My design interest and expertise:
Hello, I'm Jip Asveld
Interaction & UX Designer
My design interest and expertise:
As a designer, I am specialized in prototyping and UX research. I have a passion for how we can use technology in our daily lives.
The reason I became a designer is that I love working on the intersection between people, technology and great ideas—designing solutions that have true value to their users, combined with great usability and a seamless experience.
Foodpairing is a Ghent-based company within the food sector. It looks at food, taste, and health from an innovative and scientific perspective. The products they develop are data-driven, and they help Foodpairing in trying to measure and predict people’s well-being and flavor preferences. For more about Foodpairing, check this page: The Science behind Foodpairing. In line with Foodpairing's perspective, my goal was to design a recipe app to help families with children with obesity to eat more healthy, without this being at the expense of their taste preferences.
May - July 2020
Mainly individual work, with weekly remote meetups to discuss progress.
Methods & Techniques:
Lo-fi & Hi-fi Prototypes
As research by Foodpairing indicates, there is often a correlation between obesity and poor cooking skills; in families with better cooking skills, children are more willing to eating healthy food, such as vegetables. In order to decrease obesity among children, it is therefore important to instruct and educate the home-cooks.
The objective was to increase the amount and variety of vegetables and fruits in family's favorite recipes, through a digital assistant (application) that understands the flavor preferences of the family. The digital assistant should gradually increase the amount and variety of vegetables in family's favorite recipes using substitutions and additions. Instead of merely forcing the families to eat more healthy, the app should slowly introduce recipes that are easy to make, healthy, and liked by all family members. Rather than simply proposing to eat vegetables, the app should educate a more healthy diet.
During this project, I was responsible for the design, both the UI- and UX-aspects of the app: the layout, usability, and overall user experience were all part of my job. The (user) research that let to the project and that guided design decisions was already done prior to my participation. Throughout the later stages of the project, I worked together with front-end and back-end development in order to implement the design as neatly as possible. The entire project was done remotely, due to COVID-19.
The main concept of the product was already developed by Foodpairing, based on market and user research they had done prior. The recipe app should function as a personalised mentor that advocates a more healthy diet. By automatically monitoring data, the mentoring app will be tailored to the specific needs and preferences of the family.
At the core of the app would be the FlavorId. This is a kind of umbrella-product they recently developed, which will integrate with more apps in the future. It is a personal account, that calculates the taste-preferences of users based on a questionnaire people have to fill in. It also keeps track of users’ nutritional values through the use of a Health Score. By connecting the FlavorId accounts of all family members within the app, Foodpairing can suggest healthy recipes that are liked by everyone, based on their own data.
The product is currently being developed, therefore, I will not go too much into detail regarding its exact features and rationale. The images below hint at the core functionality as explained, while the text afterwards goes into detail regarding the design process for the project.
Various screenshots of the app I designed for Foodpairing. The screenshots are grouped per three, in the order in which you will normally first-encounter them.
The process for this project started with finding inspiration in other recipe apps. There are already many recipe apps, and even though this product has some unique features, I could still learn from the best aspects of competitors. I used 11 other recipe apps to compare different ways of 1) selecting recipes and 2) going through the cooking steps, and I analysed my insights to already create some guidelines for my design.
Thereafter, my process was very iterative. As the images below indicate, I used methods like sketching, user flows, wireframing, sitemaps, lo-fi and hi-fi prototyping to gradually develop my design over time. My final design was prototyped in Figma and shared with development, who are currently developing the app as a web-app.
Initial sketches and wireframes to explore various opportunities and solutions.
A UI flow written down—see this article—to quickly uncover a likely user flow and how the app should respond.
A wireflow—see this article—to explore the user flow in a more visual way, focussing on the dynamic content and user interactions.
This sitemap was made early in the process, to get a clear overview of the relation between the different pages that were needed. The final version of the app had a sitemap that elaborated on this one.
