After writing my literature review for TECH621, there are several items I would like to mention. Some comments, some questions, and probably some excuses.
First, in class today, it was asked if anyone had compiled a Research Question yet. I was somewhat surprised of the uncertainty of hands. I can’t imagine how anyone could ever write a literature review without one. I had a tremendous struggle trying to decide what to do. I read articles, came up with a research question, read more articles, scrapped my research question, lather, rinse, repeat. I must have done away with fully-formed research questions at least four times, each one causing me more stress than the last. I went from wanting to discover the way changes in design affected user participation in SNS, to exploring which Facebook features attracted which specific demographic the most. But I knew I didn’t have time to conduct surveys for that knowledge, and I knew my time was dwindling.
My cat providing moral support through this stressful endeavor. ❤
Second, I’m ultimately unsure if the research topic I chose was a good one. I wanted to focus on the design of social network sites because I’m interested in it, and I knew I had to use Radian 6, so I tried to come up with ways I could come up with data from that. With help, I came up with the idea of using the comments and complaints of Facebook users on the design changes of their website. But if that was my answer, what was my question?
After more tossing of possible research questions, I finally decided that I wanted to contribute to future designs of SNS, and came up with the topic of discovering what features of SNS do Facebook users value most. I felt pretty confident about it. One of the first article we read in class were about SNS, and I was able to find that same article referenced in many related papers. That is, I felt confident until last Sunday, when I discovered a single detailed article on users and their gratifications toward using Facebook and it’s features. It was a 2008 study, and truth be told, I’m a little scared that it’s too recent to say that it’s not timely enough.
Granted, Facebook has gone through two redesigns since 2008, bringing about new features such as the “Like” button, Usernames, Places, and Questions. But is that enough to say that another experiment is in order? Could I possibly leverage my point with the innovative methodology of using Radian 6 to acquire data? I’m not exactly sure how I would go about that though.
Ultimately, I tried what I could, but I feel that my finished review was not as strong as I had hoped. Perhaps it’s because it is my first time writing one on my one. Perhaps it’s because I couldn’t read effectively enough despite the tips I received. Regardless, what I’m hoping for most is feedback on how to get better. I focused on making my topic transitions smooth and logical, hoping that I was making a point that was getting across, but I feel that there are other topics I should have touched on, without really knowing what those topics were.
I talked about SNS and their definition, the popularity of Facebook and its many design changes, how changes in design alters user perception and use, and then the findings from the 2008 study that was most related to my own topic. I stressed that technology changes quickly and the importance of keeping up with that trend. I mentioned the value of users’ comments and the benefit of the study for designers.
But what other topics should I have covered to support my point? Which part of the topics I did cover should I have provided sources on? Or should I focus on tweaking the research question I have now to go a different direction?
I’m taking away a lot from this class but not without struggles, so if you have input please share. 🙂 Thanks in advance.