Thesis: Spring 2012 Final Review

My final tasks for completing my Master of Graphic Design consisted of a presentation (video coming soon) and the final document which I am sharing below. The past year of work culminated successfully with positive responses to my research topic as well as my demographic from faculty and guest critiquers. Much of the feedback focused on the visual attributes, which I anticipated because I put more focus on the planning and strategy of the entire system. I had made the decision early on to utilize my thesis as an opportunity to stretch my research, planning, and strategy skills because of an understanding my core strengths and interests.

I had always approached my thesis as the beginnings of an on-going effort rather than a completed project. Thus, I anticipated numerous points of development for the design as well as the research efforts. One of the largest laments of my academic timeframe was the inability to be in closer contact with my demographic. As I say in the text, I concede to the research not being exhaustive but do believe that it is a worthy conversation starter between fields. Through my research, I found numerous overlaps with design, health literacy, and social support in terms of terminology, methodology, and application. It is only foreseeable that the fields would intertwine in order to serve the needs and wants of patients, especially ones with such particular or extreme circumstances that make usability of the greatest importance.

At the core of my thesis is a very simple idea or concept: if an individual and their social network are supported by user-friendly information and tools, they will be more likely to adhere to recommendations and long-term behavior change. The design challenge of it all is how and through my targeted approach in my thesis, I give but one path that seeks to understand and serve the needs of patients through design.

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