Application-driven design in my view enables and inspires others to create some sort of added value. By means of R&D, design thinking, and/or entrepreneurship, I design for real-life applications. Since the practice of designing is instrumental to adding value, I strive for feasibility, viability, and desirability throughout my work. A design only has value in the hands of the user. I believe that entrepreneurship is more often than not the key to achieving this.
I want to create technology that has the potential of elevating people to higher levels of independence. To achieve this, I consider the broader context in which a product will be used. This requires a pragmatic and socio-economic view on design. A product will seldom be looked at on its own. Instead, it will be compared to the status quo, and considered with costs in mind.
Figure 1 is an example of application-driven design, because usability research is the driving factor behind the ‘gear shifter’ metaphor in this interaction.
Exploration is the most defining phase in the design process. It’s a matter of wisely distributing your efforts. Explore too deeply and you may become too invested in an idea, but explore too shallowly and you will never truly find the right direction. More broadly speaking, design thinking is distributing different resources such that you can (re)iterate, test, and achieve. Knowing what it takes is knowing how to apply your prior experience. A systematic approach can help to guide this process, but don’t be afraid to pivot from your initial plan.
Figure 2 shows how design and entrepreneurship can interact, by creating a new branding approach: ‘invisible branding’.¹ The need for a watch without a prominent logo on the front is what inspired to design this watch.
¹ Invisible branding shifts the focus on the product itself, instead of relying on a brand (logo) to make an impression.
Technology should be integrated in our lives, helping us to live by our values. Technology should not interfere with our lives, but rather find its way along our interaction attention continuum.²
As a critical thinker I seek to question the boundaries of what is considered right. I am driven by what I observe and base my conclusions on facts and statistics. I am insensitive to existing predominant conceptions, which allows me to identify winning strategies.
² Bakker, S., & Niemantsverdriet, K. (2016). The interaction-attention continuum: considering various levels of human attention in interaction design. International Journal of Design, 10(2), 1-14.
All in all, defining how design influences the narration of our everyday lives is a matter of continuous improvement, discussion, balancing, and making tough decisions. Integrating multiple disciplines, perspectives, dimensions, and modalities results in the best experiences. Still, only in the hands of the user can a design extend our capabilities to live by our values.