Emerging digital technologies have shaped the way we interact with our world.

Mobile apps, for example, have changed the way loved ones stay connected, how transportation services are used, the methods of managing our schedules, and even help us to keep up with exercise habits. Mobile apps also provide avenues for business innovation.

Digital technologies are increasingly embedded in our everyday environment, communicating and creating a smart environment known as the ’Internet of Things(IoT)’.

Our living environment becomes able to suggest contextually-relevant information and services to us, and we can make better, informed decisions. Because the technologies can be embedded in the everyday environment, like furniture, we can naturally and intuitively interact with these smart tools like how we do with the physical world. Students in this platform are equipped to uncover opportunity areas where mobile apps and the internet of things can elevate people’s life, for example, improving healthcare, children’s education, and the elderly’s independent living.

Students create working prototypes through multiple collaboration projects with Keio-NUS Cute Centre, Dell, Visa etc., and bring their digital dreams to life.


Curriculum Overview Components

Opportunities from emerging technologies and identifying new design areas

Design creativity for new types of human-computer interaction

Creating interactive prototypes that demonstrate new interaction design

Key Learning Areas in terms of Thinking / Knowledge

How to identify new design opportunities by understanding of technologies and human experiences

How to design for interactions that are usable, meaningful and enjoyable to humans

How to implement new ideas into interactive prototypes through iterative making and testing

Key Skillset,Tool or Method Equipping Areas

User research methods to identify problems and new opportunity areas for technologies

Knowledge on UI/UX principles and skills to implement the principles into actual design

Prototyping skills (apps or physical computing) and user test methods




For the elderly, having to use the walking stick feels like it will lead to a deterioration of health. But that is not the case!

A walking stick is meant to help increase their physical capacity. Ascend is an adaptive cane tip that senses the walking information of the elderly and gives feedback in a form of an app for the elderly and witness the to show them the positive effects of using a walking stick. This data can then be shared with the physiotherapist and they can also use it to aid them to understand more of the patient’s progress and recovery.

Jamie Yeo



“It’s like Magic!” Blendor is a tactile colour- mixing tool that encourages children to experiment with addictive colour mixing in an enchanting, interactive and mess-free way. Children can learn about various proportions and mixtures of colours with ease through pouring the digital coloured content from one Blendor into another, changes in colour.

Lee Si Min



Livefeed is a series of self-sustaining parasitic sensors that fits into everyday life in an intuitive, familiar, and non-invasive manner. Inspired by the concept of symbiotic relationships, livefeed is a series of battery- less smart devices that co-exist with existing everyday objects we own, relying on them for power while benefiting them by providing context-specific information.

Airfeed - An air quality sensor that latches on to household fans, sampling the quality of the air passing through it while simultaneously harnessing the wind for power. Lightfeed - A smart bookmark that latches on to books, informing users whether the ambient light levels are sufficient for reading.

Loh Zhi De



The feature of exercising in a context of mobile gaming motivates the rehabilitation encouragement and distracts the patient from pain.

The rehabilitation ring uses bluetooth connectivity to link up with mobile phone for gaming and monitoring system of the hand therapy session, making the rehabilitation session mobile and easy.

Cai Zhi Xiang


Selene Chew

Chew Se Lui, Selene graduated in 2011and is a User Experience Designer at Arimo, Inc., Silicon Valley
How did you get into UX?

DID gave me a very good foundation with design and at that time my thesis project was Blindspot. Going through the whole thesis project experience, I realised that my strength was not just in designing a product but in designing the experience and finding out the best solutions and experiences. In a way I think that good design should not be restricted by the form of the outcome.

Therefore, I wanted to expand my scope; I didn’t want to focus just on physical products. So I went to The Ohio State University to pursue a degree in design research and that actually exposed me to the different methodologies that we can approach design with. Brian Stone is a design professor at Ohio State and I met him when he visited NUS as a visiting professor. He was my thesis advisor at Ohio State and he really exposed me to UX design and user interaction design because I showed interest in those areas. He also exposed me to the start-up community in Columbus, Ohio.

Silicon Valley sounds like a great place! It must be quite inspiring. How well do you think NUS DID prepared you for Master’s and working in Arimo, Inc.?

Silicon Valley is an interesting space. Every day a potential “next new thing” pops up and you never know which of them is going to be the next Facebook. Going through the ID programme really gave me a good foundation. You need to go through those basic four years to actually have that sensitivity towards design and have that discipline. The experience really opened up my mind. In some of the other universities which have programmes that are solely focused on product design they tend to miss out on the design process—thinking about the real process of solving problems and the fact that the whole design process can be applied across different disciplines. Dr. Yen once said, “We solve design problems, not necessarily restricted just to products.”

Wong Kok Keong

Wong Kok Keong graduated in 2006 and is the Senior Product Innovation Manager & Head of Lifestyle Research Lab (SEA & Oceania), Samsung Electronics
What are you doing now?

I am in the Product and Innovations team (PIT) in Samsung and also heading the Lifestyle Research Lab (LRL).

The product innovations team in Samsung does two things. First, we try to figure out what is the next big thing, in a two-to- three-year time horizon. In that space we also work fairly heavily on smart home projects and the Internet of Things.

For the other half, our region here being Southeast Asia and Oceania, New Zealand, we might get briefs—For example, if we wanted a washing machine more useful for Southeast Asia, what kind of changes do we need to make? What kind of lifestyle do people have in food, in living, in houses and stuff like that, and how should we respond in terms of appliances?

We are like a frontline listener for consumer needs and concept creation. We are consumer insights driven, some other groups maybe for example be more R & D, technical, new technology, new materials, and things like that, but for us we try to be consumer insights originated, and that’s why we have all the teams in this region, to spread, out, so we can have eyes and ears in each place rather than all design from Korea for example.

