It is important to me to design deeply thought-through, comprehensive concepts in which the user is always at the centre.
It can be helpful to take a step back and discard good ideas in order to be able to develop even better ideas.
My focus is mainly on research, conception and (visual) prototyping. More information on these points can be found further down the page.
In the research phase, my main concern is to gather as much in-depth knowledge as possible about my target group and their needs. I want to know what bothers them and what they want, what their contextual everyday life looks like and what they like - or dislike - about it.
This can be achieved through methods such as (expert) interviews, desk research, various methods of observation or cultural probes, etc.
Synthesis is primarily about sorting and classifying the gained knowledge and insights. For this, I use various methods that help with this. These include value proposition canvases, user journeys, storyboards, personas, stakeholder maps and many more.
After the findings have been sorted and problems defined in the synthesis phase, they can be transformed into an initial concept in the conception phase.
For this purpose, initial solution approaches are generated and researched. Are the ideas realistic and technically feasible? Are they logical? Do they actually help the users with their problems?
Here it can be useful to do an initial feedback loop in order to hear the user's first opinions on the proposed solution. This can then be considered and incorporated.
As soon as the concept is in place, it can be implemented. The implementation of the concept is usually divided into two different parts. On the one hand, the hardware prototyping and on the other hand, the design of the user interfaces.
From a technical point of view, my hardware prototypes usually consist of an Arduino and various associated actuators and sensors, which are installed according to the concept and integrated into the product.
Most products then also include a user interface in most cases. I often design this by starting with a storyboard or a user flow. I then work this out into an information architecture, from which I then create wireframes and first screens, starting with scribbles. These are then iteratively elaborated until I have a high-fidelity prototype. Afterwards, the screens can be linked together, for example via figma, and the transitions between the screens can be animated to create a first click prototype.
These click dummies and/or hardware prototypes can then be tested together with the respective user. For this, it often makes sense to think of a task for the user and simply observe how the user deals with the challenge. This makes it possible to learn where there is still room for improvement and what perhaps already works better than expected.
These findings can then in turn be used to improve the prototypes even further.
At our university, it was also part of the semester project to exhibit this at the end of each semester. Here are a few impressions of some of the exhibitions and fairs in which I was able to participate with my projects.