PORTFOLIO
MARTIJN DEKKER

About me

Vision

Our 2D world

We live in a three dimensional world and we humans are evolved to manipulate 3D objects. In the last few years however, we started building a world in 2D, using your finger on a touchscreen as input. This digital world is not only becoming our home, but also our go-to for solutions for our problems [1]. This is no surprise, the possibilities of this digital world feel endless: everything and everyone is connected. The changeable 2D form of the interface makes these digital product very flexible, a swiss army knife. It is also very easy to design for this world, we do not need time and/or money consuming productions, but instead we can build prototypes every easy by just a few lines of code, and distribute and test it with users very quickly.

Tangible, rich and haptic

The current digital world is neglecting all of our perceptual and motors skills however [2]. By making tangible, rich [3] and haptic interfaces, we can lessen the load on our cognitive abilities. Tangible, rich and haptic products do not allow for emerging functionality [4], and can lack overview and flexibility.

Physical-digital products

What we need is a proper embodiment of this digital world to "physical-digital products" [5]. This requires a designer who can acknowledge the need of tangible, rich and haptic products, without losing the functionality of the digital world. A designer who can build a bridge between the two world, using strengths of the digital and physical world and by this enhance the user experience.

[1] Victor, B. (2011). Brief Rant on the future of interaction Design
[2] Wensveen, S. (2004). Interaction Frogger
[3] Frens, J. (2006). Designing for Rich Interaction
[4] Frens, J. & Overbeeke, K. (2009). Setting the Stage for the Design of Highly Interactive Systems
[5] Alessandrini, A. (2015). Practices, Technologies, and Challenges of Constructing and Programming Physical Interactive Prototypes. In Human-Computer Interaction: Design and Evaluation, Masaaki Kurosu (ed.). Springer International Publishing, 132-142.

Identity

I'm a hands-on, entrepreneurial designer. In projects, I take initiative and I get things done. I know how to communicate the plan to a team and get them to work. I have the capability to understand people and their capabilities within a team and I can provide them with a job that suits them. Within a design process, I work very pragmatic and goal orientated.
I am not afraid to think big and take risks. To pull this off, I have a good understanding of my own capabilities and what is possible, but I also know when to adjust the course to still meet the set goal. With this thinking big and taking risks also comes: Not being afraid to learn new things. I do not limit myself to what I can do at this moment, but I am also eager to learn new things if a project requires it. This makes me a self-directed and continuous learner: I set myself a goal in a project and now where to find the information to learn that new skill.
I have an entrepreneurial mindset and an interest for new technologies, user experience, music and magic.

Approach

My design approach is characterized by the constant involvement of the user in the design process. This allows for thoughtful and thorough steps and decisions. This also means that making quick (technical) prototypes is important. Something tangible makes it easier to communicate ideas. Most of the time I work in a iterative process with prototypes as end-goal of the iteration. I use those to collect feedback. The prototypes become more high-end during the process.
I also follow a very hands on approach: Stop thinking and start doing. This makes that I can make quick steps in a project and come with quick results.

Activities

This diagram shows all my activities in my three years as Industrial Design students. They are color-coded by sort. Click on one to get more information on that activity. Hover over an activity to see the competencies developed during that activity.

Basic Courses & Use learning line


Major courses


Elective courses


Extracurricular activities


Year 1

Quartile 1

Quartile 2

Quartile 3

Quartile 4

Teamwork and Communication,
Design and Research processes

From Idea to Design

Techology and Realization,
Math, Data and Computing

Creative Programming

Teamwork and Communication,
Design and Research processes,
Creativity and Aesthetics,
User and Society,
Techology and Realization,
Math, Data and Computing

Project B1.2: Rehelp

Year 2

Quartile 1

Quartile 2

Quartile 3

Quartile 4

Creativity and Aesthetics,
Business and Entrepreneurship,
Self-directed and Continuous learning
Teamwork and Communication

Letje

Techology and Realization,
Business and Entrepreneurship,
Self-directed and Continuous learning,
Teamwork and Communication

Lumenus

Techology and Realization,
Math, Data and Computing,
Design and Research Processes,
Teamwork and Communication,
Self-directed and Continuous learning

Difficult Things Committee

Business and Entrepreneurship,
Teamwork and Communication,
Self-directed and Continuous learning

ID Connect 2017

Year 3

Quartile 1

Quartile 2

Quartile 3

Quartile 4

Creativity and Aesthetics,
Business and Entrepreneurship,
Self-directed and Continuous learning
Teamwork and Communication