I used Whymsical to make a lo-fi prototype. This helped me to get an overview of all screens that were needed, all features that should be possible and all the connections between these. This lo-fi prototype served as guideline for the hi-fi figma prototype that was later developed, but which I cannot share fully at this point due to the fact that the app is currently being developed.
Below is the internship-project that I carried out at the company Invisua Lighting. For this job, I designed, prototyped and tested various user interfaces to control the dynamic, versatile LED spots that Invisua's founder had developed. My goal was to design for optimal usability and a seamless user experience—focussing on both the overall information architecture and the interactions with the interface to control the LED spots. My results were implemented into Invisua's Create web-app which is currently still in use.
February - June 2013
Mainly individual work, with regular collaborative company meetings.
Methods & Techniques:
Lo-fi & Hi-fi Prototypes
The founder of Invisua Lighting had developed an innovative LED spot for the professional lighting market, to be used for example in retail, restaurants and foyers. The spots are very versatile, in that they can emit any colour of light, and that this light can be set to be dynamic: the light can change automatically over time. While the spots have a wide range of capabilities, there was no way yet to let users freely control them, both individually as groups of spots. All in all, I had to design for a great user experience during the control of these dynamic, versatile LED spots.
It was my task to propose a well-designed user interface. Rather than designing the visual appearance of the user interface, I had to focus on the usability of the interactions with the interface, so the spots can be controlled in a clear and efficient way. While it was my personal responsibility to plan and carry out the design process, there were regular collaborative meetings within the company. During these meetings, I could present my progress. We would then decide as a team which ideas and opportunities to pursue and which not.
By analysing all light possibilities of the LED spots, I identified four main variables that together covered the full potential of the LED spots: colour, brightness, time and number. Focussing on these variables seemed to be the most straightforward way to allow full control over the spots. However, these variables all have their own specific characteristics, can all be further divided into sub-variables, and are interconnected with one another. The totality of possibilities this entails is rather complex. The final design solution tackles this complexity through a user interface that divides the control over the four main variables as much as possible while keeping their mutual dependence in mind.
The different screen-pages of my final interface design, in the regular order of the first use.
In this design, the main page (middle images above) is used to bring control over the four main variables together in one place. The light-settings can be applied to the spots on the right side of the main page. The numbered circles correspond to the various spots, the image with colours is used to select which light to emit, the brightness is selected via the slider below, and in the tab 'Dynamic Lighting' (4th image) horizontal lines can be used to set dynamic, changing light. Based on a timeline-metaphor, the pointer that moves over a line indicates which colour will be displayed at a particular moment.
The main page thus displays various pre-selected values for the individual variables and lets users select these. To adjust the settings of these pre-selected values, one has to go to various other parts of the UI. The left side of the main page lets the user manage which spot(s) should be controlled, by use of a map-like representation of the space in which the spots are placed. This makes it more easy to relate to the physical space while applying the settings in a digital way. The 2nd image from the left demonstrates how a user can initially set-up the interface by re-creating the space and positioning the spots in it. The 2nd image from the right shows how to set dynamic lighting, by creating images that display the sequence of colours from left to right.
The concepts and interactions I designed were implemented by Invisua in the Create web-app, which they developed after my internship ended. I would like to emphasize that I did not have to focus on the graphical side of the prototypes, as Invisua would take of this themselves. For the final interface design, I could simply use the corporate identity Invisua had at that time (which they adapted afterwards, therefore the design in this portfolio looks different than the one that is in use right now).
The process for this project was very iterative, with various methods that I applied alternately. Throughout the project, I worked in close collaboration with the development team, while simultaneously being very independent. I planned the design process by myself and I did the main design work individually. Then, during evaluation sessions, I had to propose design solutions and interface options, together with presenting insights from user tests, after which we discussed it and made final decisions as a team.
Early on in the design process, I made the wireframe that can be seen below. It is an early sketch that was made to visualize a potential way to control the LED spots. It turned out to be very influential; as can be seen, it already showcases the main structure—or general information architecture—of the final design. While different options for the main structure were considered (see for instance at the end of this design case) this one appeared to be the most convenient and easy-to-use.
