Descriptive text of what this is and why I'm doing it.
Elements of a Great Thesis
Before I go into my thesis topic, I’d like to take a moment to acknowledge the elements that I believe make up a great thesis. I’ve spent many hours studying past student work and I’ve distilled some of my favourite concepts into a few categories.
Urgency: Address a problem that is either currently an issue or increasingly becoming one. Speculative concepts are a fun mental exercise, but fail to provide much value. A good problem expresses a sense of agency. It makes us believe that we can and should do something about it right now. The problem is communally felt and understood as a problem either because we’ve experienced it or we can relate to it. Bernice Wong shows agency by revealing the truth about undocumented work in America.
Experts: The quality of the experts will determine the quality of the insights. Experts are an ocean of information. They can point you in a direction that’s likely overlooked. Lassor Feasley put a huge emphasis on talking to the leading experts in his field— many of which informed his design direction.
Immersion: Going to where the answers are. The best insights come from true ethnographic research. You can’t just sit on your phone, you need to get your hands dirty. Workshops and field trips take much more effort and planning but lead to better results. Andrew Schlesinger gathered his insights from speaking to kids and dads in their natural environments.
Closure: Showing what you’ve created had an impact. Concepts can be mentally stimulating, but a good success story is heartwarming and accepted. It’s important to capture these moments in the documentation. Smruti Adya captures these reflective moments in her sketchnote experience.