LRL is more of a new thing; compared to PIT which tends to be more category- focused, or product-focused, LRL instead asks questions like, “What is the next new refrigerator?” We often take a step back and think about how urbanisation is changing how people live, what that might mean, and how family structures are changing. We all know that lifestyles, homes, families and attitudes are all changing, so the concern here is more of what this means for us. We try to help think of some of those questions—that’s the LRL.

Yian Ling

Cheong Yian Ling graduated in 2008 and is a User Experience Designer at ThoughtWorks
You did your Master’s in Carnegie Mellon University and it was in Interaction Design! Why did you choose to specialise in that?

After graduating from NUS, I went to the NUS Design Incubation Centre (DIC). It was there that I was involved in projects that were interaction and technology based. We did projects like Experience Kaleidoscope and TouchHear.

At DIC I found that I enjoyed designing products with technology in them. Thereafter I went to A*STAR, where they concentrate solely on technological products like augmented reality, multi-touch surfaces, robotics, medical dispensers, etc.and see if it has been done before.

In a word, DID to you was “foundation”. Why would you say so?

In DID, the foundation that we built does not only include day-to-day hard skills, but also soft skills: handling multiple projects at one time, interacting with users face-to-face, dealing with team dynamics and varied opinions, etc. In industry, I realised hard skills are the expected minimum and soft skills differentiate you. Being good at your work and being great to work with are equally important.

Foundation was also built in terms of exposure. We work on a variety of mediums such as space, technology, big objects, small accessories, etc., and also on diverse topics such as ageing, children, healthcare, mobility... This divergent exposure sets us in a curious and experimental mindset which again is an important soft skill as a designer.


As part of our strategy to evolve constantly, a major component of the course is the Course Platforms.
It allows students to tailor their individual course of learning by selecting and participating in 2 concurrent design studios from a variety of 7 to 10 different design projects offered every semester —ranging from

  • Experiments & Exploitation of Materials
  • Future Trends Forecasting & Disruptive Innovation
  • Entrepreneur Product Creation for Crowdfunding & Startups
  • Invention of Tools, Mechanisms, Materials & Structures
  • Innovation & Invention in Healthcare & Medicine
  • Mastery of Product Aesthetics, Usability & Desire Creation
  • Crafting User Experiences in Retail & Government Services
  • 3D Printing & Digital Fabrication Mastership
  • Specialist in Creativity & Problem-solving Methods
  • Interaction for Mobile Apps & the Internet of Things

The range of different topics reflect the ever-expanding role of an innovator and industrial designer; not only are students able to receive exposure to different areas of innovation, they also get the opportunity to learn different approaches to designing from the individual studio leaders and industry collaborators.

In addition, the vertical format of the design platforms encourages cross-learning of ideas, skills and methods while junior students work alongside and / or compete with senior students.

Students in a lower year will take up the role of a junior designer, whilst senior students will have the opportunity to assume the role of a senior innovator. This arrangement reflects the prevalent importance of group dynamics in industry practice, where design teams often comprise of junior designers, innovators and sometimes a creative director.

The platform program features real life innovation projects in collaboration with the following industry partner:



The Bachelor of Arts in Industrial Design, B.A.(ID), is an undergraduate honours programme consisting of coursework driven by a synergistic three-pronged approach:

Design Thinking: Out-of-the-box innovation strategies and investigative methods to discover new ideas and unmet needs.

Multi-Disciplinary Aptitudes: Behavioural science, social economics, business strategy and engineering and technology knowledge help out graduates develop entrepreneurial strategic thinking and holistic problem-solving capabilities.

Artistic Sensibility: Training of imagination, taste, and crafts, to provide appropriate aesthetics and emotions to ideas so that solutions are both functional and desirable. The combined approaches equips our graduates with high-level strategic thinking, and enables them to translate problems and ideas to tangible, desirable solutions etc.


To broaden the students’ exposure, around two-thirds of each cohort goes for a one-semester overseas exchange programme during their 3rd year to distinguished design schools.

Our partner schools include:

University of New South Wales, Australia
University of Alberta, Canada
Duoc UC, Chile
Tsinghua University, China
Zhejiang University, China
Tongji University, China
Aalto University, Finland
ENSCI, France
ENSAD, France
International School of Design or ISD, France
Institut supérieur de design, France
Folkwang University of the Arts, Germany
Politechnico di Milano, Italy
Kyushu University, Japan
KIT, Japan
Tecnologico de Monterrey, Mexico
TU Delft, The Netherlands
TU Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Hangyang University, South Korea
Seoul National University, South Korea
KAIST, South Korea
ECAL, Switzerland
National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan
University of Leeds, United Kingdom
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA
Georgia Institute of Technology, USA
Arizona State University, USA


Crafting User Experiences in Retail & Government Services is a specialization platform electable by students of the Division of Industrial Design (DID).

DID was founded in 1999 as Singapore’s first university-level course in Industrial Design. DID offers a highly selective degree course in Industrial Design. We teach a potent combination of design thinking and innovation methods, with a clever mix of artistic, humanistic, technological and business disciplines.

Our vision is to make life better through design; to equip students with trans-disciplinary skills and thinking processes required to find unmet needs, to solve complex problems involved in creating viable new products, experiences, interfaces and environments. Our graduates are enabled to take up highly valuable and versatile roles as creative designers, innovators, entrepreneurs, and leaders of change.

Originally as part of the Department of Architecture, our programme has built a stellar track record and gained independence in just 11 years. We are ranked among the world’s top 30 University for the subject of Art and Design by QS World University Rankings by Subject 2016, and also ranked as the top university in Asia.

Top Back Course Video How to Enrol