By: Kaelyn Griffiths

The evaluate phase has been the most rewarding time, yet the phase that makes me feel the most anxious. It has been really nice to continue building our vision and sharing that vision with our stakeholders, especially students, but knowing that others may not see the need for our vision has been a scary, recurring thought. As my team has been discussing the best ways to test and evaluate our idea, it has been difficult to decide on which testing method to pursue because of the sheer amount of ideas we want to incorporate. Hearing critiques so far on our ideas has been extremely helpful and we have worked hard to build a team dynamic that invites constructive criticism because we understand that feedback is how we design something that best fits the needs of the intended user.

Our ideas have evolved immensely from highlighting key features we wanted to include in our idea, to putting those ideas in practice by designing a prototype with our stakeholders, to continuing to revise those designs through workshops and feedback. This process has taught me so much about problem solving in the real world, including that it is imperative that while discussing and designing concept ideas, keeping the intended user at the center of discussion and making sure their needs are met is key. My team has done an amazing job with holding each other accountable for that and it has proven to be successful in all the feedback we have received thus far.

I think a recurring challenge has been balancing time and the feeling of responsibility to do our project justice. My team has very big ideas and is looking for a culture shift that prioritizes meaningful and intentional decision-making at Duke, but we understand that time constraints may prevent us from seeing this project completely through. Even the time constraints of the evaluate phase have felt a little overwhelming, but we have been working on scheduling to ensure that we can get enough feedback to prove our concept useful.