User Feedback

User Feedback

The final aspect of our project was getting feedback from our community partner. At this stage, we had not explained to Branda that the technical challenges we faced had made it impossible for us to create an organization page for the Sanctuary and that we had shifted to ensuring that users could upload and view projects.

Because of this, when we demoed the product to Branda, she was both confused about what it could be used for and disappointed that the site did not seem to pertain to the Sanctuary at all.

Some of her feedback included:

Wanting some description of the site and what it is used for as the first thing new users see.

Some way of differentiating between the specific users of the site much like how AirBnb differentiates between travelers and hosts logged into the site.

She told us the site was not ready for user feedback because it did not have what we she believed we had originally agreed to creating.

The majority of this was focused on the lack of organizationally specific information and more of a focus on individual projects and products.

While we were grateful for this feedback, we felt sad that even after all the work we had down, our community partner was dissatisfied with the outcome.

In retrospect, delivering to our client should have been one of the most important aspects of our entire project. However, in order to get a functional prototype up and running in the time we had and to create something that could continue to be developed after the class, we chose to pursue the upload and view functionality first.

Near the end, Branda said that she was conflicted and that while the professor inside her was happy we were learning, the community organizer was disappointed with the lack of follow-through.

In reality, to truly understand the community we were designing for and to achieve a meaningful outcome that could last longer than the length of the project, we would have needed more time and less things to do in addition to the project.

In conclusion, we were grateful for Branda’s honest feedback although the way in which it was delivered led us to a new understanding of the two sides to the relationship between designer and stakeholder which is critical to an idea lasting and developing over time. While students can often be the primary reason a project does not get implemented, the dynamic between the student and their community partner is just as important. If a student’s interaction with a community stakeholder is unpleasant, the chances of them continuing to engage with that organization go do. This in turn, leaves community organizers with a sour taste in their mouth when they think of student initiatives and can often lead to them engaging with students from a jaded mindset. While neither side is right, this relationship is manifesting a positive feedback loop that may stifle future interactions between students and community organizations.