The evaluation phase gives the design team the opportunity to test whether the designed product fits the needs and the requirements set by the user and the design team during the context mapping phase of the project. This evaluation will be done by testing and evaluating the product according a set evaluation plan. Based on the detail of the final prototype, a certain set of requirements and interactions can be tested and evaluated in cooperation with the user.
Finally, a general project conclusion and evaluation will be given. This is the moment for the design team to reflect on the project to see what could be improved or what should have been done differently.
The goal of the product evaluation plan is to verify whether the requirements set in the earlier stages of the project are fulfilled by the designed product. During the evaluation, several points are interesting to evaluate in order to see if (a set of) the requirements are fulfilled. These can be things like:
User experience (UX)
User opinion, judgement and interpretation
User behaviour and responses
The main methods used in the evaluation should lead to the user being able to test the product. It would be interesting to see the final interaction and how well and quickly the end goal of the product can be achieved. In this case we want to measure and test two main features:
By the end of the project, the team has a concept with a prototype ready to be tested by the client. The design process leading up to the prototype involved some difficulties. Changing demands of the client caused some confusion. For example, the client explained to the team that crutches should be part of the design process. A week later the participant told us that he unexpectedly cannot use crutches anymore due to his limitation. Therefore, the project group had to discard some concepts that were already ideated.
Looking back a more focused and less general design challenge could have avoided this issue. By focusing on the very problem our client is most concerned with instead of focusing on various problems the team could have reached its goals faster.
Despite the minor set-back the project resulted in a design that meets the client's needs, once the design challenge was well defined.
The final product that was designed in the end met most of the requirements, even though some are necessary to be tested. With the written test plans, the group hopes to be able to verify this at a later stage. In the end, it was an interesting product as the students gained insight in designing for one very specific user, instead of designing for a more general target audience. The participants handicap made it difficult to imagine how they would experience certain actions. This gave new insights for the team to take into account in later projects.