Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Update: Master Thesis


I am not sure if I blogged about this but I am a Master of Science in Business Informatics at the University of Mannheim, Mannheim, Germany. I needed to start this post off by stating that because it is relevant what comes next. Anyway I will get on with it as I am strapped for time these days.

For some time now I have been writing my thesis in the lovely city of Leipzig within a software company. Specifically in their User Experience department. Here I am researching the potential of "The potential Mobile-First approach for the design of user interfaces: the case of predictive analytics applications"; that is the official tittle of my thesis. The basic idea is to have an exploratory look if the mobile first approach as was proposed by Luke W. in his November 2, 2009 article, actually could be used to design and eventually develop business applications. The current status of affair has it that companies just downsize their current desktop applications and claim that they have a working mobile application of mobile version of their application. If we are playing semantics they are not wrong because the application does appear on the mobile device, but the question is: can users, use that "mobile", application efficiently and effectively? It is with this in mind that I have taken it upon myself to investigate if it is possible to design an application in this manner [Mobile First]. I have already done some paper prototyping based on requirements I gathered through interviews and literature review, and just completed some expert testing; Heuristic Evaluation with the twist of Contextual Heuristic Evaluation of those design decisions (which just means that I introduced the evaluators to the context, personas, and tasks to be evaluated; giving them contextual information within which the "application" is to be used in). I am just finishing up the data analysis and recording it into my thesis and then re-designing the paper prototype for Version 8 of it. Then last but not least I will have to tie everything together and have it read by some friends to make sure it is legible. Opuwo!

I have been here for about 7 months now and it has been a road filled with big wins and small setbacks, but finally the end is near. Yesterday I decided to write my supervisor and e-mail to schedule a thesis defense date, I thought I would get a reply by next Monday the 23rd of June. That was not to be, this morning during my usual morning ritual - wake-up, stretch, shower, check mail, breakfast, leave - I got an e-mail that confirms my thesis defense date. I don't know if I should be happy because finally I am completing a journey that I started 2 years ago, but now it seems just like yesterday. Or sad, that this student life is coming to an end; all those discounts will be no more O_o.

Either way, I have come this far, and I can't wait to be able to put Msc. before my name. This is all well and now I am faced with the question of what is next? well I mean the presentation date is on the 28th of July and I have to hand in my thesis by the 21st of July. This means that I can leave Germany for home on the 30th of July.

Question: Do I leave forever or just go home for 2-3 months and come back here to work?

Ohh well, I can't think about that now as I have some writing to do, I still have to write about 30 pages worth of high quality scientific literature. I am so stoked to present my sweat of 7 months.

Will keep ya'll updated as I progress.


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