A simple wireframe that I created early on during the design process, which already depicts the final information architecture.
When, later on during the process, this information architecture was selected and elaborated, I created the sitemap below to illustrate this structure of the interface. Then, I marked two user flows on top of the sitemap; one for a first-time user that sets up the interface (in orange), and one for a user that is controlling the lighting (in blue). These user flows are also visible in the image below.
What the image below shows clearly (and what is emphasized by the grey rectangles) is that the structure of the interface is clearly divided over these two user flows. This ensures that first-time users are not yet confronted with the specific lighting setting, but can first personalise the interface to their specific environment. Simultaneously, users that want to control their lighting can do this in a simple and convenient way, because their interface has been prepared specifically.
The final sitemap, with two user flows depicted on it (the orange and blue arrows).
To come to this final structure, and design in general, was not a simple, linear process. As said, various iterative rounds and different methods were used throughout the process to develop the final design. The two paragraphs below elaborate on these.
A large part of the process consisted of iterative rounds of ideation. Because of the multiple variables that needed to be controlled, I wanted to consider a great number of potential ideas to control these variables. To achieve this, I generated many ideas to control the individual variables, and I transformed and combined various ideas into more comprehensive ideas. This was done not only during the beginning of the process but throughout. When I had considered many ideas and gathered some user insights, I also started—in parallel—working on full-fledged concepts. These concepts were potential interfaces that could be used to control all the variables. To develop these concepts, I made various mappings in which I analyzed and synthesized the ideas to create the full-fledged concepts. These mappings helped me in considering the potential of individual ideas to the overall concepts.
Various steps in the development of the concept; generating ideas (left image), combining ideas (middle image) and deloping potential concepts from all these ideas (right image).
The final interface design is based on multiple iterations of prototyping and user testing. During different stages of the design process, various prototypes were developed in parallel, so that I could explore and compare many interface options. Because of the complexity of lighting-possibilities that the spots could emit, it was hard to imagine what type of interface design would be experienced as both clear and efficient in use. For this reason, a lot of user tests were done throughout the design process. These tests uncovered a lot of insights on what does and does not work for users in controlling the spots. The synergy between user testing and prototyping allowed me to quickly explore and compare many interface options, where many of these explorations added to the final design in one way or another. The images below show various stages of the process; a set of prototypes that I designed in parallel (left image), different types of user tests (middle image) and the iterative development of the final interface, from initial exploration to final implementation by Invisua (right image).
Various stages of the design process: prototyping (left), user testing (middle) and iterative design (right).
For now, I want to end with displaying an alternative interface design that I prototyped, because I personally found its core-concept very appealing. It can be viewed in the images below. This interface makes use of circles to represent the various spots, while these circles simultaneously display the lighting plan for that spot. As in the final interface design, the colour that is pointed out indicates the light that will be emitted. In this concept, the lighting plan and which spot it concerns are neatly integrated into one shape, where the roundness of the circle expresses the continuity of the dynamic light, which is repetitive without a beginning or end. I would have liked to combine this concept with the map-like representation of the space that is used in the final interface design. In this combined design, the map would directly show which spots, at which location, would emit which kind of light; even if this light is dynamic. It is then immediately visible how the lighting plan for each spot looks like, which is a great advantage. By clicking on an individual spot, users can alter the settings of the light that spot emits, for instance in the way as proposed in the second image. However, we decided as a team to not pursue this concept, as some argued that it might make the control unnecessary complex for what users needed to accomplish. From a design point of view, I am still curious about how it would have worked to control the spots with this interface.
An alternative interface that I prototyped and tested.
PlantChat is a service that creates a playful connection between you and someone you care about. It does so by connecting two plants wirelessly, one in both of your houses. Touching your own plant will make the other's plant vibrate, and vice versa. This enables a playful and personal interaction between the two of you, over a distance. The focus is not on the functional use, but more on the ludic interplay that is evoked.
