The Digital Design Professional is a certification scheme for anyone with an affinity for digitalization and experience from fields such as Industrial Design, BA, RE or UX. The concept is based on training modules that complement each other. These will help the student to gain and deepen their knowledge in Digital Design. Successful Digital Design requires its own perspectives and approaches, which justify a distinct professional profile.
The starting point of the DDP is the DDP Foundation Level. This is an introduction to, and a map of, the profession of Digital Design. Digital Designers understand the digital as material - as digital material - that can be shaped, in the same way a craftsman shapes his material (wood, metal, or the like).
Digital Designers think through the possibilities and potential of technology in combination with the economic conditions in which it arises. They take into consideration both current and future needs of people and aim to create innovative and sustainable digital solutions.
Origin and objective
The DDP has been developed by the International Requirements Engineering Board (IREB) - a non-profit organization - in close cooperation with recognized experts from IT, product design and industrial design. It is based on the Digital Design Manifesto by Bitkom.
It aims at closing today’s gap between the increasingly demanding challenges of digitalization and the necessary technical expertise in design.
Back in 2016 the first major milestone was set during a panel discussion at Bitkom (Germany's digital association) – talking about existing roles and challenges in the software industry. Based on the observation that the software industry lacks designers who are skilled to take care of an overall digital solution, including its analog (physical) components, the idea of a new profession was born.
In 2017 the first symposium “Design Meets IT” with more than 180 participants from different disciplines in IT and design took place with Bitkom and other partners.
In summer 2018 IREB initiated a kick-off workshop with experts in traditional product design, software engineering, and digitization to elaborate essential competences of a Digital Designer.
Between 2019 and 2020 the working group designed the certification scheme for the Digital Design Professional and elaborated the assets for the DDP training and exam on Foundation Level.
Launch of the Digital Design Professional
First draft of the handbook was submitted to training providers and external experts to receive a feedback
First draft of the syllabus was submitted to external experts for review
IREB council agreed to develop a certification scheme for the new job profile of a DDP
Bitkom published the Digital Design Manifesto
IREB Kick-Off Workshop “Digital Design” in Karlsruhe (Germany)
Symposium “Design Meets IT” for traditional designers and software engineers
The idea of a new profession was born
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Karsten Lehn
Fachhochschule Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts
Karsten Lehn is significantly involved in the creation and development of degree programs since 2011. Among other subjects, he has teaching experience in Software Engineering, Human-Computer Interaction, Prototyping, Augmented and Virtual Reality. He worked for more than ten years in the mobile industry, leading international projects.
Principal Consultant, adesso SE
Michael Kemper guides management teams in leading digital projects in future markets and initiating digital transformation. Customers benefit from his HR awards in leading cross-cultural groups as a first mover and his profiling expertise to design effective digital design team compositions.
Consultant, Die Ergonomen Usability AG
A graduated psychologist, who sees herself as the advocate of the users. She continuously involves customers and users in the software and product development process in the sense of the User Centred Design process by means of user research, usability tests and feedback tools.
Chief Consultant, DB Systel
David Gilbert is chief consultant for Digital Experience Design at Deutsche Bahn. He has previously worked for design agencies like Mutabor and SinnerSchrader. He is also a lecturer for media design at the Rhein-Main University of Applied Sciences.
Dr. Kim Lauenroth
Kim designs digital solutions since 2011 and is an interim professor for Digital Design at the University of Applied Science and Arts Dortmund. Besides his activities in IREB, he is active in Bitkom as chairman of the steering committee for software and is committed to establishing new job profiles for digitization.
Dr. Marcus Trapp
Head of Department, Fraunhofer IESE
Marcus Trapp is Software Engineer of passion. He is heading the department for “Digital Innovation Design” at Fraunhofer IESE with his heart and soul. Along his motto “Software is no end in itself; it always supports or enables business.” he supports companies in the areas of digital ecosystems, creativity & innovation workshops, user experience design, requirements engineering and interaction design.
Prof. Dr. Norbert Seyff
University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland FHNW
Norbert teaches Requirements Engineering and coaches students within his university's project track, where student teams engage with industry partners to build digital solutions. He is active in different research projects covering topics such as user feedback and sustainability.
Medical Research Institution
I’m a Physician and Digital Design Professional
Medical Research Institution
Just by chance during my medical studies I already took a course in Data Science, and gained some knowledge of AI programming. Now I am doing research with some colleagues on the potential of AI for diagnosing diseases. In our research we often work together with software developers. Through the DDP I have understood how complex the process of creating good digital solutions is. Now I understand my colleagues much better and our collaboration has also reached a new level.
I’m a Chief Digital Officer and Digital Design Professional
Good ideas are wasted if they cannot be elaborated and presented in a rigorous manner. The DDP provides my employees with various tools that they, together with colleagues from the technical department, can use to shape, and then evaluate, the company's ideas. Future needs from the user perspective also drive new thinking and innovation.
I’m an AR Lead Designer and Digital Design Professional
The understanding of prototypes in a broad sense - from paper prototypes, through mockups and onto implemented designs - has given me a new toolset. Today, I already build early prototypes with our developers for AR surfaces during the concept phase. This helps me to make my designs more tangible for our customers.
I’m a Full-Service Mobile Developer and Digital Design Professional
As a freelancer in a digital marketing agency, I work mainly for small business customers and am responsible not only for the development but also, together with the customer, for app design. The DDP certificate has not, of course, turned me into a designer, but I do understand the specialist tasks in design much better now. I feel more able to involve fellow design freelancers in my projects, and in a more targeted way.
#I'm a Digital Design Professional
Medical Research Institution
For me the DDP is the perfect introduction to the development process for digital solutions.
I like the philosophy of collaboration. Digital solutions are often so complex and the right people have to be involved in the team.
I like the consistency of the DDP education, from initial idea through to implementation.
I like the detailed explanation in the DDP education of the interaction between design and other activities in the development process.