A new profession

The DDP Concept

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.

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Starting point

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.

  • 02/2021

    Launch of the Digital Design Professional

  • 07/2020

    First draft of the handbook was submitted to training providers and external experts to receive a feedback

  • 02/2020

    First draft of the syllabus was submitted to external experts for review

  • 02/2019

    IREB council agreed to develop a certification scheme for the new job profile of a DDP

  • 09/2018

    Bitkom published the Digital Design Manifesto

  • 07/2018

    IREB Kick-Off Workshop “Digital Design” in Karlsruhe (Germany)

  • 05/2017

    Symposium “Design Meets IT” for traditional designers and software engineers

  • 06/2016

    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.


Michael Kemper

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.


Melanie Stade

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.


David Gilbert

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

Fachhochschule Dortmund

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.

Added value in practice

Focus on:

Material Technologies

I’m a Full-Service Mobile Developer and Digital Design Professional

Focus on:

Material Technologies

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.

Focus on:

Augmented Reality

I’m an AR Lead Designer and Digital Design Professional

Focus on:

Augmented Reality

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.

Focus on:

Innovation Management

I’m a Chief Digital Officer and Digital Design Professional

Focus on:

Innovation Management

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.

Focus on:

Green Business Development

I’m a Startup Coach and Digital Design Professional

Focus on:

Green Business Development

My background is in Economics. The start-ups that approach us usually have a technical background and want to launch green technology to market. Through the DDP I have learned about the relationships between idea, technical implementation and profitability and am better able to identify specific opportunities - and also gaps - in the digital business ideas of our start-up partners.

#I'm a Digital Design Professional

Focus on

Material Technologies

I like the detailed explanation in the DDP education of the interaction between design and other activities in the development process.


Focus on

Augmented Reality

I like the consistency of the DDP education, from initial idea through to implementation.


Focus on

Innovation Management

I like the philosophy of collaboration. Digital solutions are often so complex and the right people have to be involved in the team.


Focus on

Green Business Development

I like the 10 principles of good Digital Design, especially the principle of sustainability.

Craft with Digital Material

Let's start your training!

Be inspired, learn to design digital solutions, become a Digital Designer and shape the digital future!

Let's start your journey

Be inspired

Curious to know what Digital Design is all about? Browse through our website and let the DDP certification scheme convince you of the added value it provides when working in the field of digitalization. Become an early adopter of the new Digital Design profession.

Learn to design digital solutions

As a non-profit organization, we provide the learning material for the DDP education for free download. You can prepare via a training course at a training provider or via self-study and learn how to successfully merge digital and analog in your digitalization projects.

Become a digital designer

Why not finish the DDP education with a certificate? Once you have learned the DDP contents, the exam is the logical way to follow up. The DDP certificate is the proof of your competence in Digital Design.

Shape the digital future

As certified Digital Design Professional you are capable of interweaving business, technology, and design to create valuable and innovative digital solutions.