After the summer holidays, it was again time for another defense of a doctoral thesis in our lab. So today, on the 18th of August, it was MSc (Tech) Laura Hokkanen who was on the hot seat for a good couple of hours. Professor Pekka Abrahamsson from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology acted as the opponent and as one could expect from these two, the discussion was quite an entertainment – yet sticking professionally to the interesting subject.
The doctoral thesis is titled ‘From Minimum Viable to Maximum Lovable: Developing a User Experience Strategy Model for Software Startups’ and so it focuses on UX work in startups. The candidate herself elaborates this in the abstract of the thesis:
“Software startups have gained attention by disrupting traditional businesses. As startups operate with scarce resources and under time pressure, efficient business value creation needs to be of the highest priority. Creating superior user experience (UX) is a means for startups to gain competitive edge that is difficult to copy. However, early product development in startups is filled with uncertainty – considering both the characteristics of the product under development and defining its target market. This is a challenge for designing UX, as both product qualities and user groups may drastically change together with the target market.”
The opponent seemed to be especially interested in the term “lovable” and getting a Finnish version for it was not a simple task during the show. In the end, the candidate defended her version and the whole thesis magnificently and the opponent was glad to recommend the acceptance of the thesis.
Text and photo: Sampo Suonsyrjä