By: Marcus Ortiz

The evaluation phase has definitely been a roller coaster of emotions. One second we were on a roll redesigning and reiterating, then, within an hour, the magic would wear off. Despite this, the evaluate phase has easily had the most impact on my design mindset.

It can be hard to let go of an idea. However, the evaluate phase has taught me the importance of falling in love with the problem and not the solution. In order to design and create “with” others and not “for” others, you must realize it is essential to include their opinions not only when defining the problem space, but also when creating and iterating. Oftentimes this means setting aside your pride. Although an idea may seem golden, if users say otherwise, it is your responsibility to step up and change the idea you thought was perfect.

Sometimes the hardest part is realizing you even have a biased connection to an idea. Subconsciously, you may end up asking interviewees questions that imply the answer you want to hear. It is only natural to want the original design to be perfect. Yet, this narrow mindedness severely hinders innovation. The goal of feedback is to see the solution from a different perspective, not to force your prospective on them.

However, despite the difficulties that come with fostering and utilizing feedback, our design has improved tremendously from the evaluate phase. Although we are still working out some kinks, I can not wait to present our design now that we improved our idea by getting some much needed feedback from professors and students. Now we just have to make sure we can communicate it right!