Nov – Dec 2018
by William Doherty, Lenard George & me
Methods & Techniques:
Prototypes (Digital & Physical)
In this project, our aim was to evoke playfulness with an everyday thing, something that people already have at home. We decided to focus on plants because we uncovered that many people develop an interesting relationship with the plants in their home. How could we appropriate this attachment and use it in an interactive and playful manner?
Most of the design work for this project was done as a team: the ideation and concept development was all done with the three of us. Individually, I was responsible for developing the technology of the final, working prototype, so our design could be experienced and tested with users.
Our final design consists of a pair of devices that should both be connected to a plant. The two plants are now connected over distance: touching the one plant will lead to vibrations in the other plant, and vice versa. The vibration happens via small vibration modules, which are clipped to the leaves and branches. Different ways of touching your own plant will lead to various vibrations in the other plant. This allows for explorative play and ambiguous interactions, but also for more meaningful messages that can be established between users over time.
The finished prototype, accompanied by an app to set it up.
This design tries to expose the plant as a living being. It does this by seemingly giving the plant a behaviour in the form of the vibration patterns. These vibration patterns are triggered by another living being; one of your friends or family. This makes the vibration-behaviour truly authentic.
On a technological level, the design consists of a small device that can be pinned into the soil of a plant. The vibration modules are controlled by this device, which lets the plant shake and shiver in various ways. The device can distinguish between three different touch gestures (by use of capacitive sensing technology), which can result in a multitude of vibration patterns in the vibration modules of the other device. The video and images above show how the design works. They also display screenshots of an app we developed to set-up your plant and pair it with another one.
A large part of this project consisted of ideation and experimentation. In an iterative manner, we generated ideas, prototyped them and tested them out experimentally. Sometimes we did this ourselves, other times we ran user-tests or play-tests with other people.
At the beginning of the project, we decided to take a technology-driven design approach because we were curious about how we could create playfulness with different technologies. By placing various sensors and actuators (e.g. LEDs, speakers, motors) on a group of plants, we tried out different possibilities of combining plants with technology.
Various stages of the design process; prototyping, user-testing and experimenting.
Through the user- and play-testing, we discovered that it appealed to people when the plants were able to detect and respond to their touch. Of the various plant responses we tried out, a plant that vibrates was experienced as most appealing, as this response was perceived as "coming from the plant" in comparison to e.g. sound and lights, which were clearly artificially added. After we concluded this, we combined the touch detection as input with vibration modules as output.
The storyboards below explore different versions of the concept, and of the implications and potential of the concept in various contexts. They are grounded in quotes and insights that we collected during the various user- and play-tests. Based on these storyboards—and more iterations of prototyping, testing and tweaking—we developed the final prototype that is explained earlier.
Various storyboards we created, based on insights we gathered during play-tests. Credits for the visual style go to William Doherty.
This project was part of my first-year thesis of the master programme Interaction Design at Malmö University. The prototype shown here is made for that design-based research project, but can also be viewed independently of its research background.
March - May 2018
(Intermediate Master Thesis)
Methods & Techniques:
In our homes, we usually control the lighting by use of a switch, only allowing us to turn the light either on or off. However, innovative and interactive lighting offers big opportunities to move from the classical switch to more tangible ways of interaction; types of interaction that have much more richness and expressivity to them. The more varied the ways we can control the light become, the more aspects of the light we are able to control, such as its colour, intensity and beaming angle, and even controlling multiple sources of light simultaneously. People then need well-designed ways to control this multitude of aspects, so the user experience while interacting with the light is meaningful and satisfying. The interactions should be understandable despite their novelty. This project can be seen as an exploration of how to design such innovative and interactive lighting for a domestic context.
