First Impression about Design

My first perception of design was focusing more on the product. I though that product design was only more about making beautiful products. Those are the impressions I’ve been thinking before, that product design was more about aesthetics. My perspective shifted to a much brighter angle after I took this course.

In the Philippines, product or industrial design is not as popular with other careers. I never had any idea about it, not until I received a catalog from Academy of Art University. It featured their offered courses and most of the works featured were really stunning. In the book, the Industrial Design degree featured their great works. It gave me an idea that the field of engineering could fuse with aesthetics very well. At the same time, forms and developing physical products really interests me. Well, the fact is I came from an electronics engineering background (purely technical, I know).

Getting into this course gave me fundamentals on product design and development. Additionally, it gave me a clear idea that design isn’t all about aesthetics. It follows a greater principle that “form follows function”.

Product Design: Delft Design Approach Online Course

Last year, I joined TUDelft’s MOOC through edX, Product Design: The Delft Design Approach. It was indeed a pleasure to join a group of people around the world, sharing the same interests in the field of design. The course took about 6 weeks which covered the topics about design and development:

  • Understanding design
  • Understanding usage
  • The design challenge
  • Generating ideas
  • Conceptualizing
  • Testing/Prototyping

Check out the course on edX for updates and latest offerings.

Great Things about the Course

The course was carefully curated to cater everyone whether you are new to the design field or already an expert. The ‘morning ritual’ theme could relate everyone since everyone experiences the same thing. The approach is very basic, but the reflections on learning design by looking on everyday encountered problems is a huge thing.

Getting to know the intended users of the product to be designed is very essential. There are many problems around your that you may not be able to identify by just imagining, by just asking or even assuming.

The course structure has similarities with the on-campus course where you watch videos, read notes, make assignments and take quizzes. You also check your peer’s assignments as well.

Suggested Improvements

One of the things I noticed on the course are the confusing items on some of the quizzes. Although I was able to figure out answering the questions, they were more conveyed in a playing the sentences grammatically.

Delft Design Guide Book

The Delft Design Guide is the essential reference guide used by industrial design engineering students and professionals at TUDelft. The book includes methods and strategies in design and development process. Each design stage from market research up to the final presentation was carefully selected and organized to serve as a diverse toolkit for any designers.

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Newly, unopened Delft Design Guide

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…and a Congratulation note. Thanks to Jose Hekkens for sending the book.

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With some leaflets.

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Back of the book

I received the book from TUDelft a few weeks ago through TNT, an award I received for making to the top 10 on the MOOC class (Wooh!) Thanks to TUDelft for sending me this wonderful book. You can buy the book from Amazon and Book Depository. For more details about the book, here’s a link to their school’s website.

Conclusion

With this course, I was able to learn the fundamental methods in designing. Among many important ideas you can learn from this course, here are my favorites:

  • Learning what designing is about more than the visual appeal
  • Identifying the root cause of the problems of the intended users you are trying to develop solutions to their problems
  • Simple prototyping and sketching to visualize your product

Overall, kudos to the faculty and students of TUDelft made an incredible step in educating design students around the world by sharing their expertise in the field of design and engineering. Thank you for making this wonderful course made available anywhere in the world.