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Development

The Past

Five years ago, I started my Bachelor’s Industrial Design as I was interested in combining my creative and technical skills. From the start of my design studies, I felt the need to design products that create a valuable meaning to society. Designing for health care came to my interest when I designed my first product for asthmatic children. From that moment, the diversity of people and contexts within the health care domain has taught me about my identity and vision as a designer. I started as an empathic designer aiming to translate the patient’s perspective into healthcare innovations. Further in the Master’s, the gained knowledge about data-driven technologies made it possible to become a critical designer who can reflect on which tasks should be performed by technology and which by humans.

The Present

My Final Master Project made it possible to bring together all skills I had developed before. Below I will reflect on the different Areas of Expertise to demonstrate my growth over the years. During my Master’s, I applied the expertise areas within the topics: human-AI collaboration, participatory design and patient-centered care.

Link to identity and vision

As stated in my identity, I am a human-centered designer, aiming for a solution where the patient is central. As a consequence, studying the users’ needs is always fundamental in my design processes. With a focus on health care, I aim for person-centered care. Being a critical designer, where I want to understand the role of technology in today’s society, I aim for the best patient experience. I feel that designers, users, and other stakeholders should research together what tasks should be performed by technology and what tasks should be performed by humans .

Development

By following the courses User Experience Theory and Practice and Design for Behavioral Change I learned user evaluation methods and theories that can be applied during a user-centered design process. During the projects in my Master’s, I learned that every project might ask for another approach to include the user’s point of view. Within health care, reaching out to the users, which are often patients, can be difficult. Having your project ethical reviewed before working with patients is something very important within this branch. This also brings, that when there is the possibility to collaborate with patients, I learned that it is very important to choose well the design method or design stage. In the different projects during my Master I found that during the user evaluations, it is very useful to have an interactive prototype as a discussion tool during interviews.

User study with person with dementia in M1.2 Design Project

Master courses that contributed to my development:

 

Final Master Project

In my Final Master Project, the end-users were patients with a rheumatic disorder. Eleven patients were recruited and interviewed. Although the users were involved at a later stage in the design process, this made I could focus on how a digital human can contribute to improving their health care instead of the design characteristics of the digital human. Additionally, my Final Master Project made me aware of what types of technologies are more criticized by society. Since the start of this project, I often found people having a more skeptical view of a digital human. However, by discussions with patients and show the abilities of a digital human, I was able to define the patient’s value of a digital human in a pharmacy.

 

Link to identity and vision

Being a human-centered designer, I often work with qualitative research methods to learn both from users and other stakeholders.  Besides, as nowadays technology is mainly data-driven I feel the need for designers to understand (the basics of) technologies like Artificial Intelligence. My interest especially lies in combining these complex technologies with a human-centered approach, where systems or concepts are inclusive and understandable.

Development

To gain more knowledge how to design for data-driven technologies, I followed the course Data-Enabled Design in my first year. This taught me about the Data-Enabled Design process. During a project with Philips Experience Design (M1.2), I found the trend of Artificial Intelligence in health care and the hesitant attitude of people toward AI. For example, I found that some hospital staff was scared of having their job taken over by AI. This, while others over-using an AI system which could lead to decisions depending too much on this new technology. Because of my interest in AI systems for health, I wanted to develop myself further in AI technologies. Therefore, I followed the courses Embodying intelligent behavior in a social context and Designing with advanced artificial intelligence where I learned the basics of machine learning. To dive further into human-AI collaboration, I started the project for my M2.1 and FMP about AI conversational agents.

Showing User’s Trust in AI, made for M1.2 Research Project

Master courses that contributed to my development:

 

Final Master Project

In my Final Master Project, I  gained a better understanding of the functions of AI conversational agents. I learned what data is needed to create a good working conversational agent and how to questions and answers can be integrated into Dialogflow. Furthermore, working with Pharmi taught me the possibilities and limitations of the current version of a digital human. In general, this project helped me to create a vision of the future of AI conversational agents in health care. Namely, it should always be an addition to the care that is provided by humans, but it can be a meaningful way to provide information and take over tasks that will reduce the workload of health experts.

Link to identity and vision

For me, this expertise area is about understanding a technology to be able to corporate with stakeholders or internal employees like data scientists. Additionally, this expertise area forces me to create interactive prototypes. This is to host a proper user test that will help to gain insights into the users’ needs and wishes.

Development

At the start of my Master’s, for project M1.1 we created a physical prototype for people with dementia and their families. This was very valuable, as we could bring this prototype to a meeting center for people with dementia to find out how users would respond to the interaction. For the course Data-Enabled Design, also a physical prototype was created. This prototype was connected to a server and deployed in a home context, where data could be gathered. In the second year of my Master’s, more focus was on digital prototypes and learning about AI technologies.

