‘‘My vision is to combine design and research activities in order to create integrated designs which are meaningful for my users by pursuing a user-centred approach’’
Technology can give meaning to its users and thus to society. As seen in everyday life, people seem to be dependent on their electronic devices. However, I think it is valuable to look at how technology can be integrated in people’s everyday life in a subtle way.
Over the past years, I have come to notice that most of the technologies we use are designed for individual use rather than for shared use. Since people are social animals, I believe that it is valuable to look at how we can design for shared settings. Therefore, a user-centered design approach is essential. Multi-user environments require insights of those involved in that specific context. Combining different research techniques to gain both qualitative and quantitative data can help to analyze these contexts in detail.
In a world with fast developing technologies, I think it is important to get a grip on what users value in order to create meaning for them. That is why user-centred design processes fit my approach perfectly. I have experienced how valuable it is to have a close connection with the user and their stakeholders, and I find it interesting to go out in the field and observe what is happening in the users’ context. Through my involvement as a designer in the dementia care space, I have also noticed that multi-user interaction is not always successful. Though, reciprocal interaction within this context is very important. While observing what is happening in this context, I present myself in an empathic way towards my users, and simultaneously gaining insights on the needs of the people in the context. Combining my own findings and linking these to what I read in literature give me a great foundation for my design and research directions. Having said that, I believe that design is a strong means to research, and vice versa.