Thesis is an ad pitch.

Welp, some good news, I suppose, for putting the last 10+ years to use in the name of academia. Glad they weren’t a complete waste! Mithru pointed out the irony that I have to make an ad pitch to get out of full-time ad pitching.

I got some insights from an ’18 grad that is helping me shape where I want to go. I still don’t know what my thesis question is, yet, but I do know the pillars, or keywords if you will, that I’d like to touch upon:

  • Accessibility
  • Universal Design
  • Human-Centered Design
  • Assistive Technology
  • Product Design/UX

I’m learning in my storytelling class that it helps to open your presentation with a startling statistic. Here are a couple I’m thinking of using, to help listeners understand just how important accessibility is:

  • 1/5 of the population has some kind of disability.
  • The number of Americans ages 65 and older is projected to more than double from 46 million today to over 98 million by 2060

I also have pulled a quote from the ASSETS ’18 conference from Caroline McGrotty:

Stop trying to fix me but do give me options.

Another piece of advice I received is to start early and talk to as many people as possible. Keep yourself on set schedule and don’t rely on Thesis touchpoints as an optimized schedule. It’s not so much about a super-polished product as it is a proof-of-concept prototype that you have to sell to your audience. I’m beginning to speak to mentors who I feel can help me with best practices and give helpful feedback:

  • Anita Perr (OT)
  • Marianne Petit (Assistive Tech)
  • Claire Kearney-Volpe (Assistive and Accessibility)
  • Tom Igoe (User Experience, PComp)
  • Mithru Swarna (Programming, Accessibility, Assistive)

I also have about 30 books slowly encroaching on my living room space. In the meantime, looks like I’m back to my old tricks to graduate because…

… Thesis is an ad pitch. 

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