Thesis defence D. Ozkaramanli: personal dilemmas
location: Aula, TU Delft
Me against myself: Addresing Personal Dilemmas through Design. Promotor: Prof.dr.ir. P.M.A. Desmet (IO).
Our everyday life is saturated with personal dilemmas. Do I really want that extra piece of pie even though I am trying to maintain a slim waistline? Should I pursue that job offer at the expense of spending less time with my family? The richness of the dilemma phenomenon and the wide variety of dilemmas people experience offer an unexplored yet promising space for user-centered design. The main aim of my thesis is to (a) increase our understanding of how personal dilemmas can inform user-centered design, and to (b) develop design aids that support designers in integrating personal dilemmas in their design processes. Studying the adoption of dilemmas in design activities requires multi-disciplinary expertise. Mainly, one needs to bridge theories and principles in psychology and in design to support the understanding of the phenomenon and its adoption in the design process. Moreover, this learning has to be transferred to the target audience, design practitioners, in a way that is actionable (i.e., simple, inspiring, and engaging) in design activities. My PhD project has addressed both of these challenges.
The main outcome of this project is the elaboration of three main directions through which designers can respond to personal dilemmas. These directions are resolving dilemmas, moderating dilemmas, and triggering dilemmas. Each of these directions is supported by design strategies that can facilitate their adoption in idea generation. In addition, three distinct frameworks are proposed that can facilitate (1) analyzing the dilemmas of target users, (2) selecting a relevant and inspiring dilemma, and (3) reframing dilemmas to energize idea generation. Finally, to make the outcome of this thesis actionable by design practitioners, the main findings are supported by a complementary booklet (Book of Dilemmas for Designers) and a toolkit (Dilemma Co-Exploration Toolkit). The Book of Dilemmas for Designers summarizes the main outcomes of this project in a visual and engaging way with the goal of inspiring design practitioners to adopt dilemmas in their design processes. The toolkit includes two different card sets that can be used to collaboratively formulate and discuss hypothetical dilemmas in a design team at the early stages of framing the design problem.
For access to theses by the PhD students you can have a look in TU Delft Repository, the digital storage of publications of TU Delft. Theses will be available within a few weeks after the actual thesis defence.