During my fourth study year I attended the minor Co-Design Studio a the Hogeschool Utrecht. This is an exciting program in which i learned a lot about user research, designing for users, and was able to develop myself greatly. Here I will show you some of the work I have done during the minor, also be sure to check the projects Airdapt, Energy Saving, The Prototype and Heuvelrug which were also done during the minor.
After the first week of the minor any memories of the long vacation before were long gone! This week also marked the first time ever that I stayed at school until 22h00, appearently even school closes.. Important lessons learned this week were: Never give up, and make sure you can explain all of your decisions. It also introduced us to a deeper layer of design, what was the story behind our design?
During the minor I learned a lot about doing user research, one of the exciting things we learned were creative interviewing tools to help us in our intrviews. I had not done much interviewing before this minor, so the ammount of interviewing we had to do was really valuable. Besides performing the research, we also learned to process this raw data. I have never used so many post-its before! I learned to transcribe my interviews and cluster the date into themes. From this insights could be formed, can't imagine that I had never heard of insights before!
Because of the international minor, I had plenty of opportunity to practice my english. My English was already pretty good, but speaking it everyday really helped to get more fluent. During the minor I did a lot of presentations, something I used to avoid. This really helped me to get more comfortable when presenting, to a point where I actually quite enjoy it now! Besides actual presentations I also learned to always think about how I present my work, every detail is important...
During the minor I learned a boat load of new techniques and methods to work, both from lectures and from multidiciplinary team members. Right now I can't imagine not having a big wall to cover in post-its. But also customer journey maps, personas, assumption maps, transcribing and more. I learned and enjoyed to really think out of the box and being given the opportunity to be really innovative. Without any hesitation I pushed myself to do more and more.
I have never really been the type to quickly ask for help. However, from the minor I learned the value of using experts or just someone to get a second look at something. The different angles they provide, and feedack are really valuable. During the minor I grew as a professional and person to become a stronger designer.
Our hard working mentality often went hand in hand with a lot of fun and an enjoyable time. Pizza nights at school when the deadlines started to creep up, celebrating sinterklaas, going to the movies and building our own football pitch in our workspace to name just a few... The mentality of the group was really great, fun, helpful, creative.