Letje

Techology and Realization,
Business and Entrepreneurship,
Self-directed and Continuous learning,
Teamwork and Communication

Lumenus

Techology and Realization,
Math, Data and Computing,
Design and Research Processes,
Teamwork and Communication,
Self-directed and Continuous learning

Difficult Things Committee

Business and Entrepreneurship,
Teamwork and Communication,
Self-directed and Continuous learning

ID Connect 2017

Business and Entrepreneurship,
Teamwork and Communication,
Self-directed and Continuous learning

ID Connect 2018

Techology and Realization,
Math, Data and Computing,
User and Society,
Creativity and Aesthetics,
Business and Entrepreneurship,
Design and Research Processes,
Teamwork and Communication,
Self-directed and Continuous learning

GLOW 2018: Team Ignite (Hypar)

Development

Design and Research Processes

I am competent in running a design or research process on my own. I know when to go to which step in a process and how to solve different problems that occur. I have a clear understanding of when to make a prototype, when to start ideating, or when to do research. During my internship I made prototypes for testing in the right time in the process. I generated ideas for interaction, made a prototype to test that, and then used that prototype to also test different interface elements.

I can use different design processes such as "Vision in Design" [6] or the "Reflective Transformative Design Process" [7]. During my FBP I used techniques from the Vision in Design method [6] (for instance during a brainstorm, thinking about analogies for the interaction a user has with your product). To visualize my process in my report, I used terms as described in the "Reflective Transformative Design Process"[7]. During my research project and during "Design < > Research" I successfully went trough a research process.

I know where my weak points are in a design process and how to make sure I do not fall into the same pitfall again. During my internship I learned that I can loose my priorities out of sight during a project. Knowing this, I had a better prioritization during my FBP and during the building of the Tokendrink. I use a technique called the MoSCoW analysis to get my priorities straight.

Teamwork and communication

Within the "Teamwork and Communication" competency, I have grown to the level where I can coordinate a team on my own. I am chairman in three committee's and within projects I often take the lead. I know how to listen to every member and (as said in my Identity), how to use everyone's best skills within a project. I communicated the idea's and planning so that everyone had that clear.

With a design process, I know how to communicate my ideas through cardboard models, simple drawings, or even 3D models and more importantly: I know when to use the right communication tool.

I have grown my "Teamwork and Communication" competency mostly during my work in Lucid committee's. As chairman of the Difficult Things Committee I grew the committee from three members to eight members. We do all kind of different projects side-by-side, and different people work on different projects. This requires coordination and planning.

Also during my time in the ID Connect committee I learned about communication and teamwork. We had a big team and we all had our own opinion about ID Connect, so beside learning how to communicated my own opinion, I also learned how to gather and combine the opinions of others.

Creativity and Aesthetics

I learned a lot from reading the book "Thinkertoys" by Michael Michalko [8] about different brainstorm techniques, such as "the Ideabox" or "SCAMPER". I used these techniques in varies projects to help the ideation process.
I learned a lot about form giving in my various projects when exploring different physical forms and building prototypes. During my FBP I also grew in aesthetics by following the rich interaction principles of Joep Frens [3]. By studying the design guidelines of Google (Material Design) and Microsoft (Fluent Design), I learned a lot in how to design aesthetic and usable interfaces in the digital world. I combine the principles in my own digital interfaces.

Business and Entrepreneurship

Letje taught me a lot about what I takes to start a company, from the camber of commerce to designing a coherent branding package or paying quarterly taxes. During my internship, I went more in depth to find out how Bureau Moeilijke Dingen started a company.

Beside setting up a company, I took a lot of courses in "Business and Entrepreneurship". During my USE learning line I learned a lot about marketing, from defining a target market and how to research that, to Most Viable Product (MVP). During "Design Management" I looked more at design and innovation within a company, looking at how to improve the innovation and design in a company, defining the current way design is integrated in a company, but also how to work as a design consultant (and how to ask money for you services). "Design Innovation Methods" taught me more about the product side of innovation and business, looking more into the values it adheres for users.

During Lumenus and ID Connect, I learned how to get in contact with people, how to offer them "value" and how to get what you want. I got interesting speakers to talk on ID Connect and with Lumenus we are making a lot of contacts in the "festival world"

Self-Directed and continuous learning

As already said in my Identity, I am a very self-directed and continuous learner. When I plan my projects, I also anticipate on the things I need to learn to complete the project. I set SMART goals, know where to find and collect the information and knowledge, and apply that immediately in my project. A good example of this could be seen during the Tokendrink. We wanted to build a game, but non of us had experience with Unity. I learned how to use it and in the end we have a working game in Unity.

