To make it short: I want to survive in a data-driven world, become more aware of who owns the data, how companies uses it to monetize their products and also to help me find use cases for Machine Learning, AI and e.g. Blockchain technology, while leveraging it in a more ethical way - for instance even for my personal activistic objectives in the field of mobility where I fight for safer, more inclusive infrastructure and boosting the adoption of cycling in Germany and I want to create a positive impact.
I also see the study as perfect continuation of my studies in User Experience Design, in which I was rather on the technical side and e.g. got more and more fascinated by data-driven user testing.
In my job in an Online Marketing agency as SEO / SEA manager I was always among the colleagues who were more curious about customer journey, tracking, analytics and processing information of how users behave, as well as scraping information from websites or using structured data for SEO purposes.
In my life as UX designer, I wanted to zoom out again and learn how to build more user-centered and ethical products people actually want. In this field however I was missing the more strategic, data-driven part: Ethnographic research is fun and games but how can we make more sense of testing data / make it more consistent? Especially during the corona-crisis, where interviews and face to face user testing were not really possible, I dived into automated testing using Quant-UX and Hotjar, which yet again reminded me at my data-driven past in Online Marketing, yet now using analytics with different objectives. I also joined the minor in Blockchain technologies in my 3rd semester, which got me excited for the future of society in terms of how to manage data in a more decentralized way.
I see a lot of things in life as a design process. While online marketing was a good direction for me back then to make the websites I built during high school more successful for my clients (converging, I thought I had found my niche), studying CMD-UX in a relatively general way opened me up to several directions again (diverging). Focussing on Research, design systems or still implement interaction concepts with Ardunios and sensors? The directions seemed unlimited again. For me, however, it became particularly interesting whenever data became the basis for design decisions. I am therefore convinced, that the study program "Data-driven design: specifically will help me to position myself better in the professional world and initiate the next converging phase.
In the course of my final bachelor project, I worked with Toogethr in Utrecht, a company that takes a very data-driven approach, where live dashboards spread good vibes all across the office and also makes decisions based on data. It is planned that I will continue to work with them and to study on the side accordingly. While it might also be possible to balance full-time studies and work - I would strongly prefer to have a life and spend more than just a year in Utrecht, becoming more of a true Dutchman.