What is IT Product Design?

Stefan's account

When I'm asked what is ITPD?, I often reply that the M.Sc. IT Product Design program is about user centered design, because that part is most important to me.

I joined this 2 year program to learn about user studies, how to better understand the user and his or her needs when designing a new product.

As an ITPD student we do a lot a user studies and make a lot of research for our projects in order to design the best solution for the costumer.

You can read more about ITPD beneath here or by clicking on the link to the University of Southern Denmark's website.


Official website


  • User Centered Design
  • Interaction Research
  • Design Research
  • Electronics

Course structure

Horizon - Visionary Concept

The first semester of IT Product Design was basically an introduction to methods that we can use later on in the process. We did five short projects (those on top of list) and they all required for us to acquire new skills within user centered design, field studies, business models (with innovation and business students), provotyping and electronics.

Besides from learning about design methods, we also learned about reading and writing academic papers. In IT Visions we went over a lot of visionary papers and in the end of the semester we had to hand in a 5 page paper containing our own vision for the use of IT in the future.

(You can read about some of the projects in the portfolio)

  • Design is a Game
  • Video Design Hopscotch
  • Business of Design
  • Critical Design
  • Skills
  • IT Visions
  • Design speciallization A

Practice - User Centred Design Fundamentals

For the 2nd semester it was time to try theory in practice. In Participatory Innovation we were collaborating with at local start-up company who wanted to create a news platform. He we had plenty of opportunity to test most of the theory that we had been taught on the 1st semester, and we of course took it. Also for this course we were collaborating with the Innovation and Business students.

Besides the collaboration with the local company, we also helped some of the researchers in SPIRE Research Centre with conducting research on music instruments. For this we created an interactive, all digital, poster that basically was one big timeline with all the most important instruments plotted on it.

Last, I took a course at another faculty, at the University of Southern Denmark, about field robotics. This was about designing and developing an autonomous field robot that was able to navigate through a corn field on its own. This was as well a collaborative task, and I did it with three people studying Robotic Engineering at the Faculty of Engineering in Odense.

(You can read about some of the projects in the portfolio)

  • Participatory Innovation
  • Professional Roles
  • User Systems Design
  • Design and Development of Field Robotics Vehicles for Plant Nursing

Research - Shaping Research

The 3rd semester is split into two parts. The first part is about research. For Interaction Research I'm working with 3 co-students, one of which is still doing an internship in Ireland. The project we are working on is about medication and medication management. It is a project that an external partner has hired SPIRE to do, but so far I'm still not able to name neither the client or the clients client. All I can say is that I think it is a really interesting project.

The second part is User Experience Design, which as the name imply is about user experience. We are focusing on the interaction, and my partner and I chose to work on a vending machine selling cans. How do you interact with such machine? How do you order your product? Those are interesting questions to ask, especially if you want the vending machine to signal something about the product that it is selling.

(You can read about some of the projects in the portfolio)

  • Interaction Research
  • User Experience Design
  • Critical Reflection
  • Design speciallization B

Thesis - Graduation Project

This semester is reserved for the master thesis. Because this education is research oriented the main requirement for the thesis is that it is a research contribution, meaning that a product design in it self won't be enough, but this also doesn't exclude product designs as the research can be about the product design. Many ITPD thesis's however are often a method research.

(You can read about my master thesis in the portfolio)

  • Product design
  • Research contribution