The prototype below shows one potential, innovative way of controlling lighting in the home environment. It makes use of different levels of control over the light, where more control requires more effort and less control allows for less effort. On the wall, there is a switch that can be used to select between various lighting-scenes or pre-sets, that apply to all the lamps in the household. This way of control offers a low level of (distinct) control, but also requires little effort. To apply specific settings to individual lamps, the controls that are positioned on the lamps should be used. While this offers a high level of control, it also requires more effort. This trade-off between effort and control seems valuable for the design of interactive lighting in the home environment. By allowing for 'various levels of control', users can select the appropriate control for their current situation.
A prototype that shows a potential, innovative way of controlling lighting in a domestic context.
Since this prototype was part of my thesis project, it was primarily made for the intent of design-based research. Therefore, one of the purposes of the prototype was to contribute certain knowledge; to bring new insights to the field of (academic) interaction design. As knowledge-contribution, I developed a framework to assist designers that want to design innovative and interactive lighting for the home environment. The framework is based on the trade-off between effort and control as explained above, where the user is allowed for multiple levels of control. The framework is disclosed in the thesis (chapter 5) and the prototype displayed above is used there to exemplify how the framework can be applied. Being part of a design-based research project, the prototype should not be considered as a finished proposal or an ideal solution, but mainly as a way to explore the future of controlling domestic lighting. I am considering to design more prototypes for this purpose, of which the last image above gives a preview.
Regarding the process for this project, a user-centered design approach was taken. This allowed me to create interactions with light that are meaningful and satisfying to people. Multiple techniques and methods were employed, that focus on users in various ways. Among them are interviews, observations, contextual inquiries, cultural probes, and a self-developed co-design method. This last method is described and illustrated below; for more specific information about the other methods, see my thesis.
For the co-design method, one-on-one sessions were organized in the home environment of participants. The participants were provided with various foam models. They could physically explore and then tell me how they imagined the foam models would control the lighting, after which I adjusted the light as they imagined. This was done to give an authentic experience; as if the foam models did actually control the light. This method—inspired by bodystorming; which is in its turn derived from brainstorming—was highly effective. It offered the participants a manner to imagine and explore in a creative way with both their hands and mind. The prototype and foam models can be seen as co-design tools to provoke people to think critically about their own specific situation, and more generally about how lighting could be controlled. During the sessions, the prototypes and foam models provided a way to let participants experience an alternative to their current lighting, and thus to explore the future of domestic lighting together with me.
My self-developed co-design method and the prototypes I made for it.
In this project, an interactive installation was designed and constructed for our stakeholder BUFF film festival. This is an organisation that organizes a film festival in Malmö every year, specifically aimed at children.
January – March 2018
Group project by Pim Ostendorf, Lenard George, Angelika Losko and me. We collaborated with BUFF Film Festival.
Teamwork & Collaboration
Methods & Techniques:
For the 2018 edition of the film festival, we got the opportunity to design and develop 'something' that could entertain the children (and their parents) as they were waiting for a movie to start, or after they had just seen one. It should serve as a more active and playful alternative to the film screenings.
For this project, my personal responsibility was in realizing the technical side of our final installation. Only while we were developing the final installation did we strictly divide tasks. During the design process, we shared the tasks equally: co-designing with the children, preparing workshops, collaboration with the film festival and concept development.
We described our final installation as "An interactive tunnel with projections on the side. Users can influence the content that is projected via responsive touch-points". The tunnel is made from fabric to allow pushing and to let the projection shine through from the outside of the tunnel. The video and images below show the final result. Below, the (co-)design process is further elucidated.
The interactive, playful tunnel being exhibited at BUFF film festival.
During the project, we received a lot of freedom to design 'something'; it could be an object, an installation, a game, or even a playful activity. We used this freedom to include a group of children in the design process, in order to discover their opinions on what should be there during the festival. The design process was carried out in close collaboration with these children. Because of this co-design approach, multiple ideas were developed, tried out and improved together with the children. The images below display some of the co-design sessions we had with them.
Various moments of the co-design sessions with the children.
Our installation was specifically designed for the ‘Family Saturday’. This was a program during the Saturday afternoon where multiple films were showcased at the Panora cinema in Malmö. Next to the film program, there were multiple activities organized in the entrance room of the cinema. The activities were running throughout the entire day, and amongst these, our installation was exhibited during this ‘Family Saturday’.
