This week, the designers were talking about critical evaluation of projects and how we, as designers, can utilise our own evaluations and feedback from others to inform not only our future projects, but also our own design processes.
How does project evaluation help you and your client / audience measure effectiveness of your final outcome?
Firstly, having listened to all the interviews, it’s evident that the examples given were projects that were rolled out and utilised by their target audience. As we have only 8 weeks for this project, it’s a shame we can’t access that part of the evaluation, but sending out the drafts and prototypes to our target audience is the closest we can get. Through out the past 3 weeks, I’ve been sending out my updated designs and changes to my target audience to get that critical feedback we need to assess out final outcome from a different perspective.
Torsten was very clear that taking the time to analyse and assess the project is vital – what oculd be better? What could be changed and why? To have completed a project, and then take a step back i also an important aspect – we need fresh eyes to really evaluate a project from the outside. You might even come up with a better way to have done it (something I’ve done A LOT in the past!!). Something he also mentioned was if we are doing a presentation analysing our results, evaluate it before the presentation so it’s clear to the viewer, whoever that may be, what the project outcome was. This balances with the direction we’ve been given for this presentation – don’t just talk about the steps you took, openly discuss the project outcome and go from there. It’s a good way to think about this presentation as not a progression discussion, but a talk about the project itself and it’s effectiveness. This has really changed the way I’m thinking about this project and has also changed my Week 4 presentation!! (just to add to the pile of work I’m sifting through!).
Matthew gave an interesting factor that it completely depends on the metrics of success – if it’s something for a business eg branding, your evaluation will be from their perspective. If it’s an app or something for a wider audience, using market research will be the assessing point. For example, if they’ve done work for a client, their metric of success will be the repeat custom from that client. That means they’ve done well.
Wouter obviously includes the team in the evaluations, he’s discussed before that they have week on week evaluations of the project and that helps keep the direction focussed. It’s a constantly ongoing, honest and open evaluation which is crucial and something I’ve tried to keep up over this project. They also have personal evaluations as well as anonymous evaluations – he didn’t go into this much but I’d be very intrigued to know the impact this has. Stijn was very similar to Wouter, and evaluating the processes each week means the project is on the right track, as is their design process.
I found Luke’s interview really useful and valuable in terms of improving my own evaluating skills. You need to actively seek out feedback and evaluations, and do this with as much work as possible. This is something I’ve done this time round and found it invaluable – I’ve gone out of my comfort zone to seek feedback from not only the target audience, but also potential investors, other designers and industry professionals. This was a huge turning point for me personally and wasn’t as terrifying as I thought it would be!
He also mentioned to include the brief in the evaluation, go back around, it’s a full circle from start to finish and back again. Getting realistic feedback and going back to the client once the project has been completed for sometime is also vital – not something we’re able to do as our project isn’t out there for all the world to use.
I really loved reading Pedro Canhenha’s blog posts about measuring success – he highlighted that it’s not just quality of work but the design process that needs to be evaluated. It’s so easy as a designer to just assess the typography, colours and overall aesthetic of the project, but we also need to really focus on the effectiveness and timeliness of our process. Also, if we are to get market research from our target audience, include them in the brief given – educate and contextualise the audience or participants.
My main focus for this project was to go outside my comfort zone. My previous projects had a good idea as the basis but the final outcome just didn’t reflect this and I didn’t push myself out of my comfort zone to try new skills. I wanted to use this project to try my hand at UI/UX design, learn a new program for app design, take product photographs and really throw my all into a project. I acknowledge that I’ve had some extra time on this due to personal circumstances, so I’ve had the rare opportunity of being able to really spend time on this outcome and continually assess and develop it. We need to keep harnessing new skills and be brave enough to try new things, otherwise our design work and process won’t evolve or develop and will remain static.
Reading through a few other blogs and evaulation examples, it’s clear that a lot of facts and figures provided about the success of the projects were from the market research. I will continue to send my app design and changes to my target audience to obtain this feedback.
http://www.artyfactory.com. (n.d.). Graphic Design Lessons – Evaluating a Design. [online] Available at: https://www.artyfactory.com/graphic_design/graphic_design_evaluation.html [Accessed 28 Jan. 2021].
How To Assess Your Graphic Design projects For Improvements. (2015). Designhill. [online] 3 Mar. Available at: https://www.designhill.com/design-blog/how-to-assess-your-graphic-design-for-improvements/ [Accessed 28 Jan. 2021].