Evaluation is very important, not only for designers but also for each individual. Re-question things in life might is not the most comfortable thing but it is the only way of improvement. So, this was this week’s subject.
We just finished our module Interaction Design Process. It was a lot of work and at least my team was very exhausted by the many hours and night shifts we spent on our project. And actually, there wasn’t really time to evaluate the success of our last few weeks. Fortunately, our teacher Joëlle gave us the exercise to prepare questions to evaluate the success of the project in the next lesson. It was not easy to define what counts as success. At the end we had following questions:
- How much can other designers benefit from our work.
- Did we personally learned new things?
- Did we learned something for our relationships with others?
- Does this project have a good impact in our becoming of designers?
- Did our participants benefit?
- Do our prototype, video, and documentation explain enough that people can understand our ideas and thought?
Because our project was no commercial but a learning project the questions differ from a business context.
Times to evaluate
In the design process, there are serval times to evaluate your work. And we also noticed that it’s such a great part of the process itself. You did your work and then you check if you’re on the right path.
It’s a good practice to evaluate even before the actual design process begins. Maybe you start to evaluate your hypothesis and to find out what users really expecting. There’s also the time to define goals you can re-evaluate your work later on.
Doing your work also requires checking your path. Are you still on track? All sorts of prototyping are a great example of evaluation. But the different roles of designers also include the role of project managers so checking timetable and budget are included as well as documentation and presentation for stakeholders.
This is what we actually did today. We re-evaluated if we were successful if we met our expectations of goals. Besides that, it is always very useful to reconsider the learnings during the project which is one of the most valuable things.
Here’s a graphic I’ve stolen from my colleague Carlo.
Evaluating our project
Back to the questions we prepared, each group of our class evaluated a project of each other. It was very exciting to get feedback from another perspective. In the eyes of our colleagues, the project we’ve made was way more successful than from our point of view.
What impressed me the most was the fact that most of our work as designers requires evaluation. Almost every step. You could almost say that designing is evaluating. And that’s something I appreciate very much in my work.