Interactive prototype for the course Data-Enabled Design

Master courses that contributed to my development:

 

Final Master Project

For a user evaluation in my Final Master Project I found eleven patients that wanted to participate. I carefully wanted to decide what design research method would fit best. To get a better understanding of what emotions patients would like to see in a digital human, two digital human prototypes were designed. I mastered this challenge by diving into different (online) software to create one digital human that showed three different emotions and one digital human that showed no emotions. By the use of Wizard of Oz method, patients could interact with the prototype which gave me insights into the users’ needs.

Link to identity and vision

I like to work with and for people, thus for me this expertise area is mostly about stakeholder management. Working on a new project I want to dive into the new stakeholder environment and understand the different value streams that are ongoing. I am not afraid to stand in front of people to present a challenge and be the central communication point of different stakeholders with all having their own needs. Additionally, I value sharing the expert role in the design process with users and stakeholders through a participatory design approach. Eventually, I strive for a solution that fits all these different perspectives as I believe these solutions will be most successful in business.

Development

Working with different clients throughout my Masters, I have learned about the diverse character of organizations and stakeholder networks. This made that I have become more flexible to work with people with different backgrounds and in different environments. Working with Philips Experience Design as a client, I experienced the role of a designer within a design team in a big company. Within Pharmi, I learned to function as an individual designer in a small multidisciplinary team. Additionally, the complex stakeholder environment around the development of the digital human made that in my M2.1 I researched the value streams that were present in this network.

Value Flow of a digital human created during M2.1 Project at a company in the Netherlands

Master courses that contributed to my development:

 

Final Master Project

During my Final Master Project, I worked together with different stakeholders involved in the design of the digital human. I collaborated with Sint Maartenskliniek, who had an interest in research and Pharmi who had an interest in the business of the digital human. Additionally, I found potential users that were interviewed. Bringing these different perspectives together was a challenge, but due to the participatory approach taken in the design process, I was able to come up with a holistic solution. This solution consisted of different ideas that were placed on a strategic roadmap to create an overview for Pharmi. A critical view made it possible to make a distinction between ideas for the current version of Pharmi and future versions of Pharmi. Two final modules were chosen to be demonstrated. 

Link to identity and vision

When working together with users and other stakeholders, I think good communication is key. This is not only about verbal language, but also visual language. Therefore, I always strive for creating good communication tools.

Development

Within the course Design for Social Innovation, we had to create one infographic each week. This taught me to quickly transfer information to visuals. In my projects, I often took the lead in creating tools like a Patient journey or Value Flow to get an overview of results during the design process which could be communicated to stakeholders. For my research project (M1.2) I designed a framework, that created an overview of steps that need to be considered in the design of AI systems. 

DATC, framework created during M1.2 Design Research Project

Master courses that contributed to my development:

Final Master Project

Within my Final Master Project, I tried to use a strong visual language to communicate my results throughout the process. For example, during a co-reflection session clearly presented insights from the patients’ evaluations. Additionally, the results of the co-reflection session were visually communicated by the use of a strategic roadmap. Finally, during Demo day I ensured that deliverables were clear and clean to gain the attention of visitors.

Link to identity and vision

As a human-centered designer, I strive for the optimal user experience by applying qualitative research methods to learn from both users and other stakeholders. I carefully select the fitting methods for each new design process, where I value sharing the expert role in the design process with users and stakeholders through a participatory design approach. Additionally, I find the value in researching the human-technology interaction to define the role of new technologies.

Development

Over the years I started to value combining both design research and design methods in my projects. For me this is mostly about zooming in and out, where broad research results can be applied to specific business cases or business results can be generalized into research. During my M1.1 project, which was originally a design project, we used design methods, but the results were made more general to write an academic paper. The skills I developed by writing such a paper, I could apply during my M1.2 Design Research Project. On the contrary, in my Final Master Project I applied design research methods gained from academic papers. Results from these design research methods were later in the process made more specific to be able to integrate into business.

Master courses that contributed to my development:

 

Final Master Project

For my Final Master Project, I used different phases of the Design Thinking design process. However, with my gained experience, I felt confident to apply these phases in a different order which fitted the challenge. Eventually, I used various design and research methods to create a final design. Working closely with people with a more scientific background made the start of my design process more research-based. Later in the process, I tried to create a bridge to the business of Pharmi, to make results more easy to implement. 

The Future

After receiving my Master’s degree in Industrial Design, I feel motivated to start a job that fits my identity and vision as a designer. I will look for a company where I can surround myself with other designers to work in a team and learn from other’s experiences. Working in a UX design team, I want to tackle real-world health care design challenges. I want to work closely with users and stakeholders, to create human-centered designs. As I am interested in designing with data-driven technologies, such as AI, I hope to apply the knowledge I have gained and be able to learn more in the field of human-AI collaboration.