DailyUI: A Thesis Journey
I’m Nivi, a soon to be graduate(two more days!) of the Interactive Multimedia program at The College of New Jersey. During my four years here, I’ve been an artist, designer, developer, and most fittingly, a maker of things. As I step into a field that favors great expertise in one area, I’m proud to be a multidisciplinary problem solver. I’ll be working at Amazon as a UX designer by day and maker of crazy cool things by night!
My thesis, Daily UI: A Thesis Journey was a design exploration and an exercise in developing a consistent design process through executing design challenges for 75 days. DailyUI is a project started by UI/UX designer, Paul Flavius Nechita. He did a user interface design challenge every day for 100 days where he picked one element each day such as Sign Up or Credit Card Checkout and designed it. The premise is that at the end of the 100 days, one will be a better designer. Due to the popularity of the project, many designers adopted it. dailyui.co is a website that sends these design challenges everyday. Due to the timeline of my project, I did 75 days of design and posted them on Dribbble as means of documentation and getting feedback from the design community. Here’s my writeup on the process. I explored ways to consistently generate and execute ideas quickly. At the end of the semester, I presented my work as a gallery exhibition at the IMM Senior Spring Showcase. View all my work here: www.dribbble.com/nivih
The IMM Senior Showcase is an opportunity for IMM students to reveal what they have been working on for their thesis project. The show usually features polished, completed projects that visitors can enjoy and provide feedback on. The expectations for the Fall showcase in contrast is different— it is expected to be “in process” work and is used as a way to validate ideas and show progress.
As I came into the Fall semester of senior year, I had no idea what I wanted to do my thesis on. I wished to hone/develop my problem solving and design skills. However, I didn’t see a clear path to my idea — nothing was yelling out “I’M YOUR THESIS PROJECT!” which is what I had relied on. As I went through multiple ideas, the one that stuck the most was Navigation for the Visually Impaired.I prototyped and showcased this idea during the Fall showcase.Over the winter break, I reassessed my thesis realizing that I was spending a lot of time coding without an end in sight or clear goals for the project. The pit in my stomach was growing larger by the minute. Recognizing that I wasn’t invested in the project and needed a break, I changed gears and started working on DailyUI challenges as a creative outlet. I enjoyed them without putting pressure on myself so I decided to change my thesis to DailyUI.
At that time, changing my thesis felt like a huge failure to me. I couldn’t help but think that I had let myself and everyone around me down. I could feel the pressure of expectations smothering me and was desperate to pick something that I could complete without the fear of failure that an unfamiliar project instilled in me. My presentation at the Winter showcase went well which further had me questioning my decision to change my thesis. The thought of explaining my decision was also extremely scary. However I chose to plow ahead with these words in my mind constantly.
Something that inspired me was this quote: “What you do everyday matters more than what you do once in a while.”
Working consistently is important in creating something that is greater than the sum of its parts.
Pick a thesis project that makes you happy and doesn’t feel like a weight on your mind at all times.
Be open to change, new ideas and inspiration.
Test your ideas quickly, build upon feedback.
Collaborate and help out your fellow classmates!