This is the final thesis project with which I graduated from the master's program Interaction Design at Malmö University. The project is an explorative, design-based research study towards the expressive potential of using actuators as a design material.
April – May 2019
(Final Master Thesis)
Methods & Techniques:
Exploratory Sketching with Electronics
This project grew out of my curiosity for how different actuators can be applied in different devices (actuators—such as motors, speakers and LEDs—can be seen as technologies that provide a certain output—movement, sounds, light—in contrast to the more well-known sensors which provide/monitor the input).
In order to have a certain context to work within, I selected the kitchen environment. The kitchen is seen as an interesting context since cooking is essentially a functional activity, while simultaneously there is also a certain delight in it for many people. So both functional and aesthetic aspects are important. Besides this, there are many devices in the kitchen that could be studied for this thesis; kettles, toasters, blenders, ovens, etc. All these kitchen devices are so common in our everyday life that we seem to take them for granted. But can these mundane devices be designed in a more expressive way?
For this project, various kitchen devices were augmented to showcase different expressive qualities. The augmentations were made by use of various actuators. These actuators do not necessarily add to the functionality of the device, but rather to its expressiveness; the way in which the devices present themselves, how they appear over space and time, in a dynamic way. My thesis explains this in further detail (especially in section 1.2 & 2.3)
The three distinct phases sketching, and exhibition where I presented my work.
The design process consisted of three distinct phases of experimentation, all with their own particular aim. The augmented kitchen devices were developed during these phases as various sketches; 3D explorations with electronics. The images display the phases in reverse chronological order. Image 1 shows the sketches of the final experimentation phase, which are two distinct coffee machines with their own, unusual, expressive behaviour. Image 2 displays the intermediate exploration phase, in which various kitchen appliances were more expressive than they were. The focus was on non-functional expressions, e.g. aggression in case of the blender. Image 3 then shows the initial explorations of kitchen appliances enhanced with LEDs, speakers and vibration modules. The fourth image shows an exhibition where I presented my final thesis.
In my thesis, the development of and reasoning for the sketches is clarified in an extensive way, to clearly present all the insights that are gained throughout the design process. Being a design-based research project, the focus was more on the gathered insights from the set of sketches, than on the sketches as individual objects. At the end of the thesis (section 5), I discuss and reflect upon the sketches on the basis of the process-insights and relevant design theories.
That's me—Jip Asveld, Interaction and UX designer. I'm designing interfaces for nearly 10 years now.
With a master’s degree in interaction design and a bachelor’s degree in industrial design, I am a designer who works in a human-centered and technology-driven way. Prototyping and UX research are at the core of my workflow. I am fascinated by how people experience and interact with everyday things.
Check out my CV here for an overview of my experience and skills.
To me, UX is all about problem-solving. I use design to define, explore and solve problems—in contrast to design as merely form-giving or visually polishing a finished concept. Problem-solving is inherently complex, as there are ill-defined factors involved. I use ideation, prototyping and UX research in an iterative way to handle this complexity.
Throughout a project, my added value is in applying design thinking, in navigating the design process, and in selecting methods based on what the project requires. To me, designing is first and foremost about the methods, tools and processes used to create and validate solutions.
I am passionate about increasing the usability of a design. Not only in a functional way, but also for more experience-based and even playful designs. To me, user experience and usability go hand in hand.
My focus as a designer stretches all the way from information architecture to micro-interactions, as I believe the overall structure and the detail cannot be seen apart. While designing, I focus on both the appearance of and interaction with the interface, and the way in which the combination of look and use can evoke a great user experience.
Besides these areas of expertise, I am also interested in service design, front-end development (mainly web development, given my current skills) and lighting design.
My personality accommodates some qualities that I believe fit ideally to the design profession:
Click here to read more about me, my approach as a designer and how I think about design.
