By: Arya Patel

The evaluation phase of the design process has really helped me understand how the feedback loop works to improve ideas, though it may be uncomfortable at times. 

I realized that it can be difficult to hear feedback that might interfere with the favorite parts of our idea. I feel like at this stage it is easy to get tunnel vision and not want to really ask the real questions or allow the evaluator to give their honest opinion. I often found myself wanting to cut people off, or correct them, or steer them away from weak points and point them towards our stronger areas. However, as I learned to resist this mindset during our evaluation tests, I realized it was the genuine feedback that was allowing us to create truly better iterations of our program. 

Over time, our idea has contracted and expanded as we took into account different stakeholder perspectives, pain points, and challenges. The evolution of our project design, parallel to the growth of our learning and knowledge, was quite intense and long. However, the outcomes are rewarding. It makes me proud to think we were able to overcome all kinds of challenges and thoughts that were pulling us in every direction to whittle down to a cohesive, interesting and innovative design. 

The most memorable part of this experience were the days when it felt like we were talking in circles around the same idea and then all of a sudden things would click and we would all come together excitedly and be on the same page. I think these moments say a lot about the team’s persistence, hard work, and willingness to work through uncomfortable or frustrating conversations. I am so happy that I got to experience this program with this cohort and my team; all of whom I’ve learned quite a lot from!