3.3 Iteration

By testing your ideas, you will have the chance to refine and improve them. The iteration phase is an ongoing part of the design process.1 At this point you can obtain feedback on your idea, place prototypes in front of people, and rework things as you hear critiques.

Here are a few ways to test and refine ideas during the iteration phase:

  • Develop scenarios and role play. Scenarios are stories that attempt to frame your design idea or new service in a real life (or imagined) situation. For instance, if you create a scenario around a new service, ask others to play out the different roles of the people affected by it. Role-playing might help you uncover hidden issues in implementing your design.
  • Present your mock ups or large sketches of your idea in the form of an advertisement or poster for patrons and youth to view at the library. Provide the chance for people to write down their comments and give their feedback about the idea.
  • Use social and digital platforms to promote ideas, prototypes, or design processes to elicit feedback and create awareness. Digital photography and social platforms can allow you to document the process, showcase the creations of youth, and demonstrate how the project evolved.
  • Apply any feedback and new research to revise and iterate as part of an ongoing process. Remember: Sometimes creating a new design or service is more about progress than perfection!

Implementation of the new design or service is the final step after the iteration phase. As you implement your new design or experience, take note of any user behavior and see just how people interact with your design in a real setting. At any point, you may wish to cycle back to different phases in the design process—refining and developing your project or new service over time. It may take several attempts at restructuring your new initiative before it reaches its final form.

1: Mode Prototype, d.school Bootcamp bootleg, 2010.