There are also skills I did not learn because a project asked for it, but instead I learned it out of own interest. An example: I wanted to learn what it takes to start a company. My first step is always to give myself a clear project as end goal. This gets me more motivated to learn the skill. With the example, I choose to start my own company: Letje.

Technology and Realization

My technological skill are good; I have worked with electronics in almost all of my projects. I can work with the Arduino IDE, make basic electronic circuits and develop web applications or desktop applications in Processing, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, Unity. Some examples of these skills can be seen in the Tokendrink, where I programmed parts of the unity game, my final FBP prototype, where I programmed a deliverable in Processing, or in my mid-fidelity prototype for my FBP, where I made a working electronic prototype.

I know how to build durable, high-end (physical, digital or combined) prototypes. I am competent with modern realization techniques such as 3D-printing and laser cutting and I have used them in projects before. During my FBP, I made three prototypes, ranging from low to mid to high fidelity. I know when to use the different fidelities. During the course "Creative Mechanical Engineering" we used advanced mechanical principles to make a locking mechanism which was then 3D printed.

During Lumenus and Glow 2018 I learned how to make big interactive installation that need to be very durable (they need to resist the heat of a summer festival, but also the cold and wet weather during Glow). Lumenus was a real challenge because of all the force the tensegrity construction put on the tubes. The installation for Glow 2018 is a challenge because of the size and the fact we want users to be able to walk underneath it.

User and Society

User research and user testing is a big part of my approach to design. In every project of mine this can be found. I use different kind of techniques to get different kinds of results and know when to apply what. During my B1.2 Project Rehelp, we use a technique called "cultural probes" [8] to find out the impact of a rehabilitation process. During "User Focus and Perspective" I used a lot of different technique to find out if different design decisions worked. I also learned a lot from reading the 'Lean Startup' book by Eric Ries, explaining how and when to (user)test your products to optimise efficiency.

Math, Data and Computing

By following the basic university courses, my math level has increased to a proper level. For mechanical calculations (for instance the during the course "Creative Mechanical Engineering"), I still use the theory learned during "Physics".

My data and computing competency has increased by courses like "Making Sense of Sensors". Here I learned how to gather data and process is, learning that the gathered data is not always as "clean" as you would like. Also during my research project and "Design < > Research", I gathered quantitative and qualitative data, processed this and made a visualization. I learned how to clean data, and how to process it. I am capable of visualizing the data in a suitable way.

During my internship I learned how to program simple machine learning in python using TensorFlow. This way I can analyze big datasets faster and find patterns that couldn't be found with normal data processing algorithms. I am also capable of programming a simple neural network in Processing, to program a self-learning algorithm. I programmed a simple hand-writing recognition algorithm for instance.

[6] Hekkert, P., & Dijk, M. V. (2014). ViP: Vision in design: A guidebook for innovators. Amsterdam: BIS.
[7] Hummels, C., & Frens, J. (2009, April). The reflective transformative design process. In CHI'09 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 2655-2658). ACM.
[8] Michalko, M. (2007). Thinkertoys. The Rocks Campus: Ten Speed Press.
[9] Gaver, B., Dunne, T., & Pacenti, E. (1999). Design: cultural probes. interactions, 6(1), 21-29.
[10] Ries, E. (2011). The lean startup: How constant innovation to creates radically successful businesses. London: Portofolio.

Future

After my bachelor I am planning on doing a master at Industrial Design. During my masters I would like to enhance my "Technology and Realization" and my "Business and Entrepreneurship" competences. In my opinion, I need those to start my own startup after my study: "Business and entrepreneurship" for the whole business side of an own company, and "Technology and Realization" to make sure I can actually deliver a product, which is especially important if you start.

I want to spread my masters over three years, to have some more time for extracurricular activities. One of those activities will be to start another company with some fellow design students. I want to build this company with the intention to go through with it after my masters.

I also want to take the opportunity in my masters to study abroad. I will actively try to do a project in my M1.1 or M1.2 somewhere abroad. I think this will be a great learning activity and this will give another angle to look at design than taught here in Eindhoven.

After my masters I have my own design company, building innovative, sustainable products and services for clients and giving consultancy to large companies all over the world. Or maybe even sell my own product once.