Step 5 - test | evaluate | improve
After we develop we test.
With the test results we can then evaluate.
After evaluation we improve.
While some designers/developers might be delivering and launching their product at this point, we prefer to take a step back and test.
Although we continually test throughout the process, none of it is dedicated with a plan in place. We would rather prepare ourselves with a mock-launch and give ourselves some time to take another look. This is why we dedicate a whole stage to it.
Throughout the process we are focus driven, this can often lead to getting stuck inside the box. Therefore, this step helps to refresh us and remove any box we may have become confined within. The testing allows us real world examples and preferably more eyes to scrutinize our design. This process can reveal other problems and sometimes more ideas, thereby creating the best design.
With the testing out of the way and more ideas to analyze, we can begin to evaluate.
We prefer to dedicate a stage to evaluation instead of evaluating as we go. When you evaluate as you go, you almost always fail to see the big picture with the correlation between the design, its message and how it is communicated as part of a brand or image.
The evaluation helps to keep all this in mind, which helps to make the best decision with the new information we have.
Like the develop stage, here is where a lot more of the heavy lifting can take place.
This stage becomes focus-oriented and task-based while working towards specific goals to ultimately achieve a finished state.
Since the improvements at this stage are design and development based, we do not need to go back to testing, we just keep improving.