Research-based insights to solve real-life challenges
The project arose from a need to deeply understand a complex real-life challenge; from a need to learn. Challenge-based learning experiences do not encourage ready-made solutions or simple outcomes. Nevertheless, solving these challenges can serve unexpected results.
‘The Aalto Thesis programme has been designed to encourage students to challenge themselves during their Master’s thesis process. Working together with a team of peers and following a predefined schedule builds incentives for students to finish off their thesis on time,’ notes Programme Director Laura Sivula. ‘Students can provide partner organisations with research-based knowledge and new insights for development. This adds extra incentives for the students when they know that their thesis outcomes will potentially be implemented in the partner organisation,’ she continues.
The students found four thematic elements which combined their theses’ results into interdisciplinary conclusions.
- First, the internal experience looks into the organisation itself, where employee diversity and design systems adopted by the whole organisation will increase productivity and creativity.
- Second, the external experience focuses on the user experience. ‘The users are increasingly evaluating the digital products based on the holistic user experience, rather than solely by their functional benefits,’ the students conclude.
- Third, the societal impact addresses risks of digitalization and government responsibility when transforming public services into digital form.
- Lastly, for managing the digital innovation, the student team recommends FDA to ‘combine UX feedback loops with in-house temporary employment to maximise iterative and innovative product and service offerings.’
After the final presentation, the students handed out an interdisciplinary executive summary of all the findings and conclusions to the partner. ‘The project has become something unique. The findings are very interesting!’ says Mari during the discussion. ‘We appreciate the student team’s innovative inputs,’ praises Joonas Aitonurmi, Specialist at FDA.
The students valued working with a work-life partner and gave kudos to Finnish Digital Agency. ‘Collaboration with FDA has been very positive!’ Ming smiles. Working with a public sector organisation raised thoughts, too. ‘As a business student, the focus in studies is heavily on the private sector. This was the first time when interacting with the (Finnish) public sector, and I want to give massive respect towards the FDA,’ states Christopher. Nandakumar had a similar experience. ‘I’m not that experienced with government entities either, but the FDA has been very smooth – I’m very glad about this!’
Aalto Thesis Programme Coordinator Silva Saulio and Programme Director Laura Sivula congratulate the student team for their excellent project and thank Finnish Digital Agency for fantastic collaboration!
Read Finnish Digital Agency's article about the project from Suomidigi!