to make this complexity accessible to users, showing its beauty.

Future

Summing all of this up, I am getting closer to the answer on where my future will be. It has revealed my core interest in concept development, physical interactions and dynamic systems. When looking for a job, it will be easier to make a selection of suitable ones. Digital design agencies where I have worked as a visual designer (ILUMY and Wolfpack) won’t be a suitable one any more. I will make a list of at least three suitable ones after graduation and contact them for an application.


Looking pack on past years, I have taken the space to work on my three main goals, getting a better balance, better scientific grounds and more user involvement. Now that I’ve seen I am capable of going through a larger project, I would like to focus more on my vision. As reflected before, I would like to see to what extent my future designs succeed in this larger goal. As I have seen that my vision can be interpreted in a wider way too, I should keep reflecting at least two times a year. If needed, it should be focused more. When I keep refining and assessing this vision, I am sure my work will stay relevant and passionate.


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