Graphic Designer

Thesis Project

Research Question Development


For my Integrative Project, I have chosen to expand upon a mobile application that I started to work on this summer. Thankfully I have 4 teammates, so I can focus all of my efforts on UI/UX design (with a touch of branding). My general goal is to research, test, change, expand, and refine the product to be as effective as possible as it is brought to market. This blog post documents my choosing of more specific goals.

The app is a voice journal designed to improve mental health through prompted speech-to-text entries. So far, I have put the most thought into creating an intuitive interface. In the year ahead, I want to focus more on the visceral pieces of the app. These questions should focus on emotional impact and lead me to solutions that make people happier. Topics I’m interested in include movement & animation, conversation encouragement & humanism, and personal pride & accomplishment. Some of my initial research questions were:

How can animation affect emotion? What is movement psychology? How can positive body language inspire animation?

How can a user interface help self awareness and reflection? What visual things positively affect mental health?

How can a digital conversation be made human? How can design encourage speech?

What kind of personal analytics and insights lead to better mental health?

How can design make people feel proud? How can I visualize personal growth? How can I make someone feel accomplished? How can content from past journal entries be presented as evidence of improvement?

After some conversation with my peers and professor, I decided that narrowing down on the topic of personal progress will allow for meaningful research that will contribute to the app’s success. Further questions that I am considering on this topic are:

What is positive psychology? How do we realize our positive experiences? How do people perceive positivity over negativity? What makes for a positive memory?

How frequently do people want to be reminded of progress? What different kinds of progress are there? In what ways do people measure progress?

When do we know that we have grown? What comparisons do we make to our past? What makes us glad to no longer be our past selves? What are the similarities and differences between personal growth and achievement towards external goals?

How can I visualize positive change in personal statements over time?

After more critique and consideration with my professor and TA, I have defined my primary research questions as:

How can visualization make us mindful of personal positive change?

What kinds of data visualization express positive change?

Jack Kornet