Hi, my name is Yvette and I’m the Design and User Experience guru at GRT team. I’d like to share my experience and feedback on Delft Design Approach course from Delft University of Technology (available at edX course “Product Design: The Delft Design Approach”)
I am constantly looking for new tools and techniques that will help me to improve my design skills and deliver high-quality product designs. In our daily lives we use hundreds or even thousands of products and services. They are all designed, some with more success than others. So I am always on a journey of exploring design books and courses, looking for new design approaches and inspiration in my day-to-day work.
Delft Design Approach: Course History
When I came across the Delft Design Course, I did not hesitate to enroll, because it seemed like it represented a structured approach that would help me to tackle complex design challenges: from formulating a strategic vision, to mapping user behaviors, their needs and their environment, to developing and selecting meaningful proposals for products and services.
All in all, the course offers an introduction to the Delft Design Approach through lectures and exercises on design fundamentals and methods. The program is one of the oldest, university-level, design programs at a university in the world, dating back more than 40 years.
Course Structure and Overview
The course is structured along 7 steps over the course of 9 weeks. Each phase teaches a key element of the Delft Design Approach, including relevant methods and/or tools.
From the very beginning, the course made me ask the following questions: How do the things around us attain their meaning? How and why do we design meaningful things? And it helped me find the answers to these questions.
Lessons Learned from Delft Design Approach
Later I learned about gaining emphatic understanding of the users we design for. The course taught me how to derive insights to inspire the design process.
The impact of the user’s current situation on the design process cannot be overestimated. Therefore, we learned how we, designer, can capture the key problems in each particular situation and define a meaningful design challenge to drive the creative phases of design.
The final weeks of the course were all about generating ideas and filtering the promising ones. I also deepened my understanding of the design concept and its development. Sketching plays an important role in that process, and we investigated this in detail. We learned how to evaluate concepts and decide between them.
And last but not the least, the course paid special attention to prototyping and testing key qualities of a concept, as well as presenting it.
To sum it all up, I can say that the Delft Design Course helped me gain a lot of valuable insights, as well as learn plenty of useful tools and methods that will help me immensely in my day-to-day work.
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