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Five Steps To a Great Master’s Design Thesis 2.0


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Five Steps To a Great Master’s Design Thesis 2.0
From University of Kansas MA programs in Design Management and Interaction Design

Published in: Design, Education, Technology
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Five Steps To a Great Master’s Design Thesis 2.0

  1. 1. Five Steps To a Great Design Thesis 2.0 1 2 3 4 5 research discover strategize strategize develop develop document document share Michael Eckersley, PhD
  2. 2. IntroThe master’s thesis is a product of research, analysis, and creative synthesis. It’s purpose isto document your research on a subject of some relevance to your field, and to communicatethose insights, understandings, and original ideas that resulted from your study. Your MA inDesign thesis at KU may take the form of a traditional scholarly paper, or a well documenteddesign project. As the culmination of your master’s study, the thesis should should besubstantial. It should matter both to you and to your chosen field of study.You can think of your thesis, itself, as a design problem. Take the lead of Professor VijayKumar in his characterization of integrative or “design thinking”:• Start from the point of people’s needs and experiences.• Think in relation to the system, not just the product or experience.• Use a disciplined process to study the context of what’s going on, identifying patterns and frameworks, generating ideas, modeling solutions, validating the solution by prototyping, testing.This is your study. You will have the support of a faculty thesis committee to help. Enjoy thisunique opportunity of doing something meaningful and original. – Michael Eckersley Professor September 2012 Thesis research
  3. 3. 1 sources Research & Discover Bill Lucas on “Looking with Explore a problem or opportunity of care” 12917849 relevance to you or the industry you desire to work in. Look for insights and ideas in the needs, wants, and aspirations of people. Tips: “Design Research: Methods & Perspectives”, Laurel • Explore subjects you have some familiarity with, or can gain familiarity with. • Identify issues or problems relevant to your field. • Consider your topic in the context of what kind of work you want to do in the future. • You can start your exploration anytime; you needn’t wait to take ADS 890 or ADS 861 “A Designers Research Manual: Succeed in Design by Knowing Your Clients and What They Really Need”, OGradyresearch strategize develop document share Thesis research
  4. 4. 2 sources Strategize Examine promising subjects and frame each in a manner you can effectively Jeremy Alexis on Problem Framing address. Your selected subject should be drafted into a good, tight proposal, and submitted to your committee for feedback & approval. Thesis Proposal Outline a=v&pid=explorer&chrome=true&srcid=0B36lum- Tip: What makes for a great thesis subject? QNuqxMTA5OGEyZDMtN2U5Yi00YmI3LWE2MmMtZG IxNTAwNDIyZjE3&hl=en_US Score your ideas using the questions below: Sample thesis proposals: 1.Is the topic, or my approach to it, original? (1 low --- 5 high) Ricarda Miller 2.Is it practically doable? (1 low --- 5 high) QNuqxMzJiYzdkYTMtOTExYy00MGM3LTk4MjAtYT E5NGI1YThmMjRj 3.Does it create new value? (1 low --- 5 high) 4.Could the outcome make a difference for people? (1 low --- 5 high) Georgette Sullivan 5.Does it pertain and contribute to my field? (1 low --- 5 high) QNuqxNjIzNDg4Y2QtMzgzMC00N2MxLWJjZjAt MzkyNmU5NDNhMmMz 6.Could it help advance my career? (1 low --- 5 high) 7.Am I passionate about it? (1 low --- 5 high) Brian Smith QNuqxdldtYS1XdkJVWHcresearch strategize develop document share Thesis research
  5. 5. 3 sources Develop Your proposal green-lighted? Great, Ideo techniques... now do the thing you proposed! ideo-method-card-app/ Research, analyze, problem-solve, create. Test your ideas and validate your design. Can prototype elicit Strategy approaches... good feedback from your target www.brainsbehaviora audience? Can you iterate it and improve it? Tips: • There are lots of research methods and techniques available for you to develop your insights and ideas. Think prototype... • Visually represent your insights and design ideas v=_5FGeSQ7DBU&feature=related with models, maps, storyboards, scenarios, etc.research strategize develop document share Thesis research
  6. 6. sources4 Document Produce the actual thesis documents describing your discoveries, insights, ideas, or assertions clearly and searchable database of graduate theses & dissertations succinctly. Tips: • You’ll need to prepare a presentation of your thesis, so start constructing a deck. • Outline, draft, iterate, and improve your docs. Get feedback; use your committee. Graduate School thesis • If you’re doing a thesis project, your presentation guidelines deck you will need to draft a short document to accompany your deck. See Grad School guidelines downloads/ETD/ETD%20Thesis %20Guidelines_10.22.10.pdf below* • Review Purdue’s APA formatting resource: http:// strategize develop document share Thesis research
  7. 7. 5 Report & Share Now share the results of your work by presenting your thesis to your committee. Disseminating and sharing your work is key to the purpose of graduate school. Tips: • Schedule your thesis presentation with your committee. Notify Grad Program Director of your intent • Apply for graduation. Check with Grad School for deadlines, etc. • Publish a professional article or give a talk at a professional conference.research strategize develop document share Thesis research
  8. 8. Sample MA Design Management Theses 2008-12 “Squirrel:  A  Community-­Directed  Approach  To  Investing”,  by  Brian  Smith­‐QNuqxcjNvUXBjU2hUanF0R2ppbDNKMW55dw ! “Reducing  Wrong  Way  Driving  Events”  by  Chris  Simon­‐ QNuqxZjJhMGIzZjUtMTU4YS00YTk2LTg2NGUtNjc0MDk4NzIxMzBh “Creative  Operations  Management  System”,  by  Ryan  Hembree­‐QNuqxaTdrZ29jNUNUVE9qUm5kYkRheHA0dw ! “Using  Design  to  Facilitate  Personal  Engagement  in  a  Church   Community:  A  Service  Design  Approach”,  by  Randall  Blair­‐QNuqxd0hjMFpRUVlUZHliMHVSbHpmZDNjUQ ! “Punto.  Design  Training  Center  for  Small-­Sized  Business  Owners   and  Entrepreneurs  in  the  Central  American  Region”,  by  Maria  Jose   Misalem !­‐QNuqxZ3dFZnp5Q3hSNE9qNzZTd3lqRkFLUQ­‐sb5h/majos-­‐thesis-­‐project-­‐punto/ Thesis research
  9. 9. Sample MA Interaction Design Theses 2008-11 “An  Integrated  Network  Performance  and  Capacity  Planning  Tool   Suite  (CTS):  One  Tool  to  Do  It  All”,  by  Angel  Stahl­‐QNuqxX0RyRmFnc1JRVENNcktXWk5VRWRpUQ ! “Virtual  Family  Social  Network:  Designing  a  contextually  aware  and   surfacing  computing  system  to  increase  awareness,  engagement,   connectivity  and  organizations  of  families”,  by  Georgette  Sullivan !­‐QNuqxSnNLRGlyVVlTdzI3UTdsWEVuUEpFUQ “Canect:  Matching  The  Best-­Fit  Translation  Service”,   by  Yujie  Guo­‐QNuqxUDdyY0JuelFRbVdVdjhjVFRMYy1SQQ !­‐ycib/thesis-­‐presentation/?auth_key=43241d76434cf74c13695ab57e35ad7dfd0cf47c "An  Activity-­Centered  Design  Perspective  For  The  Creation  of   Museum  Exhibits”,  by  Morgan  Shortle­‐QNuqxLVBxUTN6eUJRWWlfZWhDZzkzem91dw ! Thesis research