Where I started …
Starting my bachelor’s, I knew I grew up in a dutch higher class environment bubble. Therefore, I focused on developing how to incorporate different cultures into design. For example, I practised redesigning a product by looking at the dimensions of culture by Hofstede.
Besides, I performed first user studies. I grew from simply giving people a product and asking their opinion, to doing diary and field studies to gain information on a context.
… how I continued …
Continuing the master’s, I zoomed in on different emerging technologies people might have hesitations about to find my speciality interest. Starting in M1.1 by designing a social robot for home-working students. From a multiple-day deployment including diary studies and an interview, thematic analysis showed that people were actually comfortable with having a robotic buddy.
I also explored smart home technology. For instance, preventive interaction with systems, a home hierarchy with devices having their own practice, and proposing a wardrobe helping to choose clothes. These studies improved my qualitative data-gathering and analyzing skills. By collecting interview and diary data, I practised doing thematic analysis and thereby gaining an understanding of the overall opinion of people as well as detailed insights. Although I enjoy doing research in this domain, it did not give me the spark of interest I desired.
Then, during the course ‘Ethics of Technology’ I discovered the Metaverse, a concept that could entirely change online interaction. For example, causing a more separated society with epistemic bubbles or echo chambers. Now I was convinced, this Metaverse concept was going to be my speciality as there is much research to be conducted its impacts on everyday life and determining desirable development.
… and where I’m headed.
The Metaverse is still developing into a fully implemented technology. I spent M2.1 and M2.2 informing myself about its possibilities. I focus on how the sense of touch adds value to a virtual experience. By collaborating with CWI my study practices developed by improving which questions to ask and completing the setup with information-gathering forms pre- and post-study. This enables me to evaluate specific concepts like how adding vibration and temperature stimuli impacts how we view a fellow avatar in virtual reality.
I have more to bring in discovering how people act within a virtual space and desirable development. Thus after graduating I will try to continue to work within this domain as a design researcher.