lim jia sheng,

.Design Research Dissertation

project[1]: Draft dissertation


  • Research skeleton
  • Literature matrix
  • Draft dissertation
    • Acknowledgements
    • Abstract
    • Table of contents
    • Introduction
      • Problem statement
      • Research objectives
      • Research questions
    • Literature review
    • Research methodology
    • Results/Findings
    • Discussion
    • Conclusion
    • Project design recommendations
    • Reference list
    • Picture credit list
    • Appendices


Research skeleton & literature matrix


We were thrown immediately back into the research zone. I reread my previous literature review, as well as reskimmed & rescanned the previous articles. Proceeding to the theme identification, it was kind of challenging, as attempting to distil entire pieces of work into a meagre sentence or two, whilst maintaining its relevance to the entire article was not simple. Other than that, the research skeleton was pleasant enough, even fun somehow. The literature matrix however, definitely took some brain time.

Draft dissertation


It was a long gruelling process, but eventually it was done. I took down new notes from each of the literature pieces, which turned out to be very helpful, as the old ones in the critical review either missed some things or could not be split into common sections. After refreshing my brain cache, I mixed in my old thoughts & added fancy language to form the literature review.


Putting everything into the research methodology section was not as simple as dumping in previously written justifications. Besides lots of rephrasing, the main, eventful, task this week was pouring my heart out of how I designed the survey & focus group. Other than that, I also managed to finally learn how to use multilevel lists, enabling auto labelling of the numbering on figures’ captions.


There were two parts to the findings section that required major (re)working — the figures & the analysis. The figures were, truth be told, not done very correctly in DRM, & thus needed to be remade with proper labelling + better aesthetics while I’m at it. The analysis was mostly due to the different sectioning style, where DRM went per question & dissertation expects resolved subsections that performs cross-analysis.


I went through each of the feedback given & modified my work accordingly. It was here where I updated my Microsoft Word to the latest version, which has resolved most of my issues. Huzzah not procrastination.


This was the week of most of the theory crafting & fun initialization of ideas. The discussion started with just mapping over the research questions into subheadings that were a bit more manageable to discuss. One of the more interesting happenings was how I based the “cost” model on some of my pre-existing ways of parsing the world & found that it worked pretty okay. Other than that, relating dark patterns with casinos also was one of the more educational research avenues outside of the actual topic.


I mostly spent my time this week correcting for the things I did last week, according to the feedback given by Dr. Hayati. The more interesting thing besides that, done this week, was definitely the Research Conceptual Diagram. It was made in XMind, which from prior research I knew was an Electron app, meaning it was based on web technology. With a lot of the creation actions requiring repetitive action, I instead dug into the file it saved, found a JSON file, messed with that, & saved myself honestly hours.


Nothing much was done this week other than some proofreading & fixing. It was here though, where I realised all of my in-text citations were wrong, where I used a comma as the delimiter instead of a semi colon. I simply used the Find function inside Word to manually go through & fix them.


Figure 1.1.1, Literature matrix, 14/5/2022

Figure 1.1.2, Draft dissertation, 14/5/2022


No one takes design as a course & expects to write big boi essays. As a person who hates both reading & writing, I really don't know how I ended up finishing anything. However, I guess, unfortunately, have to admit, there were parts which were more than pleasant to vomit into words. Being able to argue for & against small miniscule details really tickles some part of some lobe in my skull. Having the opportunity to theorise a transactional model to expulse dark patterns, based on the atomics of social interactions, also squeeze my nerd out.

The main takeaway for me from this whole experience is definitely the ability to write (as well as stay awake). Again, as a person who hates to both read & write, I have to admit I lack the proficiency of any & all sorts of formalities normally found in written media. Besides that, sentence variety, as well as the expansion of jargon, all whilst keeping grandiloquence to an acceptable level, was a skill definitely honed as I rustled myself through the word forest being written. Surprisingly on the side, I did also learn a bunch about the nitty gritties of Microsoft Word, & how it can be beat into submission to make a writer's life simpler. Field codes, multilevel lists, consistent styles, all real handy!

At the end of the day, was it exhausting? Oh for sure. Was it boring? Extremely. Would I do it again? Oh hell no. Do I regret doing it at least once? Not really. It was a unique experience & taught me selections of skills that I know I will use in the future for anything related to words on a surface.