I was born and raised in Tilburg, a town in the south of The Netherlands. A big part of my childhood consisted of building and playing with lego. During high school, I attended extracurricular art classes. These two examples display—already at an early age—my interest in creating things.
Later in my life, I attended the University of Technology in Eindhoven, where I completed a bachelor's degree in Industrial Design. After my bachelor studies, I worked as a self-employed web & lighting designer for two and a half years. Then, I studied the master's program Interaction Design at Malmö University. I recently graduated from this program with a Master of Science degree.
I am a designer with a practical, hands-on working approach, as both my Master and my Bachelor education were highly project-oriented. My way of working is structured and well-considered. I am very mindful of the steps I take in the design process to make progress with the project. Throughout the design process, I apply a variety of different methods and skills.
I prefer to keep my workflow flexible; fine-tuning it to the specific needs of a project. Still, the common denominator in my way of working is that I apply design thinking and creative problem-solving to come to design opportunities and solutions, which can be prototyped, tested and then improved iteratively.
As a designer who values working with and for people, on designs that add value to their lives, user research and testing are of paramount importance to me. To incorporate a user-focus, I apply methods such as interviewing, organising workshops, usability testing, and -more comprehensive- a co-design methodology. In addition, I highly value the role of prototyping throughout the design process. My skills allow me to iteratively prototype design solutions.
The alternation between analysing and synthesizing is at the core of my design practice. Together, they allow for the alternation between ‘opening up’ opportunities for the project, and ‘closing in’ design-directions for the project to focus on. Analysis results in the expansion of insights, data and ideas, while synthesis allows to focus on the 'better' among these and combine them into more concrete notions, knowledge and design concepts. Together, analysis and synthesis let the designer create and explore many different possibilities, while always keeping the project on track towards a specific goal.
As a foundation to support the practical design work, much emphasis during my studies was placed on learning design theories and methods that can guide as applicable background knowledge throughout different stages of the design process. This gives me a substantial base of design knowledge to ground my work.
I want to conclude this section by emphasizing that to me, designing is essentially a problem-solving activity. An important part of designing is being able to identify problems and what creates these problems in the first place—and to formulate suitable challenges to tackle the problems. Before you can design a successful solution in the form of a product, I believe it is important to know exactly what to focus on and for what reason. The problem comes before the solution, and often the initially supposed problem is based on wrong assumptions, so the solution will be too. Therefore, research is needed about the user and the context in which the design will be used. It is then my objective to design solutions and alternatives for the actual problems and challenges, which suit the users and the activities they wish to perform.
All of the projects in this portfolio show interactive designs, where I define interactive in the broadest sense of the word: the way we can control the design, and how it responds. These are designs that are not passive, such as a chair or table, but instead designs that are responsive to the actions of a user. The task for the designer then becomes to create the design in such a way that it enables sufficient action-possibilities for the user, and that these will result in useful and satisfying reactions by the design. Together, this action and re-action compose the interaction with the design, and it is this interaction we have to design.
Interaction and UX designers do not work as often on designing these interactions with physical products, as they do for digital interfaces. I, however, want to design for more than screens. I believe it is equally important to properly design the interactions we have with physical products, as it is for digital interfaces. Why should it be any less relevant for physical products to have well-designed interfaces and interactions? Take for example the lamp; turning it on and off is typically done by the use of a switch, or sometimes a dimmer. But much more is possible, technically speaking, and potentially more suitable for certain contexts and users. It seems that we have become mindless in these situations.
My project Domestic Lighting of the Future is a study on this particular topic of how we can control light in a domestic setting. It thus concentrates on the user their action-possibilities. Focussing more on the design its re-action, the project Expressive Appliances investigates how we could make ordinary kitchen appliances more expressive again. Both of these studies were my master thesis projects. The fact that these projects were self-selected and self-framed displays my interest in this topic of action and reaction. More on the topic can thus be found at these particular projects.
I am open for freelance projects and full-time design roles.
Contact me through [email protected] or by filling in the fields below.
© 2020 by Jip Asveld