Research & Theses Topics

Following list is made for students, that are seeking for a thesis topic (Bachelor or Master).

This is a non-complete mutable list of my current research interests. You may find this an inspiration for your research. In addition, at the end of this page you can find some topics I like to offer.

  • Integration of Usability Engineering and Software Engineering (agile, non-agile)
  • ‘Tools’ supporting HCD process lifecycle development activities
  • HCD process capability including assessment approaches and models, tools for metering/measuring the process capabilities (e.g. based on ISO 9241-220)
  • Approaches and tools for the selection of usability and design methods
  • Human-Centred Innovation (Human-Centred Design/User Experience Design/Design Thinking, Google Venture Sprint, etc. … methods, that aim for innovation. How do they link to HCD?)
  • Digital Fabrication - New approaches/methods making use of Digital Fabrication and HCD
  • Digital Fabrication in combination with innovation driven approaches, e.g. Design Thinking, etc.
  • Engineering Human-Centred Products (Keywords: Open Design, Digital Fabrication)
  • FabLab Ecosystem and Cultural Effects

NOTE: User Experience and HCD are closely related, so that terms above can almost be substituted for the reason of research.

As you know I am also open-minded to other/related topics. You can present me your research results and we can discuss.

 

Theses Topics

 

BACHELOR: 

Open Source Web-based Platform for Documenting and Sharing Maker-Projects

Question(s): How to share your projects in an appealing way to your community and how to support their reproduction in the most efficient way?
Procedure: Analyse existing systems; Analyse User Requirements; Create a concept and a first version (inclusive code documentation); test your system and document your findings

Hack the Machine: 5-Axis Milling

Question(s): What are the challenges and opportunities of 5-axis milling?
Procedure: Research on 5-axis milling CAD/CAM solutions and development of a usable software for the 5-axis-maker machine (which is available at our FabLab).

Maker Education in Bachelor Studies

Question(s): How to include Making and Tinkering in Bachelor Degree Programs?
Procedure: Analyse potentials for the integration of Making in existing bachelor courses; propose a approach for integration, create a course-concept; test your concept and document your findings

 

MASTER:

A Generic Approach for the Selection of Appropriate Usability Methods

Question(s): How to select appropriate methods for the performance of HCD in a given context of a company?
Procedure: Analyse existing approaches; develop new approach; test your approach and document your findings

 

Hedonic Quality, Intuitiveness, User Experience - A Question of Measurement

Question(s): How to identify and to measure (short term and long term)?
Procedure: Analyse state of the art research and create an overview of existing methods with justification (pro’s and con’s); propose a ‚solution‘ (e.g. method(s) to fill gap(s); a strategy; future research, etc.); Verify your proposal and document your findings

 

Innovation Methods in Human-Centred Design

Question(s): How do methods such as Design Thinking, Google Venture Sprint, etc. link to HCD?
Procedure: Analyse state of the art research; Create a model/an approach for integration; Test your approach and document your findings

 

Making in Human-Centered-Design

Question(s): How can ‚making‘ contribute to HCD?
Procedure: Analyse state of the art research; Create a model/an approach for integration; Test your approach and document your findings

 

Assessment Model for FabLabs (at Universities) 

Question(s): 

  • How to measure the impact of „Tinkering, Making, etc.“ on the education of students?
  • How to combine with advantages of established educational approaches?

Procedure: Analyse existing learning approaches; propose a methodology, or create a „reference model“ (best practices, etc.) and an assessment approach; test your approach and document your findings

 

Designing Physical User Experiences

Question(s): How to make use of rapid prototyping and digital fabrication in (agile) development of interactive systems?
Procedure: Analyse state of the art; identify new approaches/methods making use of DF and UX; implement and test your approach and document your findings

 

Design for Impact

Question(s): 

  • How do we reduce the risk of making unnecessary, obsolete, or rubbish things (systems or physical)?
  • How can we change the minds of people in making things (systems or physical)?
  • How do we create an awareness for the usefulness of what we make?
  • How to we consider long-term impacts from the very beginning?

Procedure: 

  • Analyse state of the art; 
  • Identify relevant methods/approaches; 
  • Propose an approach/a model/ set of methods to avoid these risks
  • focus can be on „making“ physical products, i.e in a FabLab 
  • and/or interactive systems in general
  • and/or with focus on the environmental impact (sustainability), i.e. in alignment with approaches such as Ecodesign;
  • Test your approach and document your findings

 

The Next ‚Hype‘ in Human-Centered Design?

Question(s): GV Design Sprint, Design Thinking, Jobs To Be Done - what’s all about this? What do these hype-methods share, what are the differences? How do they relate to Human-Centred Design? What is the ‚gap‘ based of which we need always such new methods?
Procedure: Analyse state of the art and history of such ‚hype‘ methods in the field of Human-Centred Design; draw conclusions about it; test your conclusions and document your findings

 

Learning by Making

Question(s): How does "making" change the way we learn? 
Procedure: Analyse and contrast strategies of learning especially with focus on 'making'; synthesize and propose a model for teaching; test your concept and document your findings