Studying Industrial Design at the TU/e learned me plenty of things while participating in several projects and courses. By doing these, I developed all 5 expertise areas. 
Business and Entrepreneurship
For me, Business and Entrepreneurship goes hand in hand with the expertise area of User and Society: creating a product for the user. For this expertise area specifically, it is more about understanding the market and designing something which there is a demand for. I believe this area is one of great importance, however, I did not have any experience with this before starting with Industrial Design.
That changed this year. In the first project, From Idea to Design, this area was the most vague and uncertain for me. Back then, we were only looking for what the user wanted and if there was a market for it, by doing literary research on it. For that course, we felt like it was sufficient. However, for Project 1, we got the feedback that this would not be enough and we should make an overview of all the incomes and expenses. Luckily, one of my group members followed the course Introduction to Business Design. In this course, she learned about the Business Model Canvas. Together we filled in this canvas, from which I learned a lot about revenue streams, expenses and involved stakeholders. In future projects, I will definitely use this Business Model Canvas and the experience I got from filling this in, to make design decisions that will improve the marketability of a product and ensure that it is sellable. 

Business Model Canvas for Project 1

Creativity and Aesthetics
Personally, it feels like this is the first expertise area people think of when they think about design: clean, good-looking designs that stand out from other products. To be honest, I would also believe this is one of the main goals of this expertise area. However, I strongly believe that every choice should be made with an idea in mind instead of just choosing whatever looks good.
This is also something I, together with my group members, tried to do in both From Idea to Design as well as Project 1. We did literature research on colour choice and combinations, especially what the influences of certain colours are on the interaction the user has with the product and what feeling the user gets. This is where this expertise area connects with the expertise area of User and Society. With that information, we choose colours and shapes of all the components. For From Idea to Design, the focus was primarily on mere colours, but in Project 1 I learned that it is also important to create an aesthetic that is original and has a strong characteristic. For Project 1, we did not have as innovative of an idea as we might have wanted in the beginning. We still tried to create an original aesthetic with recognisable characteristics, to make sure people can distinguish our design from similar products. Although these skills can not be seen in my portfolio, I still learned to not always choose the easiest options when it comes to aesthetics.
By doing this, I also developed my knowledge and skills in several Adobe software such as InDesign and Illustrator, by using those to create visuals for the project. Before Project 1, I wanted to follow a certain amount of tutorials to improve my skills in Illustrator, since skills like soldering are very easy to set goals for because there is a point where you are able to solder components to each other. However, with skills like graphic design, there is no clear end goal and progression is very vague. In Project 1, I learned that for learning vague skills, it is very important to gain a bit of basic knowledge about something and with that information, try to master the skill further with personal experience.

From Idea to Design final prototype

The home screen of the app for the final prototype for Project 1

Math, Data and Computing
This is an expertise area in which I considered myself pretty advanced in before I started ID here in Eindhoven and this was also one that I was already fairly interested in because I always liked to work with numbers and data, in mathematics for example. Since then I completed courses like Data Analytics for Engineers and I am currently doing Making Sense of Sensors, to further develop this expertise area. In Project 1, I used this knowledge to conduct questionnaires and analyze the data from that. Immediately, I felt it was way easier to oversee a large amount of data, because I better knew the essence of certain graphs and could better see the remarkable outcomes. In the course Making Sense of Sensors, I can apply the knowledge from Data Analytics for Engineers even more, by putting that knowledge into practice, because we have a substantial amount of data which we have to oversee. This is done by removing outlying data due to measuring errors, making graphs with the leftover data and analyzing those graphs to see any possible correlations. To make such graphs, I used the coding knowledge I gained from courses such as Creative Programming and Creative Electronics. These skills and experiences will undoubtedly come in handy in future projects to create prototypes, make graphs and analyse fast amounts of data.
Furthermore, I did Calculus, which will help me in the future with many technical projects. It already came in handy in making calculations in Creative Mechanical Design, Engineering and Manufacturing, where we had to make a kinetic chain reaction machine.

Graph made and used in the course Data Analytics for Engineers

Graphs made and used in the course Data Analytics for Engineers

Technology and Realization
Of all the expertise areas, this was the one I was most looking for and was one of the main reasons I choose to do Industrial Design in Eindhoven. The idea of coming up with an idea and being able to actually make that product using technology always appealed to me. This can be done physically as well all digitally. Both of these, I have made throughout the year. For From Idea to Design, we made a physical prototype as a board game and a digital app which is also part of the game. From this, I learned that something digital can be useful to make something always applicable as it is very easy to update with new information or personal preferences.
In the courses Creative Programming and Creative Electronics, I also had to make digital as well as physical prototypes. Back in high school, I had some small coding projects but nothing substantial, so in these courses, I gained my first actual coding knowledge. I also learned to how use these techniques and skills to make prototypes by combining coding with making circuits on a breadboard that is connected to an Arduino circuit board. From this, I learned how important it is to make prototypes to show your idea to receive feedback and iterate by finding problems that normally would not have been found by just describing your idea and ultimately improving your product. That is why we decided to start working on high-fidelity prototypes early on in Project 1. From this, we were able to add and change a lot of things that in the end turned out to be very viable for our idea.
In the course Creative Mechanical Design, Engineering and Manufacturing, I had to design a kinetic chain reaction machine, using several manufacturing methods such as 3D printing and wood cutting.

Final deliverable for Creative Programming using both coding and Arduino.

Render of our final prototype for Creative Mechanical Design, Engineering and Manufacturing.

User and Society
This expertise area might be the one on which my view changed the most. Beforehand, I would think it was just to choose a target group and make something for them. However, through various projects and experiences where we would get stuck, I learned that is important to really understand your target group. In Project 1, we wanted to implement many different features and options but this would end up making our product a big mess that is capable of doing many, sometimes unnecessary, things. However, when we started looking more into our target group, we came to the conclusion that it would just be overwhelming and that our target group would not have the need for this. We did research on our target group by interviewing them, sending a questionnaire and doing literary research on them. From the course User-Centered Design, I learned to make personas to help visualize our target group. By doing all this, I learned that it is very important to do in-depth research on your target group to find their wants and needs and to be able to place yourself in their shoes to make design decisions that they would like. 
Furthermore, in Project 1, I learned that your design, although it is targeted towards one target audience and/or problem, it always influences more aspects of society. In our case specifically, we started off by helping students to eat more healthy and balanced, however, with this we also helped them to spend less money on food, as they would now order takeout, which is often more expensive than food in the supermarket, less often. This example shows that your product or design not only affects your specific target group and/or the problem that you want to tackle but also many more aspects of society.

A persona we made for Project 1

Other projects I participated in this year

Artwork made in Python for Creative Programming

Poster for the Mini-Project for Creative Electronics

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