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Learn how to design and make digital products

Do you like to learn by making things? Do you want to solve problems? And are you curious and creative? Three times yes? Then this minor might be something for you. In this minor, you'll learn the basics of Programming, Design and Technology. You get a lot of inspiration, and you will apply that in a personal project of your choice.

Enroll as

It is possible to register using the following options:

Saxion-student Niet-Saxion-student

Questions about this minor?

Kasper Kamperman
  • Code

    M.1110

  • Period

    February, September

  • Type

    Fulltime

  • Language

    English

  • Max number of students

    48

  • Location

    Enschede

  • Minor Type

    B: Available for some HBO courses

  • Audience

    Saxion student, Non-Saxion student

Course content

Technology helps make our lives easier, helps us solve problems and spend our free time more efficiently. Good examples are: 

If you don't have a technical background yourself, it can be overwhelming to start learning technologies to make these ideas happen. In this minor you will learn the basic building blocks for working with technology; programming, user testing and rapid prototyping. We will teach you the basics, and you'll apply what you have learned in creating your own digital prototype. 

We have noticed that some students are afraid of learning to work with technology. Still, we are convinced that our minor programme will help you see that creating with technology is fun and not so difficult as you might think. The minor Creative design & Technology helps you to create technical prototypes to showcase and test your creative ideas. We offer three courses in the first term and a large project in the second term.

Creative Design & Technology is a twenty-week programme, divided into two series of ten weeks. In the first ten weeks, the focus is on the fundamentals with courses on programming, designing mobile apps and incredible machines (more details under the learning outcomes tab). In the second part of the programme, you'll use all the knowledge and skills gained in the first ten weeks to design your own technical solution. A creative digital product.

Programming
To be able to make interactive products, it is useful to be able to program, especially if you want to innovate. When you acquire the necessary programming skills, programming will become more fun since you will be able to execute your own ideas. We work with Processing, a programming environment that enables creative people to learn to code. 

Design Thinking
If you have a product idea, you must test that idea as quickly as possible with a user and get feedback. We apply the Design Thinking method in order to empathize with a user, define goals, ideate and prototype a solution and test it with the user. You'll learn how to use several ideation methods, use prototyping tools and conduct user research. Additionally, the basics of creating a graphical user interface will be covered. You'll learn Design Thinking in the context of a mobile app; however, you can apply these skills later on in all kind of interactive products. 

Incredible Machines
Physical products get "smarter" every day. By sensors, actuators and microprocessors a "phygital" product or environment can respond to the user. For example: smart furniture or smart speakers. You'll learn how these kinds of products work by creating a small machine yourself that can respond to and interact with an environment. You'll learn about sensors, lights, motors, Arduino and rapid prototyping techniques like 3D printing and laser cutting. 

Showcase
In this project, it's your turn. You've learned how to program, user test and create "phygital" product/environment. Now it's time to realize your dreams and make your own product.

  • Do you want to create a smart interior? 
  • Do you have an idea to create an app to teach children math in a fun way?
  • Do you want to create a digital tool to help people communicate about their disease? 
  • Do you want to make a game to make children move more?

You have 10 weeks to make your idea happen. We will guide you along the way. Additionally, you'll also learn how to document the making process and create several promotional items.

This full-time minor programme is meant for second- or higher year bachelor students with an interest in the field of digital product design, user experience and creative technology. The programme is open for students from all courses and schools, except Creative Media and Gaming Technologies CMGT (the organising school).

Students HBO-ICT need to send an additional motivation of around 250 words to k.e.j.kamperman@saxion.nl before the enrolment.

The minor would be a great fit for you if you recognise yourself in the following descriptions:

  • You are creative.
  • You are curious.
  • You like to learn by doing and making things.
  • You possess the will-power to learn new things and overcome problems.

We expect you to have your own laptop (Bring Your Own Device) but it doesn't matter if you use Windows or MacOS.

Programming (5 ECTS)
In an assessment of 3 class hours (135 minutes), you will complete various small programming assignments. To test your basic understanding of programming.

Design Thinking (5 ECTS)
You'll document the design process of the mobile app in a report or online portfolio. This assignment will be assessed on the application of the five steps of the Design Thinking method.

Incredible Machines (5 ECTS)
You'll create an incredible machine that communicates with other incredible machines. Your product will be assessed on criteria like creativity, design and utilization of technology. 

Showcase (15 ECTS)
You'll be assessed on the design process (justification of your choices) and your final work.

Samanda Gouriye – Social Work
"I highly recommend this minor, especially to people who have no background in technical subjects. This minor forced me to start thinking in new ways, using my brains differently and how to be creative in new ways. In the beginning it seemed like I was drowning in all the information and I really had to keep up with homework to not fall behind. But once you get the grip of it, it is a lot of fun! I am very glad I took this minor, it changed the whole way I deal with problems and made me a lot more efficient. Lots of thanks to all the teachers!"

Walter von Gabain – HBO-IT Software Engineering
As a software engineering student I have thoroughly enjoyed the emphases on creativity and no idea being too challenging to tackle. The teachers always try to guide you towards personal growth and actively motivate you to learn in areas you are not proficient with. Design Thinking is a very useful tool in order to realize ideas, especially if they are aimed towards users. Working in a fabrication laboratory and playing around with an Arduino can be tedious work but if you enjoy working with your hands then the hours will fly by.

Quotes from the evaluation:

  • "It´s a nice experience to get to know smart technologies. It´s not very interesting for technical students, because you already know a lot. But for the non-technical studies it´s a nice experience."
  • "I would recommend it because it is unique and very useful. I’ve learned I. I would not recommend it because it requires A LOT of time compared to other minors."
  • "The programming part and learning to research user needs were pretty educational things that could really help me with future projects."

The first semester of the minor was graded by the students with a 7.1.