From Idea to Sustainable Success

Save favourite 20 Dec December 2017

How to map user needs and discover business opportunities? Where do user needs meet business goals? How do you uncover users’ frustrations and desires to create a great product?

From this perspective, the project group will look at all other projects of the summer university and decide whether the teams are making a product that is both the best solution to the “problem” AND the most profitable.

During the two weeks, the project team must answer the following questions: What was the problem? Does the end-user really think there was a problem in the first place? Was the problem correctly defined? What should the solution change? What will the solution change? Will the end-user really use the final product? Will it be easy to use? Will it be acceptable to a user? Is the solution sustainable? Could there be a better solution? What about the business opportunities? Will it profitable? Who will buy it? How to market the product best?

The project group will come up with alternative solutions and prototypes.

Project goal
The project goal is to decide whether the other teams have designed a product which will generate a successful experience and new business opportunities from a user experiences. If the answer is no, the project team should come up with alternative solutions.

The success of the implementation of new sustainable solutions depends on the acceptance of the end user. Especially, at a time when each investment is considered carefully, you want to create a sustainable solution that is effective. From large-scale analysis (Chaos report 2012, Standish Group) we learn that up to fifty percent of the failure or success of a project is caused by the lack of communication skills  and involvement of the end users.

To identify the real problem and user needs, students (preferably in pairs) will regularly participate in the different sustainability projects right from the start. Based on this the students will work out the chosen alternative in a prototype keeping an account of the preconditions such as tangible and non-tangible benefits, impact on different areas, and acceptance of the end user.

The project group will meet regularly for workshop and to exchange experiences and ideas.

Study areas
The dream team for the project should include students with skills in ecology ,technical computing, electronics, pedagogy, business or human centered design. Most importantly, students must be creative thinkers. While all  individual expertise will contribute to the project outcome, interaction between the study areas is required in order to achieve a successful project result.


  • Problem analysis
  • Change analysis
  • Business Case,      how to justify the project?
  • Requirements
  • Design,      prototype (mock ups)
  • Implications and      recommendations

Apply to the project

Jan Hein Eggers, HvA

Joko van den Ingh-Huisers, HvA

Read more about the lecturers